Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
Kikinaak
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:25 pm

Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

Post by Kikinaak »

I have mint installed on a 1tb ssd, and most of my media, games and the like on a 16 tb internal drive.
Unfortunately, the system breaks every update due to underlying issues that are beyond my ability to diagnose or fix. Time for a semi-clean slate. Is it possible to non-destructively install a new, fresh copy of mint over the existing one without losing my personal files or home folder?
Alternatively, if I have to wipe and reinstall on the ssd, is it possible to leave my media drive untouched and have the new mint see it?
Neil Edmond
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1206
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:19 am
Location: N.E. AR USA

Re: Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

Post by Neil Edmond »

Kikinaak wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:20 pm
Is it possible to non-destructively install a new, fresh copy of mint over the existing one without losing my personal files or home folder?
Yes, as long as your Home is on it's own separate partition. If Home is on the root partition, then back up Home to your data drive, install fresh Mint (which will create a new home, and restore your data from the backup.
Kikinaak wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:20 pm
Alternatively, if I have to wipe and reinstall on the ssd, is it possible to leave my media drive untouched and have the new mint see it?
Yes, that should work just fine. If you want to insure that the media drive is not touched, disconnect it, or remove it completely during installation.
User avatar
Kadaitcha Man
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

Kikinaak wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:20 pm
Time for a semi-clean slate. Is it possible to non-destructively install a new, fresh copy of mint over the existing one without losing my personal files or home folder?
If you have a separate home partition then you still don't have a 'clean slate' so your characterisation of 'semi-clean' is accurate, but the problem is, the source of your reported woes is undefined, so you may be cleaning the wrong part of your system i.e. the problems may be coming from your settings.
Kikinaak wrote:Alternatively, if I have to wipe and reinstall on the ssd, is it possible to leave my media drive untouched and have the new mint see it?
Yes, but I don't trust the installer to do what I assume it should do. If you can remove or disconnect the media drive while you start from scratch then you can guarantee its safety.

If you have any concerns about the process you must go through then a much better solution for you would be to consider investing $US25 in the paid version of Aptik. You run the application and create a snapshot, which can be placed on a flash drive or other spare drive, then you do a clean install. You restore the Aptik snapshot in the new installation noting that you should not apply any system updates, then you reboot. Done and dusted.
All kadaitcha men are liars (It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha)
Kikinaak
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:25 pm

Re: Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

Post by Kikinaak »

Really trying to avoid paid software on this. And ya, I am willing to sacrifice the home folder and reinstall everything on a clean install, just not willing to lose the media drive. Assuming thats disconnected during the reinstall and reconnected after, are there likely to be any issues with remounting and accessing it as long as I keep my username the same?
User avatar
Kadaitcha Man
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Re: Is a nondestructive reinstall possible?

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

Kikinaak wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:40 pm
Assuming thats disconnected during the reinstall and reconnected after, are there likely to be any issues with remounting and accessing it as long as I keep my username the same?
There shouldn't be any issues but if there are then it's a simple fix.
All kadaitcha men are liars (It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha)
Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”