my Ubuntu install is the only disk I have plugged in right now (I'll tackle xp later)
/home should be on /dev/sda2, but is now blank
so here's what I had to do:
1) I booted from liveCD & opened terminal
in terminal, as sudo su - (or sudo every command, whatever you're comfy with)
which gave me..
2. I created a mount point for root, using /dev/sda3 which had my system files & existing /root directory on it..
Disk /dev/sda: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14946 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0a6885bc
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1945 15623181 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda2 1946 9349 59472630 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 * 9350 14946 44957902+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda5 1 1945 15623149+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
3. then I made a mount point for proc so I can open dialog between utilities and the kernel for interfacing w/ the new filesystem (not sure that this was required)
mount -t ext3 /dev/sda3 /mnt/root
4. then I had to bind the devices(/dev) from the hard drive with a working mount point
mount -t proc none /mnt/root/proc
5. at this point I created a new user from the liveCD's menu system>administration>users&groups with identical username & pwd from my old account (i didn't put my 'real name' like i did on the first account, though) and then moved the account to the space that would be /home
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/root/dev
where 'tofue' is the new username and 'disk' is what the liveCD recognized as the partition when mounted through nautilus.
mv /home/tofue /media/disk
6. I unmounted /media/disk and after reading a little more from my Red Hat Linux Bible, I found the following steps to set up a new file system on the partition that would become /home (/dev/sda2)
for whatever reason I rebooted.
mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sda2
during boot, I received errors telling me that there were broken links, and the boot process defaulted me to a terminal. I could have probably finished these next steps without the reboot, but oh well. now I was working directly from my install.
I didn't have to change /etc/passwd at all as the uid of the account defaulted to be the same as the old one. I would have probably had to alter it if I had more than one account, and this one was down the list, or other weird stuff
at this point all I really had to do next was to change the uuid value in /etc/fstab to the new partition/filesys uuid by:
A: acquiring the new uuid
B: change the value in fstab:
not familiar w/ vim? press <Esc> to get into edit mode, make sure <Ins> is turned on, edit what needs to be, then <Esc> again to exit edit mode, and write to disk by using <:w!> then <:q!> to quit
###. so I found a command in the good book that lets me see and verify what filesystems are mounted to what devices, bound to what, and all..
which gave me..
so again, I rebooted. This time it was into my old environment- barren, but there (like comeing home after Katrina hit!)
root@ectotron:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3 43G 6.2G 34G 16% /
tmpfs 4.0G 0 4.0G 0% /lib/init/rw
varrun 4.0G 224K 4.0G 1% /var/run
varlock 4.0G 0 4.0G 0% /var/lock
udev 4.0G 3.4M 3.9G 1% /dev
tmpfs 4.0G 628K 4.0G 1% /dev/shm
lrm 4.0G 2.4M 3.9G 1% /lib/modules/2.6.27-11-generic/volatile
/dev/sda2 57G 181M 54G 1% /home
/dev/scd0 695M 695M 0 100% /media/cdrom0
and, Eureka, I was done.. though I still haven't cold-booted again to be certain, but I'm sure it's all cured! hehe (watch me eat my words!)
Thanks to all for all the suggestions (I'll be posting this in other forums where I opened a thread), and I hope this helps someone that finds themselves in a similar bind!