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Old 06-20-2006, 02:36 PM   #1
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External usb drive taking space on root fs?

[Hmm, I think I just posted this but it seems to have disappeared -- sorry if it's double posted.]


First of all, I'm a newbie, so pardon my ignorance.

I'm trying to backup just my home directory onto an external usb hard drive. I don't need any fancy compression or anything, just a straight recursive copy of my home directory and all its subdirectories so that I can reinstall Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy (due to unresolvable ati graphics card issues with Ubuntu 6.06 -- see and copy the contents back. I followed these instructions to create a filesystem on a brand new "Safe Store" 250 GB external usb drive.: Now I have a nice filesystem mounted at /mnt/usbdrive/ and it seems that I can read + write to it fine.

To copy over my home, I did this:

sudo mkdir /mnt/usbdrive/backup
sudo cp -r /home/jeremy /mnt/usbdrive/backup
It seemed to be working slowly but surely (files were appearing in /mnt/usbdrive/backup), but then I got warnings that my memory was low, and when I used the System > Administration > System Monitor tool, I noticed that the memory on / was indeed being eaten away bit by bit (so to speak) as the the copy proceeded. I cancelled the copy and recursively removed /mnt/usbdrive/backup.

This doesn't make any sense to me. Isn't the whole point of an external drive that it doesn't take the space from your root filesystem? Are my method and/or understanding flawed?

Any help much appreciated.
Old 06-20-2006, 04:51 PM   #2
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Oops, I'm not sure exactly what happened last time but it seems to be working now. I'm guessing I didn't mount the external drive properly and was just copying to a regular directory on mnt. Currently, "cp -r /home/jeremy/ usbdrive/jerBak" is processing and I can see the progress in the system monitor: /dev/sda1 is getting slowly fuller while /dev/hda1 is sitting pretty at 89%. All is well.

Sorry for my confusion.


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