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Old 01-18-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
shreesh
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Question Prevent loss of personal data while installing CentOS linux


Hi,
My sony vaio E series machine currently runs on UBUNTU 13.10 , as i wish to move to CentOS 6.5 , is there a possible way to installing it without the loss of data, kind of formatting only the "C:\" partition in windows .
 
Old 01-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #2
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shreesh View Post
Hi,
My sony vaio E series machine currently runs on UBUNTU 13.10 , as i wish to move to CentOS 6.5 , is there a possible way to installing it without the loss of data, kind of formatting only the "C:\" partition in windows .
Yes. You back up your personal data to a removable device like a DVD or a USB hard drive.

-----------------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 01-18-2014 at 02:18 PM.
 
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shreesh View Post
Hi,
My sony vaio E series machine currently runs on UBUNTU 13.10 , as i wish to move to CentOS 6.5 , is there a possible way to installing it without the loss of data, kind of formatting only the "C:\" partition in windows .
Same as every other computer OS. Backup your personal data. Install new OS. Restore your personal data from backup.

Your personal data on a Linux system will be under /home/<your_user_name> unless you specifically stored personal files elsewhere in the filesystem.

Some people put /home on a seperate partition or logical volume and then when they install a new Linux OS they simply mount their old /home in place of the newly created one. This is good for your personal data, but not always 100% workable for specific application settings (which are also stored under /home). You should still have backups though - you should ALWAYS have backups.

Linux is generally much more resilient to being picked up and moved than Windows is. And Windows generally stores your personal data on it's C: drive by default, unless you manually configure it otherwise. Linux has different concepts of storage than Windows does. Windows has "drives", which equate to partitions on a hard disk. Linux has hard disk partitions too, but it also has "file systems", and optionally "logical volumes". Windows may have something similar to logical volumes by now, I'd hope they finally did that, but I haven't used Windows extensively for quite a while, and I wouldn't know about that personally.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
jamison20000e
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Question

Hi. Personal data: I try to do backups here and there but if let it go too long spidey sense kicks in and I know my files are at risk to crash and burn and never do anything major without transfers (in my case to Blu-ray...) As far as keeping microcoughed-winblow$ what version and do you have an install CD\DVD or factory reset partition if anything goes wrong? Should be able to remove Ubuntu's partition and install CentOS there plus GRUB that will detect win and be fine. Best wishes and have fun.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 01-18-2014 at 11:25 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2014, 11:20 PM   #5
shane25119
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One thing I always do is create a partion table with a separate partition for home. That way I only have to reinstall any special software I want, no need to copy all my data back over. Of course, in an abundance of caution, I always put my data on my portable hard drive first.
 
Old 01-19-2014, 07:42 AM   #6
shreesh
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hi,
Thanks for your swift replies fellas, but i have my data under /Pdata in sda5 , is it possible to format all other partitions except this one, if there is how do i do it?
Thanks in advance.
 
Old 01-19-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
haertig
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Is /Pdata a mounted filesystem, or just a directory under / (root) ?
 
Old 01-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
shreesh
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its a mounted file system .
 
Old 01-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #9
shane25119
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^ In which case, you can certainly just format other partitions (see my above post).

When you get to the partitioning part of the installer- opt for the advanced partition setup. Be sure to specify pdata5 should be used as /home.

Of course, for the sake of extra safety, back everything up on another drive.... just in case.
 
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:08 PM   #10
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane25119 View Post
When you get to the partitioning part of the installer- opt for the advanced partition setup. Be sure to specify pdata5 should be used as /home.
I would definitely back up that partition first. You obviously need to tell the installer NOT to format this partition. The installer will add files to it however (if you tell it to use the partition for /home). And therein lies the paranoia. I would ALWAYS want a backup of anything the installer will be modifying. If you tell the installer to IGNORE an existing partition, and then you plan to manually mount that later, you can get by without a backup assuming you will be very careful when instructing the installer to how to play with your existing partition table. But if the installer will be altering an existing partition ... better safe than sorry - do a backup.

Personally, I would do a backup in every case, regardless of what I planned to tell the installer to do. If this is important personal data, then there is no good excuse to NOT be 100% paranoid. In the time you have taken to ask and get suggestions in this thread, you could have already completed a backup. It is good that you are asking first and not blazing ahead making assumptions that your personal data will be secure. A lot of folks do something dangerous first, out of ignorance, then come here asking for how to repair their damage. I'm glad to see you're not one of those folks. Still, my advice would be to do a backup of your personal data first. THEN see what you can do with the installer to keep it from ruining your personal data. If you succeed with the installer, great. You will have learned something and gained experience. If you don't, then you have a backup to recover from. Much better than coming back here after the fact asking how to recover with no backup available.
 
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