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I tried upgrading several Ubuntu Hardy packages to versions from a later distribution and boy, did I mess up. My computer boots but the display doesn't work and there's no internet connection.

I have /home as a separate partition so I figure I'll just reinstall Ubuntu on the root partition and I shouldn't lose any data. But I also figure I'd better back up all my data just in case. The /home partition has 40G space used (mostly pictures). I figure I can transfer several GB at a time to a usb stick and from there to another computer. It just sounds extremely tedious. Is there a better way to do this?

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migrated from Nov 8 '10 at 9:09

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Can you get into the single-user console? Then you can mount an external hard drive and do a backup that way. – user3463 Nov 8 '10 at 5:25
Coted t oclose - this is a superuser question. ServerFault is for Server Admins, which means a 40gb backu ps laughable -you back up everything all the time anyway. Othewrwise just get a USB hard disc. – TomTom Nov 8 '10 at 5:43

Put it all into an external drive. 40g is not a lot of data. "several gb at a time" on a USB stick can also be read as "32gb at a time"... 32gb is a common usb stick size today.

Or just plug in a separate USB hard disc and do it in one run.

Or use your regular backups.... you do have those, or? (note: this is not an end user site - it is an administrator site. Not doing backups will get you into trouble here).

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Have you got network access and another computer? You could easily copy everything with scp -r /home/ user@othercomputer:/backup/

If your Ubuntu install is to screwed to get onto the network, you could always load up a liveCD and do it from there.

If the other computer isn't running Linux, you could copy to and SMB share, or even install an rsync server (deltacopy for Windows is easy).

If you've not got network then your options are external media; or removing the drive and putting it into another PC to do a local copy.

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There are many online backup services for linux you could try, most of which are of the "set it and forget it" kind:

Backing up to thumb drive or any other kind of local storage means exposing yourself to risks (fire, theft, etc.) which offsite backup does not.

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