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Old 08-27-2016, 02:40 PM   #1
Newbie2Ubuntu
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Home Directory Data Recovery


Hi -

I'm at the end of my rope trying to figure out how to recover my data after a failed Xubuntu 16.04 LTS update.
I ran Xubuntu 15.04 LTS on an old Samsung Netbook and used it as a file storage / home plex server. During the update to 16.04 the system became unresponsive and I restarted the computer (obviously, should not have done that). After that, I could not log into the system: the new version didn't show up in the grub list of installed ubuntu versions and the old version wouldn't load. Here is the recap of what I've done so far.

1. Ran Xubuntu 15.04 on Samsung Netbook
2. Initiated update to 16.04
3. During upgrade the system froze
4. Restarted the machine
5. After restart, could see the window which allows to select the version of Xubutu to run
6. 16.04 not listed
7. Chose the version that was previously installed (15.04)
8. The system would initiate, show the Xubutu logo and freeze thereafter, no matter what you do
9. Boot from Live USB
10. Can see, mount and navigate the files on the hard drive
11. Navigate to /home directory
12. Go to my folder within /home where all my files are located
13. See Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop and README.txt
14. Try this http://www.howtogeek.com/116297/how-...d-home-directo...
15. However, I get "Encryption is not set up" instead
16. Managed to get around this by using the unwrap-passphrase command
17. After getting success, the unencrypted files in the /tmp directory are still encrypted!

Note I have never set up encryption, the only password I've ever used on the system is the one to log into the system.

Is there anyway to restore my files? Is it possible to somehow continue the installation where it was terminated?

I need to recover 120Gb of photos!

Thanks very much!
 
Old 08-27-2016, 03:58 PM   #2
TxLonghorn
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I would consider this no problem. Boot a Xubuntu DVD or USB and install to the current root partition without formatting the /home partition. That will refresh the operating system without destroying any personal files.
You can also install Xubuntu without formatting the root partition.

Last edited by TxLonghorn; 08-27-2016 at 04:00 PM.
 
Old 08-27-2016, 04:19 PM   #3
Newbie2Ubuntu
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Thank you for taking the time to respond! Yes, I tried that but the only option I get is to re-install with complete formatting. It looks like the partition was messed up during the botched installation...
 
Old 08-27-2016, 05:41 PM   #4
yancek
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Quote:
Note I have never set up encryption, the only password I've ever used on the system is the one to log into the system.
Then why were you using that tutorial which explains how to recover an already encrypted /home directory?
If you terminate the upgrade for whatever reason it obviously isn't going to be completed and about the last thing done on the update is to update grub so I would not expect an entry for the new release.

If you have never used encryption as you reported above, I would think you would be able to use the Live usb to mount and access the directories/file in /home. Is the directory where you see the two files you mention in number 13 a sub-directory of /home/user? Seems strange you would have those two files and not the others, particularly the file named Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop if you have never used encryption.

Your problem is likely the result of trying to upgrade from 15.04 which is a non-LTS release with support for 9 months to an LTS release (16.04). With Ubuntu, if you are upgrading from a non-LTS (15.05) to an LTS (16.04) you cannot do it directly but do it incrementally meaning that you need to go from 15.04 to 15.10 to 16.04. Support for 15.10 ended last month so everything is moved to a different location to be archived. This might have worked for you if you had done it a month ago.

If you can't boot the original system, you won't be able to continue the upgrade and I really don't think it would work anyway in the circumstances you describe. Situations like these give you a good reason to have either a separate /home or /data partition in the future. I'm not sure that is what you have, a separate /home partition. If you do, the suggestion above should work.
 
Old 09-20-2016, 05:20 PM   #5
Newbie2Ubuntu
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Thanks. No, I don't have a separate /home directory. Actually, turns out the version I tried upgrading from was an LTS one.

I tried decrypting per the tutorial because I got "Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop" when I tried accessing the folder from a LiveCD.

Anyone can help? I don't understand why I get "Access-Your-Private-Data.desktop" and cannot access it by using my root password. Again, I never explicitly set up encryption...
 
Old 09-20-2016, 07:04 PM   #6
syg00
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Sounds like the update was trying to encrypt your /home (data). Let's hope it didn't get partway through.
Is there a /home/.Private (or similar) on the mounted disk ?. Is that viewable (it shouldn't be if ecryptfs is installed) ?.

Are we beginning to see the value of backups ?.

Last edited by syg00; 09-20-2016 at 07:06 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 09-24-2016, 06:25 PM   #7
Newbie2Ubuntu
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How do I check if .Private exists?

I also ran cat /home/.ecryptfs/$USER/.ecryptfs/Private.mnt and it says no such file or directory...

Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Sounds like the update was trying to encrypt your /home (data). Let's hope it didn't get partway through.
Is there a /home/.Private (or similar) on the mounted disk ?. Is that viewable (it shouldn't be if ecryptfs is installed) ?.

Are we beginning to see the value of backups ?.
 
  


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