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Old 10-29-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
MsRefusenik
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Ubuntu 10.04 is dying and I'm ready to reinstall if I can keep all my files.


(I did not find help under topic "System dying want to keep files, but I did check.)

Something has happened to Ubuntu 10.04. It barely loads anything, and not 1/4 of what I click on. It began after I installed a bunch of software. Firefox is also worthless and won't go to Internet. (I think it may be greasemonkey add-on that I can't get to to remove.)

The Ubuntu barely loads my desktop after login. It removes a lot of stuff like key for restarting/shutdown. I can't access Chrome. I can't access anything. I can't upgrade to 10.10 because it's in such bad shape I can't get there. I am writing this from Knoppix 6.2 Live CD.

I would reinstall right now but I have recently saved a whole bunch of files I need for my business and education. How can I reinstall and keep all my files and have new installation work properly?

Please help. I am writing a novel in 30 days with NaNovWriMo as of Nov. 1st. I need a computer that works.

Maryellen
 
Old 10-29-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
win32sux
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I'd use the live CD to mount the relevant hard drive partition and then copy the documents to a USB flash drive (ideally, more than one). Then I'd nuke everything with a new installation and copy the documents back when everything is set. Are you able to do that?
 
Old 10-30-2010, 12:43 AM   #3
tommcd
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When you reinstall Ubuntu (and after backing up your data) create a separate home partition. This way all of your data will be safe on a separate partition from the root partition if you ever need to reinstall Ubuntu again. See this:
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installseparatehome
 
Old 10-30-2010, 05:40 AM   #4
MsRefusenik
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Thanks, but how do I backup?

I have spent the night reading about all the various, complicated, beyond my scope ways of backing up. I read with rsync, with duplicity (repository is missing dependencies), remastersys, Simple Backup Suite, sbackup has missing dependencies; by terminal (but where do the files go?), backuppc (missing dependencies); and I just feel it is hopeless. I do not have any money and can't run out and pick up an external hard drive. I don't have a USB stick either so I can install 10.04. I am about to go back to Mac Tiger 10.4 in a minute. I probably would have earlier tonight but my hacker hacked the installation CD's and I can't afford new ones right now.

Please help me. There must be something simple in Linux somewhere. I didn't realize before I started playing with Live CD's that I'd end up having to think about going for a degree in Computer Science just to write my novel.

Maryellen
 
Old 10-30-2010, 07:34 AM   #5
jv2112
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winsux 's suggestion is as probably the easiest. Do you have a flash drive large enough for your data? You could also burn to a CD or DVD.

Once your data is back up you can do a fresh install. I would recommend using Linux Mint 10 over Ubuntu though. It is very straight forward. Even more so than Ubuntu which is very intuitive as well.

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1554


Obviously this would not be a possibility if you can't get at your DVD drive due to issues. Brasero is a straight forward program to back up data or burn new install discs.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 08:36 AM   #6
thorkelljarl
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Terminology...

The terms "copy and "backup" here are being used to mean the same thing, putting your content data files as a copy on some other media and then copying the files back to a newly installed example of Ubuntu.

This is not strictly the same as a backup, making a security copy of a file.

As suggested, using a live-cd to copy or to burn the files is easy. You do need to get a hold either of a USB stick, an extra CD/DVD drive, or an external HDD.

If you have room on your HDD, you can shrink an existing partition and make a new one in which you can store your copies. A live-cd will write to all valid partitions on a HDD as long as they are mounted as read/write.

After you no longer need the storage partition and have moved your files back to your new Ubuntu, you can delete the storage partition and expand the neighboring partition to fill its space.

If you installed Ubuntu on a USB stick and booted from there, you wouldn't need more than a 1GB USB, plus perhaps some CD or DVD disks to burn. A 1GB or 2GB USB stick should cost you about $5, not much these days. Good quality rewritable CD/DVD disks are cheap in the end when you consider how useful they can be.

In addition, you should have a backup of your files; you don't want that novel to disappear when your HDD chooses to crash.

There are wills and ways. Good Luck.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 10-30-2010 at 09:47 AM.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsRefusenik View Post
I have spent the night reading about all the various, complicated, beyond my scope ways of backing up. I read with rsync, with duplicity (repository is missing dependencies), remastersys, Simple Backup Suite, sbackup has missing dependencies; by terminal (but where do the files go?), backuppc (missing dependencies); and I just feel it is hopeless. I do not have any money and can't run out and pick up an external hard drive. I don't have a USB stick either so I can install 10.04. I am about to go back to Mac Tiger 10.4 in a minute. I probably would have earlier tonight but my hacker hacked the installation CD's and I can't afford new ones right now.

Please help me. There must be something simple in Linux somewhere. I didn't realize before I started playing with Live CD's that I'd end up having to think about going for a degree in Computer Science just to write my novel.

Maryellen
Uh, you just need to use the cp command. It copies files/directories from one place to another. No need for any of the applications you mentioned, or for a college degree. Also, if you don't have a USB drive, you can use any kind of online storage. For example, you could upload your documents to a Gmail account. That said, investing in a USB flash drive is a good idea anyways, as it'll allow you to keep backups of your data going forward. That way, you avoid having to get yourself back into these types of situations altogether.

Last edited by win32sux; 10-30-2010 at 03:37 PM.
 
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:25 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Since you are using Ubuntu 10.04, you should be able to backup your data at your Ubuntu One online space, if you boot into the Live-CD.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 04:58 PM   #9
impert
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Perhaps Ubuntu is not as dead as you think. To me it sounds like a configuration problem. You could try opening a terminal (if it will open, I realise) and typing:
Code:
cd ~
mv .config dot_config
then log out or reboot the computer. You will lose any changes you have made to your graphical user interface (GUI), but you can fix these later.

You can also do
Code:
mv .mozilla dot_mozilla
and then restart firefox. This will remove all your tabs, history, and bookmarks (they will still be in that dot_mozilla folder though, and can be recovered manually)

If you can't open a terminal, then you can boot into single user mode. If you don't see a menu when booting up the computer, try pressing <Esc> (the escape key) AFTER the BIOS messages if you do it too early, you'll get into the BIOS menu; not what you want. If you do it right, you should see an entry ending in "single user mode". Choose that.
It will boot into a big black intimidating screen with the word "login".
Type in your user name, and your password when asked. Then type the commands above. You can then type "startx" which should get you to the graphical login screen, or reboot then by pressing <Ctrl> <Alt> <Delete> or<Ctrl> <Alt> <Backspace> all at once. If that fails, hold the power button down for 5 secs.
Good luck.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impert View Post
If that fails, hold the power button down for 5 secs.
Good luck.
This can damage the filesystem, bad advice.
 
Old 10-30-2010, 09:31 PM   #11
vyver
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Thumbs up

To MsRefusenik,
Hi there! As our MODERATOR (Win32sux) said and i QUOTE

" Uh, you just need to use the cp command. It copies files/directories from one place to another. No need for any of the applications you mentioned, or for a college degree. Also, if you don't have a USB drive, you can use any kind of online storage. For example, you could upload your documents to a Gmail account. That said, investing in a USB flash drive is a good idea anyways, as it'll allow you to keep backups of your data going forward. That way, you avoid having to get yourself back into these types of situations altogether." UNQUOTE.

How much space do your files occupy on the HDD? Ubuntu Online offers 2GB space(correct me ,if i am wrong)for backup(AS MENTIONED). So, you have THREE options to choose and not one of them costs you a Cent! I agree with the MOD. and look into how you can packup and backup your files in Gmail account! If you are a Novelist, then i am a poet! I wrote poems on UGKRISHNAMURTI.WEBSITE:ugkrishnamurti.org-(poems on UG by DR.Sistla.Sreedhav). Wishing you all the best!

I am providing a link from Bleeping computers as to HOW TO BACKUP FILES IN A GMAIL ACCOUNT. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tuto...torial125.html

I hope you will find the article useful!
Regards,
vyver.
 
Old 10-31-2010, 06:37 AM   #12
impert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impert
If that fails, hold the power button down for 5 secs.
Good luck.
This can damage the filesystem, bad advice.
Could you elaborate on this please.

I plead in my defense that I did suggest it as a last resort. (I've done it more times than I care to think about on my machine, always without damage).
If the OP does as I suggest, there will be no large data files which are open and which could be too big to get back into their boxes before the power finally disappears from the motherboard. I can't see much danger of screwing anything, particularly as she would be in single user mode. Even less danger if she has managed to back up anything important.
Don't forget that she thinks she has a completely broken system and is ready to re-install.
If you still feel the advice was bad, please say why. I'll be glad to learn.
 
Old 10-31-2010, 07:08 AM   #13
TobiSGD
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The OP is not ready to reinstall, she is searching for a way to backup her files.
My .config and .mozilla together are 290MB in size, which could be in cache after the copy, and not actually written, or only half written at the time of the hard shutdown. This actually can damage the filesystem and is bad advice, because there is data on this filesystem the OP wants to backup first. Remember, first backup, then try to repair the system. It would be a better advice to show her the shutdown command.

Edit:I am sorry, my fault. A move on the same filesystem will of course not move the files to the cache, but only change the inodes names.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 10-31-2010 at 07:20 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2010, 08:08 AM   #14
PehJota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
This can damage the filesystem, bad advice.
With any modern filesystem with a journal (e.g. ext3, ext4, even NTFS), this isn't really a problem. You might run into some application-specific data consistency problems if some program is killed while it just happens to be in the middle of writing a batch of files, but the filesystem itself is designed to easily handle an abrupt shutdown.
 
Old 10-31-2010, 08:35 AM   #15
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PehJota View Post
With any modern filesystem with a journal (e.g. ext3, ext4, even NTFS), this isn't really a problem. You might run into some application-specific data consistency problems if some program is killed while it just happens to be in the middle of writing a batch of files, but the filesystem itself is designed to easily handle an abrupt shutdown.
That might be true, but there are cases were even journaled system fail.
Acting so is like driving faster because you have seatbelt and airbag.
 
  


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