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Thread: 18.04 Re-installation question

  1. #1
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    18.04 Re-installation question

    I have a kubuntu 18.04.3 installation which won't boot. After many attempts I've resorted to re-install from a usb stick. The original system probably has all the data in tact but some grub or graphics s/w is screwed. I would like to re-install kubuntu 18.04 without trashing my data (but I do have a backup, but would prefer to use this as a last resort). On booting into the live usb it offers me to" Try" or "Install" kubuntu 18.04. If I select "Install" after going through the keyboard layout, type of install etc, I get to "Installation Type". This gives various options, eg "Guided" etc and shows me the layout of the existing single disc partitions: sda1 536M fat32, sda2 999.7G Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (ext4); just what I'd expect. It says after the installation ubuntu 18.04 LTS (ext4) is 553.2 GB, and a new area Kubuntu (auto) is 446.5GB.

    If I select "Manual" I get a table (in sumary):

    Device Type Mount Point Format? Size Used
    /dev/sda1 efi 536MB 33MB
    /dev/sda2 ext4 999666MB 109442MB
    Freespace


    Again sort of what I would expect.

    However I don't get the option to Format sda1 or sda2, which is exactly what I want; I don't want to format the sda2 partition and lose all my data. The Format? cell is a square box which I can't tick or select in any way

    The question is, given the above and selecting "Install Now", will kubuntu 18.04.3 get re-installed and my data left untouched such that I can re-boot the system and be back practically where I was originally?

    If this is not the outcome what is it?

    If this is not the outcome do I have to delete and recreate the partitions (as they were) so they can be Formatted, the kubuntu 18.04.3 installation performed and my data lost?

  2. #2
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    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    Only Something Else will give you the option to reuse existing partition. And then if you do not tick/check the format option any files you added will not be erased. But any standard file with settings that you may have edited will be overwritten.

    If you chose one install option it auto shrinks existing partition and creates a new / (root) partition.

    Often better to have a smaller / and larger /home. Then with Something Else you can chose to overwrite / but mount (but NOT format) the /home partition during install.

    I use 25 or 30GB for / & have all my data in data partition(s).
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  3. #3
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    I would use the 'something else', select your existing partitions and ensure you don't have 'format' box checked as oldfred stated.

    That option causes

    • your additional software packages to be noted
    • system directories are wiped
    • system is installed (from thumb-drive)
    • the packages you had added to your system previously (noted before), are re-installed
    • user directories are not touched unless you selected 'format' for existing partitions
    • you are asked to reboot


    Because system directories are wiped; config files that are located in system directories will be lost (this will mainly impact some server installations). Because most user (desktop) programs stored their files in $HOME (your user directory) they will not be impacted unless you selected 'format', but of course you should backup regardless.

    This allows you to re-install a different release or the same release (you can have issues with earlier releases; I rolled back years ago & my starting to new newer features caused some of my mail (evolution MUA) to become 'invisible' when I reverted to prior release & earlier version that didn't know what to do with the encoding & thus just 'hid' those messages). In most cases you don't have issues.

    This method is my 'backup' should a `do-release-upgrade` fail; though if I'm in a hurry (or have limited space in /) I have on occasion chosen to use it anyway as it's much faster.

  4. #4
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    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    Thanks for the 2 comments. The interesting thing is that I don't get the "something else" option. I'll investigate this more but am thinking that an upgrade to 19.04 could be the answer. This sounds like it should do what guiverc says for 18.04 "SE" option would do for 19.04 upgrade.
    Last edited by tobiz; January 18th, 2020 at 04:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    Better hurry. Disco will only be valid for a few more days.
    I am running 18.04 as main working install, but also using 20.04. Will probably re-install 20.04 once released, just to houseclean as it will have a lot of updates before final release.

    Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo
    Ubuntu 19.04 support ends on January 23, 2020.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
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    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    It seems to me that "manual" is the same as "something else". Maybe the result of translation, or Kubuntu changed the exact words?

    If you select the partition and click "edit" (I think), you should get the option to select or deselect "format".

    Release upgrades don't solve problems (one exception: incompatible hardware fixed by a new kernel). They make them worse, usually. With 19.04 nearly at end of life, you'd have to perform another release upgrade in days to get to 19.10. Or, if you wait a few days, you can upgrade directly to 19.10.

    However, it must be stated that those release upgrades that are not to the next release or from one LTS to the next tend to be more problematic than other release upgrades.

  7. #7
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    Re: 18.04 Re-installation question

    Thanks to all. I didn't do a re-install, I did a lot of google research and I "purged" and "installed" almost everything to do with graphics and desktops. That got me back up and running but not able to change the screen size, fixed at 1024x768. This finally resolved by removing "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nomodeset"" from /etc/default/grub.
    So back and working, after ~2wks.
    This can be closed now

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