The problem: basically is that after installing and mounting my home partition as home...when I logged on , the desktop and window settings were set to match that of Fedora. Colours, wallpaper, desktop files all reappeared under the Mint desktop.
The history: I installed Elyssa 5 KDE, and attempted to mount my home partition as /home. In the drop-down menu, I selected use as ext2, as thats what all my partitions are formatted to. I received an error that there were errors (or sth like that) with the home partition and I could go back and fix the problems or use the partition as is. I went back and changed in the drop down menu "use as ext2" to "do not use" while still leaving it mounted as /home (without formatting it).
I carried on with the installation succesfully and logged in,. I could see the gnome menu as described and everything seemed to work as it said on the tin. I must say I am very impressed. As I dont have the internet at home (rural area, no broadband) I was delighted to be able to play movies and mp3.
Anyway, when I looked in the home directory it contained only the default folders with no contents. I assume the install created these new folders in the home partition without remapping them on to the old ones.
To try and correct this I checked the details on the passwd file in /etc for home in my Fedora installation, (which accesses the home partition and folders/data without problems) , and copied this line into the passwd file for Mint. This was following advice from another forum. I then rebooted but was informed that "could not start sysconfig. Check your installation". I tried the other options in the login screen, repair etc., but to no avail.
So I re-installed. This time when I saw the message errors on partition 4, go gack or use as is, I chose use as is. This is when, after installing and logging in, I encountered the problem mentioned at the top of this message. It also tried to install some applets or apps onto the menu bar but could not (I assume because they are not available in Mint or compatible between Mint and Fedora (Fedora 8 btw). I see mintmenu is also not available in utilities. and the only menu system available was the standard KDE , as with fedora. no option to change to gnome. This time, however, I COULD access all my home folders.
I am thinking of just dbanning the whole disc and starting again anyway with my various distros, but I am just trying to understand how the sharing of the home partition works between distros. For example, if the desktpop is on the home partition, does each distro create its own "desktop" while still having access to all the other folders. If anyone knows a good tutorial I would be grateful.
In the short term, I would be interested in accessing the folders in my home directory/partition while enjoying the full range of Mint, so any help there would be appreciated.
btw. I knew there were errors in the home partition from my Fedora days, but gave up trying to fix them, so dont worry about them. It works ok and lots of space left on it.
Thanks in advance