Mint 9 install erased my /home [SOLVED]

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Mint 9 install erased my /home [SOLVED]

Postby runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 12:17 am

Not sure if Mint 9 formatted my /home directory on install, even though I didn't tell it to, or if it simply overwrote the contents. But, obviously, if this happened it's a biggie. I am thoroughly willing to concede that after editing the partitions manually and not telling the installer to format /home, I may have pressed a button to use the whole disk. But from what I remember, that isn't an option after you've created a manual partitioning setup - instead, you are invited to go Forward or Back. This is obviously huge, if it happened as I think it did. Again, I'm definitely willing - hoping, in fact - that it was my error.
Last edited by runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home directory contents

Postby vincent on Tue May 18, 2010 1:17 am

If you remember specifying partitions manually and not formatting home, it may be simply that you forgot to mark your current /home partition as, well, /home on your new install, and thus Mint 9 created its own /home. The old /home from Mint 8 would still be on your hard drive though if the above is true, just not recognized by mint. What does "sudo fdisk -l" tell you? Oh, and maybe a screenshot of your current partitioning scheme with GParted would help a bit for us to understand?
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home directory contents

Postby runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 1:23 am

Thanks for the reply. I did not specifically mark /home to be used in the new partition table. I assumed if I left it alone, the installer would, too. Ugh. "A learning experience."

Here's the output of sudo fdisk -l:

Code: Select all
Disk /dev/sda: 40.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4864 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x61078eeb

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda2   *           1        4864    39070018    5  Extended
/dev/sda5               1        1009     8104729+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6            4726        4864     1116486   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7            1010        4725    29848738+  83  Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdb: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x44fdfe06

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1       30401   244196001    7  HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdc: 8086 MB, 8086617600 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 983 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x91f72d24

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1   *           1         984     7897056    b  W95 FAT32
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(982, 254, 63) logical=(983, 36, 12)
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home directory contents

Postby vrkalak on Tue May 18, 2010 1:54 am

Over at the Ubuntu Pages, there is a link to recover your 'lost data' or 'lost partitions'. Might be useful.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DataRecovery

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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home directory contents

Postby vincent on Tue May 18, 2010 5:14 am

"I assumed if I left it alone, the installer would, too." - By specifying partitions manually, you have instructed the installer that you wanted full control over the partitioning process, and you can't really blame Ubiquity for not reading your mind. It's not safe to assume anything when undertaking a potentially risky process such as messing around with your partition table, just keep that in mind.

Anyways, you have a couple of choices. Either locate your old /home partition (my guess is either sda5 or sda7), copy the contents over to your new /home folder in your Mint 9 installation, and ensure that afterwards all permissions are correctly configured (chown and chmod are your friends). Or, you can choose to mount your old /home partition within your new installation; auto-mounting at boot would probably require a bit of tinkering with /etc/fstab though. The 3rd alternative is simple; just run the installer again and this time, make sure you get your choices right during the partitioning step. :P
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home directory contents

Postby runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 10:23 am

Vincent - Again, deeply grateful for the help - looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel. I'll very likely find a way to back up the home folder in the old partition, then reinstall using the whole disk.

P.S. Just for the record, Gparted shows there's no original home partition - so I did lose the data there. Will mark this solved.
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home [SOLVED]

Postby runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 2:37 pm

Vincent - Weirder and weirder.

The files in my old home folder are on the current home partition. They just don't show up under my home folder in Nautilus; they appear in a separate listing in Nautilus for a 31 GB drive, which is the total space on my old home partition.

Puzzling, but good to know Mint 9 didn't overwrite those files. Still, good caution to all to manually specify settings for ALL partitions (e.g., /home and /) when partitioning a drive manually at install.

I am relieved.
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home [SOLVED]

Postby vincent on Tue May 18, 2010 2:48 pm

Good, that was just as I had suspected; you forgot to mark your /home partition as /home during the install and you end up with a separate partition containing your original files.

Again, read my above post; either you copy the contents of your old /home to your new one (note: you'll now end up with / and /home on the same partition, and your permissions may be messed up, so be careful), you make an entry in /etc/fstab to automount your old /home partition at boot and tell Mint to treat it as your real /home (I don't have any experience with this though), or you reinstall Mint 9 and mark your partitions properly. If you haven't customized your Mint 9 system yet, I'd recommend taking the easy and fast route and just re-install.
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Re: Mint 9 install erased my /home [SOLVED]

Postby runbei on Tue May 18, 2010 5:07 pm

Just for completeness, when I forgot to spec the /home partition during install, Mint 9 created a new /home folder in the root partition (/). That new home folder had folders with the same names as the folders in my old /home partition. Mint left my old files on the old home partition and didn't format it. Needless to say, those files were backed up the moment I found them. If you're in NY, that sudden gust of wind you just felt was my sigh of relief in CA.
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