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Preserving your existing Home partition when installing a new distro

Posted 07-01-2016 at 10:19 AM by beachboy2
Updated 03-21-2017 at 05:41 PM by beachboy2

Preserving your existing Home partition when installing a new distro

IMPORTANT

Regardless of the following suggestion on how to preserve your current Home (/home) partition, it is ESSENTIAL to also make a BACKUP of all existing personal data, just in case anything goes wrong!

The backup, to an external hard drive or similar, should include the following:

bookmarks.html (Firefox in my case)
Email profile folder (Thunderbird in my case)
Documents
Downloads
Pictures
Videos
Music
Plus anything else (e.g. KeePass2 database).

I am assuming that there are 3 existing partitions on the current installation:

sda1 for root (/)
sda2 for swap
sda3 for home (/home).

These instructions are based on installing Linux Mint 18 and preserving the existing /home partition.

When you reach the partitioning stage of the installation, choose Something else (see attached photo) and click on Continue.

For sda1 (existing root partition):

Highlight
the partition, click on Change, select Leave the size the same, select Use as: ext4, click on the box for Format the partition, select / as the Mount point and then click on OK.

For sda2 (existing swap partition):

Do not touch it at all.

For sda3 (existing home partition):

It is essential to make some changes
. Do NOT ignore it, otherwise your home partition will not be preserved.

PLEASE NOTE
:

If you originally used ext3 or something different from ext4, you MUST continue to use the same format!
I assumed that most users would be using ext4 now. My thanks to TxLonghorn for pointing this out.

Highlight
the partition, click on Change, select Leave the size the same, select Use as: ext4 {see warning above}, do NOT click on the box for Format the partition. Leave the format box empty.
Select /home as the Mount point and then click on OK.

Next, select sda and click on Install now.

When the message, Write changes to disk? appears, click on Continue and carry on with the rest of the installation procedure.

If all goes as planned, all your personal data, bookmarks, email and individual settings such as Single clicks, Screensaver and NumLock preferences etc will also be preserved.
Attached Images
File Type: png Something else.png (59.1 KB, 11 views)
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    beachboy2--

    So if I'm understanding you correctly, then it is possible to save your settings from your previous installation without having to manually install the previous settings.
    Posted 07-13-2016 at 09:27 AM by nobahn nobahn is offline
  2. Old Comment
    This is all sound advice, and thanks for the contribution.

    I have one little warning to add. If you follow this:
    Quote:
    For sda3 (existing home partition):

    It is essential to make some changes. Do NOT ignore it, otherwise your home partition will not be preserved.

    Highlight the partition, click on Change, select Leave the size the same, select Use as: ext4, do NOT click on the box for Format the partition. Leave the format box empty.
    it will work just fine - if your /home partition is already formatted as ext4.

    However, if your /home partition is ext3, selecting Use as: ext4 will format the partition. The only way to prevent the formatting from happening is to chose the same format as the existing format.
    Posted 07-13-2016 at 10:22 AM by TxLonghorn TxLonghorn is offline
  3. Old Comment
    nobahn,

    Yes, the home partition and settings such as single click, bookmarks, Documents, Pictures etc are all saved.
    Posted 07-15-2016 at 01:36 PM by beachboy2 beachboy2 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    TxLonghorn,

    You are correct.

    I must admit that I was assuming that most people now use ext4.

    I have modified the blog accordingly.

    Thanks.
    Posted 07-15-2016 at 01:37 PM by beachboy2 beachboy2 is offline
    Updated 07-15-2016 at 01:52 PM by beachboy2
 

  



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