Ok, there's a lot of questions in there, I'll try to answer them one by one.
Originally Posted by szdavid
1: The howto on the first page is what I use and what works for me. I've used it to backup several systems and it worked every time for me
2: If you want to have a backup of /home, just cd to / and run the correct command. In your case probably something like this:
If you want to backup /, just cd to /home and run the regular backup command, but this time exclude /home since it is on a seperate partition. This would make the commands look something like this:
# cd /
# sudo tar cvpfz homebak.tgz /home
If you want to restore just the backup of the homedir, you would need something like this:
# cd /home
# tar cvpfz backup.tgz / --exclude=/proc --exclude=/lost+found --exclude=/backup.tgz --exclude=/mnt --exclude=/sys --exclude=/home
Be careful though: If you have a backup of / in your home-dir, it'll be overwritten when you restore your home-dir. (unless, of course, it is included in the archive but that wouldn't be very space-efficient )
# cd /
# tar xvpfz backup.tgz -C /home
The best would be to store the backup of /home on the / partition, and store the backup of the / partition on another machine or burn it to DVD or whatever.
As far as I know, it is possible to restore / on a running system. I've never tried it before but since it is also possible to erase everything in / on a running system, I figure why not! I'm gonna need some confermation here though.
Of course you could always just use a live-cd. Usually when you have to restore /, you don't have an option anyway!
Hope this helps!