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Old 02-19-2007, 09:17 PM   #1
SuperK
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Registered: May 2006
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Help saving data in /home after upgrade attempt hosed system


Hi All,

Hopefully someone can help me. I had been running two distros behind the curve for a while (still running Ubuntu Breezy) so I decided to finally update to Dapper. Since the first time I tried an upgrade when I was new to Linux and Ubuntu it completely hosed my system and ended up having to reinstall with the resulting loss of data, I decided to go with what I was told was the safe way and DL the "Ubuntu alternate cd" and do the upgrade from that.

Did all the steps and the thing ran for the better part of two hours, finally dropping to a root prompt in the console (I still think the thing was caught in a loop) So I log out, log in and it seems to have upgraded but I can't tell until I reboot for sure (at this point everything is still working) Reboot and sure enough, no boot, shows a failure to load pcmcia or something.

I tried the live cd and chose "fix a broken system"- no joy. Tried to reinstall in the / and swap partition- no joy. At this point I am so disgusted with again losing my pics, emails, wall papers etc. that I pull the HDD out and replace it with one I had installed PCLOS on and was sort of planning on making the switch to anyhow when the final 2007 comes out, but this is not the way I wanted to switch.

I type all that to ask this, since the /home partition was not touched even when I attempted the reinstall- and keeping in mind that even after two+ years I am still a Linux n00b- is it possible for me to somehow save the personal data on the HDD? And if so how would you suggest doing so?

Please make you ansewrs as detailed as possible and I'm sorry for typing so much but I wanted to give all the information you might need in order to help me.

All help is gratefully acknowledged and appreciated.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
leosgb
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Hi,

If you have a /home partition all you have to do is use a livecd to boot your system. Then you get to your prompt (I understood you already did) and then you mount the home partition. After that you can run some cd burning software or even transfer it over network (it should be enabled if you use Knoppix for this purpose).

If you dont have a /home partition (note that it is different than having a /home path, you can still do it. Use your knoppix livecd. Boot your system. Mount the / partition. Browse to your /home and transfer it over the network. It should be very simple.

Please try it:
1) burn a Knoppix livecd
2) boot your system using it
3) mount (the partitions might be automatically mounted) your /home or / partition. Say, /dev/hda2 (I dont know where they are).
4) transfer all your data (if these are all your emails, pics, documents it should be a lot) over the network (hook the network cable for this end) to a secondary computer, or use some USB storage that will be probably automatically recognized and mounted using Knoppix.

There you go. If it doesnt work let me know and we can try to get you a new solution. Good luck!
 
Old 02-19-2007, 09:48 PM   #3
chadl
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If you have a second hdd connector, I would connect the alternate hdd, and run the following commands (This is assuming that the hard drive is mounted as hdb, and that partition 3 is your /home partition); also if you have an auto-mounter then it may mount the partition for you, so you don't have to run mkdir and mount (just adjust the path in cp to point to where the auto-mounter put it):
Code:
mkdir /tmp/home/
mount /dev/hdb3 /tmp/home/
cp -r /tmp/home/ <where you want the files to go>
umount /dev/hdb3
Please note that I just came up with the above commands off the top of my head. To the best of my knowledge they are correct; but as Donald Knuth said "I have only proved this code correct, not tried it."

Lacking a free hard drive connector, then you could put it in as your primary disk, boot off a live-cd, and copy the files from your home directory to a USB key, online data storage service, burn them to a CD, or some related transfer method.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 02:28 PM   #4
J.W.
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As the others have pointed out, as long as /home was in its own separate partition (and you did not reformat it as part of the installation process) then all your data will still be sitting in the same condition as it was pre-install.

Assuming that you reattach the "pulled" hard drive, then you should be able to copy the data from that "pulled" hard drive over to the "other" hard drive that's in there now. Both leosgb and chadl's instructions should permit you to recover your data. Good luck with it
 
Old 02-24-2007, 05:34 PM   #5
SuperK
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Registered: May 2006
Posts: 25

Original Poster
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Thanks all, still can't get it to work though.

Knoppix opens the partition fine and I can see all my stuff but it will not copy the files to the thumb drive for some reason, keeps saying that it can't make folder. Both are seen by Knoppix and mounted.

/home partition is hdb5

thumb drive is listed as sda1

tried everything I know, which isn't much but nothing has worked. Any ideas?

BTW I'm thinking I might just burn the Dapper and reinstall keeping the /home partition, how do I go about that and what is the proper .iso to DL?

Thanks for all the help
 
Old 02-24-2007, 05:56 PM   #6
chadl
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On the desktop of Knoppix right click on the thumb drive icon and click "Change read/write mode". Then it will ask you if you want to make it writable... say yes; and Knoppix will re-mount the thumb-drive as rw rather then the default read only.
 
Old 02-25-2007, 09:58 PM   #7
leosgb
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Yeah, I think that is your problem. You have to set the permissions so you can write to it. Did you try setting the permissions as suggested above?
 
  


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