I have a bad hard drive - that is, it was running 12.04 LTS 64-bit and due to cat ****, it shorted something about this hard drive, and after much cleaning and drying, Ubuntu would start, but was hella slow, I mean hella hella hella slow. Slower that slow. And it crashed randomly and spontaneously, and no websites would load completely due to the large about of script errors and such.
I have a live boot disc of Ubuntu 12.04, and I would like to know if I could just reinstall it over itself to solve the problem. I had the laptop checked and all the devices work, except the USB ports on the right side of the laptop are no good anymore, and my laptop requires a mouse now to work, since the finger touchpad came back from the computer "doctor" who ran the diagnostic tests on all my hardware, as broken and unworking (when it was actually working when I dropped it off).
I am sure I would have to format the drive to fix it and do a fresh install. But I have data on the drive I want to recover first. Some of the directories are showing up as unknown file types, and all the contents of said directories are unreachable since I cannot open the folders containing them. The permissions also are set so I cannot read the drive nor copy things off of it. I have been reading the forums and have now gotten past that initial problem of drive access, and I can now read the drive but some of the folders, like my Music directory subfolders all show up, but their subfolders are the ones still showing up as invalid file types, despite containing entire album collections of mp3s in each one.
I have been fooling with this problem to copy the data I can off with a live Ubuntu disc onto a flashdrive, but this is taking a lot of trial and error, and my syntax with chown and chmod have not been entirely successful, and I have given ownership to a "777" in group "1000" by accident to some things, and anyway, if things were like Windows, I could just reinstall the O/S on top of itself to solve the problems of any data being written to the drive incorrectly due to a short or something -- like when the cat **** caused some error to occur on my hard drive writing data at the time.
I know with an O/S like Windows I could reinstall the O/S over itself to correct O/S errors, although it is messy and can lead to problems down the road. But is Linux or Ubuntu as easy as this?
Or am I in for a nice long sit to learn the hard and best way of doing things?