mintBackup not restoring files.

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mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby tracyanne on Mon May 16, 2011 7:53 pm

I've in the last day or so upgraded a friends desktop from Helena to isadora.

Before begining the upgrade I backed up my friend's home directory using mintBackup.

I copied the backup file to another computer, in case anything went wrong in the next stage.

I then repartitioned the hard drive, by first shrinking the single / (root) partition, the creating a new partition. to give me a seperate / (root) and /home partitions.

I then copied the backup file on this computer onto the new partition, the one that would eventually become /home.

I then installed the new system and created the / and /home partitions.

When I restarted and logged in I then attempted to restore the backup of my friend's home directory, using mintBackup on the new system. So far I have not been successful. mintBackup opens, appears to open the backup files, when I select Restore, but when I select Apply, it simply sits there displaying a message stating that it is "Calculating".

I left it running over night, last night, but no files were restored, and the mintBackup tool continues to display the message "Calculating"

How do I restore my friend's files?
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby tracyanne on Tue May 17, 2011 9:49 am

After some experimenting I have discovered that mintBackup stores the backed up files as Tape Archives (.tar).

I renamed the backup file home_201105152259.backup to home_201105152259.tar, and was able to open the file using file-roller (Archive Manager on the menu), and extract the files back to the new home directory. Note file-roller won't open the file while it has the .backup file extension.

Unfortunately mintBackup failed to backup the hidden dot files and directories, even though I had explicitly requested that it do so. Which means a number of important files have now been lost, including emails, and the contacts database.

I reckon this is the first and last time I'll ever use a backup application to backup files, and stick to the tried and true method of simply copying the files to a backup store.
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby Dyfi on Tue May 17, 2011 12:35 pm

Hi tracyanne,

For the future look at "backintime" and "clonezilla". These two programs have saved my scalp several times and well worth your investigating.

Good luck

Dyfi
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby lmintnewb on Tue May 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Random note and could very well be wrong ... tech/linux guru I am not. :D

Many backup/restore utils also have size limitations. You need to restore the files back to a partition that's the size of the original one ... etc. Plenty of backup utils that will work better for you. Just going to have to experiment and do a lil prep testing to see which of them works best to your satisfaction.

Many of them now don't have that size limitation. Making the size of the original partition and the one being restored to irrelevant. Not sure where Mint's backup falls into the chart for comparisons sake.

But from the sounds of what you're describing. Thinking the size issue could be a culprit here. Ya might try resizing this persons /home partition to what it was. Then try restoring it again from the backup. Then resizing it to whatever size it's supposed to be from there.

Calculating ... could've very well meant ... calculating size ( and not matching up.)
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby tracyanne on Tue May 17, 2011 6:37 pm

lmintnewb wrote:........ Thinking the size issue could be a culprit here. Ya might try resizing this persons /home partition to what it was. Then try restoring it again from the backup. Then resizing it to whatever size it's supposed to be from there...........


That would mean returning the system to a single /(root) partition. The point of the exercise was to create 2 partitions / (root) and /home (as Linux Mint has no inplace upgrade functionality), to make future upgrades easier. In any case the most important files, the Thunderbird contacts list and emails do not appear to have been backed up, which makes the whole process sweem rather pointless.
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby lmintnewb on Tue May 17, 2011 6:44 pm

Told ya I wasn't a guru darnit !

lol ... Just pointing out something that could be a factor in the future. Rather than ye being biased against all backup util's cause of a bad experience. Some no doubt work fantastically. Others no doubt work well if someone knows their limitations.

Mainly it's just more of my random linux babblings though, shrugs. :D
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby tracyanne on Tue May 17, 2011 8:42 pm

lmintnewb wrote:Told ya I wasn't a guru darnit !

lol ... Just pointing out something that could be a factor in the future. Rather than ye being biased against all backup util's cause of a bad experience. Some no doubt work fantastically. Others no doubt work well if someone knows their limitations.

Mainly it's just more of my random linux babblings though, shrugs. :D


No worries, I decided I would try your suggestion anyway, and reinstalled Mint with a single / (root) partition, which means the disk space available should be the same, or greater, as before. I've now been waiting 10 minutes while the backup Tool (mintBackup) tells me it's "Calculating".

Perhaps it doesn't like that the original files were stored on an ext3 file system, perhaps it doesn't like being moved from Helena to Isadora, perhaps it doesn't like the Sara Moon Print on my wall, perhaps the tool is broken.

I'm just p1553d off because it was the emails and contact list my friend was most worried about preserving, and I was stupid enough to trust an application class I've always been suspicious of since before I even started using Linux.. and that was a long time ago. The photos and other documents my friend had already backed up, using the tried and true method of copying them to a external hard drive.
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Re: mintBackup not restoring files.

Postby lmintnewb on Wed May 18, 2011 11:24 am

Ouch ... can understand the frustration. Nobodies perfect, don't beatcha self up. Could poss try some data recovery utils ? I mean they make stuff that supposed to be able to pull files from drives that have been formatted a couple times. The good guys ( or gals, in this case.) could still prevail.

Can't say about Mint's native backup tool ( never used it). Still think ya shouldn't just write off that whole class of util across the board based on one bad experience. Might just want to make it a tool you've used and tested a lil bit beforehand. So you'll know what it's capable of and no nasty surprises like this waiting to happen.

Just a thought, as if ya need anymore frustration ...

***

After thoughts, ya could post another topic on the subject of data recovery tools ? Sure there's plenty of people here with experience in them under linux OS's. They may be able to direct you to a good one that'll work to resolve an annoying situation.

I mean if you feel like investing the time and effort on top of what you've already tried. Usually though secure deletion tools over write a hdd repeatedly, several times with random patterns. Even with that, there is still stuff/people who can sometimes recover stuff from the drive.
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