Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

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goog64
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Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

(I have posted a few similar questions in other threads but it's getting messy so I'll just try to put all the info here.)

I currently use 64 bit Mint 15 Cinnamon. I want to change to Mint 17 and here's where I'm up to:
1. I have burnt a DVD of the 64 bit Mint 17 Cinnamon.
2. I have used redobackup to make an "image of my system" - I don't know what that means, but someone else said that's what redobackup does.

Here's what I would like to do:
I want to install Mint 17 and then put everything (photos, software, data files, videos, spreadsheets, browser bookmarks, etc) back how it was in Mint 15. There are some things you should know:
1. I have Windows XP running in Virtualbox because I have two Windows-only programs that I need to use daily (I no longer have the installation disks for these programs, nor do I have the Windows installation disk any more.)
2. It took me weeks to learn how to edit "configuration files" (I think that's what they were called) so that I could get my touchpad and volume to work properly (it would take me another week to re-learn how to do that again).
3. Mint backup does not work so the standard "how to switch to Mint 17 tutorial" does not help me (I have read many comments, going back 3 years, related to Mint Backup not working).
4. There are no other backup tools in my Software Manager.
5. Every thread I have read about backing up assumes the readers have so much computer understanding that they don't help me either.

Can somebody please tell me first of all if it's even possible to do what I want to do?

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by kukamuumuka »

goog64 wrote: 4. There are no other backup tools in my Software Manager.
Does not?
backup search.png
For example Grsync is easy to use .. :wink:
grsync1.png
PS. My backup storage is ext4 formatted for linux compatibility.
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goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

Thanks for your reply.
I do not have Grsync.
If I go to Software Manager and search in installed and available packages for "Grsync" I get no result.
If I search for "backup" I get only duplicity and mintbackup.

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WharfRat
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by WharfRat »

goog64,

What are you going to use as your backup media and will it have enough room to hold your entire disk installation :?:

I've used rsync to clone an installed linux desktop system to a flash drive and transfer it to a laptop.
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Pierre
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by Pierre »

"Grsync is used to synchronize folders, files and make backups. It is a rsync GUI"

http://sourceforge.net/projects/grsync/
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Reorx
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by Reorx »

On the basis of what you have written in your first post in this thread - Doing a destructive upgrade (overwriting your current installation) might be something you want to avoid completely. As an alternative, I might suggest >>>

1) If the system is a desktop system, get another suitable (empty) HD and install it to the system... then unplug the first HD and install Mint 17 on the new HD. Then after you have Mint 17 installed and have resolved any issues, you can migrate your data and whatever else you want or need from your Mint 15 installation at your leisure... and if you make any "mistakes", your Mint 15 system is still completely intact and functional...

2) If the system is a laptop, I suggest getting another "economical" laptop (you might already have it!) and installing Mint 17 on it. Again, once you have any issues worked out, you can migrate your data, etc. at your leisure without damaging your Mint 15 system. If anything goes sideways, you just start over on the new system but the old system is still up and running... I recently got one of these (http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-35 ... 531-laptop) and for $250 it is a great little machine. I have wiped the entire HD and installed Mint 17 Cinnamon 64 bit on it and it runs pretty smoothly (so far) - admittedly, I haven't logged a lot of hours on the machine (I usually use other laptops) but - so far, so good... I have found one "quirk" that is annoying but not a "show stopper" that I started a thread about here (http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=174062)... other than that, everything is running perfectly.

Good luck... :mrgreen:
Full time Linux Mint user since 2011 - Currently running LM19 Cinnamon.

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by usbtux »

grsync IS available in software manager and synaptic - just use the search box in either...

to reinstall your virtualbox system and settings - copy over the folder VirtualBox VMs and the settings folder /home/XXXXXX/.config/VirtualBox where XXXXX is your user name
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by colyn »

The only backup I do is personal files. I don't backup the entire system.

Use an external drive to backup or burn the files to a data CD/DVD. I would advise redundant backup for the most important files..

Once you get all of your personal files taken care of then you can wipe the drive and install Mint 17..

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by Alphonse »

If you have adequate space on your HDD, create a new ext4 partition using GParted (you may have to install it from Administration/Synaptic Package Manager) and although you must be careful, install LM17 in that partition and install \ to root. Then boot into LM15 and run sudo update-grub. Then on any subsequent boot you will be able to choose either 15 or 17 and then make 17 changes as needed. You will have access from LM17 to any files you have created that are not in LM15 Home and even that can be copied into any data partition you have created. Once you have 17 configured as you want it, you can then update grub in 17 and delete the 15 partition.

If that won't work, use GParted's copy and paste functions to copy your LM15 to any medium you have available.

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by gold_finger »

Just to put things into more basic language, making a "backup" is simply making a "copy" of the important files you want to keep. You can use a special tool/program designed for that purpose or you could simply open your file manager and use your mouse to copy and paste your files from the hard drive to something like a USB stick by hand. It will take you longer to do it by hand, but you're doing basically the same thing that a "backup program" would do.

Some programs, like Redo Backup and Clonezilla are geared toward making exact clones of the entire hard drive -- the partition structure, system files, data files ... everything. Others are geared more toward saving specific directories (that you designate) and the files within them -- grsync, luckybackup, and others. There are more nuances to it all, but that is the basic gist of it and you probably don't need to get into too many nitty gritty details for your purposes right now. You just need to copy off the things you need to keep to a separate place for safe keeping, so you can copy them back to your new installation.

Since pretty much everything you want to save likely is in your home directory, find out how much room those files are taking up right now. You need to know that so you can determine best place to save copies to. (Eg. Will they fit on a USB stick? Or, do you need to put them on something bigger like a separate hard drive or partition?) Run the following command to get the summary total of what is under your home (substitute your real username for "username" in the command):

Code: Select all

du -hs /home/username
Run the next two commands to show your basic partition setup and amount of space used on each partition:

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lsblk
df -h
We'll be able to give you a bit more guidance when you post back with copy of the output from all three of those commands.

Your Firefox profile and the VirtualBox VMs are contained in hidden files (files that begin with a period ".") under your home. You can copy those off to your backup as well and then copy them on to the new installation for re-use.
goog64 wrote:2. It took me weeks to learn how to edit "configuration files" (I think that's what they were called) so that I could get my touchpad and volume to work properly (it would take me another week to re-learn how to do that again).
You may need to redo things like that if you can't find the specific config files to make copies of. However, the nice thing about the forum is that all of your old posts about that are saved and you can easily access them by clicking "User Control Panel" (in upper left of forum page). From there you'll see links to read your old posts, so you can easily find the same solutions you used before to redo them.
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goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

WharfRat wrote:goog64,

What are you going to use as your backup media and will it have enough room to hold your entire disk installation :?:

I've used rsync to clone an installed linux desktop system to a flash drive and transfer it to a laptop.
Hi WharfRat,
I have taken a 250GB hard drive out of an old laptop that had a broken bios and put it in a hard drive enclosure that I got for $1 on eBay, I plugged it in and deleted all the files on it so that will be enough room.

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

Reorx wrote:On the basis of what you have written in your first post in this thread - Doing a destructive upgrade (overwriting your current installation) might be something you want to avoid completely. As an alternative, I might suggest >>>
...........
2) If the system is a laptop, I suggest getting another "economical" laptop..............

Good luck... :mrgreen:
Hi Reorx,
That's what I'm trying to find out i.e. whether it "might be" something to avoid or "is" something to avoid.
Thanks, but I can't afford another laptop

goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

usbtux wrote:grsync IS available in software manager and synaptic - just use the search box in either...

to reinstall your virtualbox system and settings - copy over the folder VirtualBox VMs and the settings folder /home/XXXXXX/.config/VirtualBox where XXXXX is your user name
grsync IS NOT available in my software manager nor synaptic. I've used the search box in both a number of times with different spellings, with and without capital letters, etc and I've tried the terminal:

Code: Select all

jf@jf-Latitude-E6420 ~ $ sudo apt-get grsync
[sudo] password for jf: 
E: Invalid operation grsync
Thank you for the help with virtualbox. I will try that.

goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

Alphonse wrote:If you have adequate space on your HDD, create a new ext4 partition using GParted (you may have to install it from Administration/Synaptic Package Manager) and although you must be careful, install LM17 in that partition and install \ to root. Then boot into LM15 and run sudo update-grub. Then on any subsequent boot you will be able to choose either 15 or 17 and then make 17 changes as needed. You will have access from LM17 to any files you have created that are not in LM15 Home and even that can be copied into any data partition you have created. Once you have 17 configured as you want it, you can then update grub in 17 and delete the 15 partition.

If that won't work, use GParted's copy and paste functions to copy your LM15 to any medium you have available.
I'm sorry Alphonse there are just too many words and concepts here that I don't understand, which means that might not be the best course of action for me. And I don't have Gparted and it's not in the Software Manager (not being able to find anything in Software Manager is the main reason that I'm trying to switch to Mint 17).

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by gtsfer »

You might try entering that command like this and see if it makes any difference. Without the "install" it thinks "grsync" is some kind of option on the command (like "install", "remove" or whatever).

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install grsync
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goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

gold_finger wrote:Just to put things into more basic language, ........
gold_finger, thank you, thank you for writing at a level I could understand. I learnt so much - I could actually understand your whole post without having to go off to Google two or three times (which is what I usually have to do on this forum)

Here is the result of du -hs /home/jf

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jf@jf-Latitude-E6420 ~ $ du -hs /home/jf
81G	/home/jf
I assume that's 81 Gigabytes? So that will fit on my external hard drive

Here is the result of lslbk and df -h

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jf@jf-Latitude-E6420 ~ $ lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 238.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0 230.6G  0 part /
├─sda2   8:2    0     1K  0 part 
└─sda5   8:5    0   7.9G  0 part [SWAP]
sr0     11:0    1  1024M  0 rom  
jf@jf-Latitude-E6420 ~ $ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1       227G   87G  130G  41% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev            3.9G  4.0K  3.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs           787M  1.1M  786M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            3.9G  116K  3.9G   1% /run/shm
none            100M   16K  100M   1% /run/user
I have no idea what any of that means.

goog64
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

gtsfer wrote:You might try entering that command like this and see if it makes any difference. Without the "install" it thinks "grsync" is some kind of option on the command (like "install", "remove" or whatever).

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install grsync
Thanks gtsfer. I tried that and I get:

Code: Select all

jf@jf-Latitude-E6420 ~ $ sudo apt-get install grsync
[sudo] password for jf: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package grsync

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by gold_finger »

goog64,

I think your problem finding/installing programs is because Mint 15 repositories no longer available. Forget that for now.

In your reply to WharfRat, sounds like you now have a second 250GB laptop HDD.

In output I asked for it shows that you've got about 130GB of unused space on the drive that is in the laptop now.

You have many options available to you. Here are three fairly easy ways to go:
  • 1. Swap current drive out and put the empty 250GB drive into laptop. Then install Mint 17 to that and keep Mint 15 drive untouched. Then put Mint 15 drive into external enclosure, plug into laptop and copy what you need from it to the new Mint 17 installation.

    2. Install Mint 17 to current Mint 15 drive, but make a new partition on it first where you can transfer all of your data to. That new data partition will then not be touched during the Mint 17 installation and you can create links to it after the install is done.

    3. Copy/backup the data from Mint 15 drive to the empty 250GB drive in an enclosure. Do your installation to Mint 15 drive. Then copy back the data from external drive to new installation.
I'm sure there are other options too, but those are three main ones I'd recommend. Personally, I think #1 will be easiest. Also, #1 option keeps your Mint 15 untouched; so if something goes wrong you can always just put Mint 15 drive back in and do your work. After you're sure Mint 17 working and setup well, then you can wipe out what's on 15 drive and use it to make data backups or a full clone of your system.

Read those over, think about it, read what others might recommend and let us know what way you think you'd like to go. We can give a few pointers for whatever option you pick if you'd like.
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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by goog64 »

gold_finger wrote:goog64,
................You have many options available to you. Here are three fairly easy ways to go:
  • 1. Swap current drive out and put the empty 250GB drive into laptop. Then install Mint 17 to that and keep Mint 15 drive untouched. Then put Mint 15 drive into external enclosure, plug into laptop and copy what you need from it to the new Mint 17 installation.

    2. Install Mint 17 to current Mint 15 drive, but make a new partition on it first where you can transfer all of your data to. That new data partition will then not be touched during the Mint 17 installation and you can create links to it after the install is done.

    3. Copy/backup the data from Mint 15 drive to the empty 250GB drive in an enclosure. Do your installation to Mint 15 drive. Then copy back the data from external drive to new installation.
........................

Read those over, think about it, read what others might recommend and let us know what way you think you'd like to go. We can give a few pointers for whatever option you pick if you'd like.
Thanks gold_finger. The 250GB external drive is very old. The drive in my laptop is a new fast SSD one. "Making a new partition" and "creating links" sounds frightening, so option number 3 sounds best for me. I have copied my Home folder to the 250GB drive and I also used "redobackup" to make a backup (someone said it was an "image"?).
The only other option I have was mentioned to me by austin.texas in another thread. It sounds good to me. It's called "Method 3" in this thread:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=168017 What do you think of that?

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Re: Please please help me backup so I can switch to Mint 17

Post by gold_finger »

goog64 wrote:The 250GB external drive is very old. The drive in my laptop is a new fast SSD one.
Alright -- definitely better to install to current new drive then. Option #1 is out. No problem.
goog64 wrote:"Making a new partition" and "creating links" sounds frightening
It's actually not as difficult as it sounds. Before completely dismissing this option, have a look at this tutorial which describes essentially what that entails. If still prefer option #3 that's fine -- not trying to talk you into anything.
goog64 wrote:I have copied my Home folder to the 250GB drive and I also used "redobackup" to make a backup (someone said it was an "image"?).
Sounds good. From what you said before, connect your backup drive and check to make sure that your Firefox profile and your VirtualBox VMs did get copied over. Open file manager and navigate to where you saved your home folder on the external drive. In same location where you see the folders "Documents", "Music", "Pictures", etc. there should be one called "VirtualBox VMs" (or something similar). That folder will contain your virtual hard drives so make sure you have that copied.

Along top of file manager click View -> Show Hidden Files. Then look for a folder beginning with a period called ".mozilla". That will contain your Firefox profile and you can re-use it on the new installation. If those aren't present, go to your home folder (on Mint 15 drive) and copy them to the external drive. (You can also copy over any of the other hidden folders/files just in case you might need them for later reference.)
goog64 wrote:The only other option I have was mentioned to me by austin.texas in another thread. It sounds good to me. It's called "Method 3" in this thread:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=168017 What do you think of that?
I think that's what is referred to as a "dirty" install -- where you install over the current system but without fully erasing what's already there. I've never done that but would imagine that it increases the chances for problems arising from possible conflicts between old and new files. I'd probably only do that as a last resort if I had no way to make backup copies of my data. You're not in that situation and have already made your copies, so no real need to take a chance like that. Clean install is the best way to go.
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