Originally posted by 1_8_7
so that basically means i will lose everything and have to reconfig my whole machine? ug, i was hoping to avoid that
Not necessarily. You do not need to wipe out your whole harddisk when doing a "clean" install.
If you have partition /home as a separate partition. And your data files are there.
To backup /etc:
tar -cvf etc-9.1backup.tar /etc
copy etc-9.1backup.tar to somewhere safe.
You can wipe out the rest of partitions (format). But choose not to format /home partition. Or whatever data partitions.
I have tried not wiping out /home and /opt (custome compiled software, for me)
Make very sure you know what you are doing.
The main thing which you want to clear when doing a fresh install is /, /usr.
Again, make sure you know what you are doing.
Always take the safest path when dealing with your precious data.