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I recently installed the ISO for 12.04 LTS on a 4GB USB. I installed and started up Ubuntu perfectly from my USB. Now, I had to restart my computer and when I started it back on (from USB) it was practically a freshly installed Ubuntu, with all of my files gone.

Can someone tell me how to avoid this problem (start up the same way every time so I do not lose files)? Or if there is a possible way to move the ISO to my HDD and then start up from there every time?

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How did you install Ubuntu to your usb?. – Javier Rivera Aug 23 '12 at 6:53 I downloaded the .iso from that. – ABro21 Aug 23 '12 at 6:56
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The iso image is the liveCD / installer. A liveCD is read-only: think of it as a CD-ROM, only it is stored on a USB stick. The system "installs itself" in the memory only, and as soon as you switch off the computer it goes away. The LiveCD has two purposes:

  • trying out Ubuntu
  • rescue disk

You have three options.

  1. Install Ubuntu on a hard drive. For this, you need to have space on your hard drive (you can use Windows to reduce the amount the space they are taking up). You do the installation by clicking on the "Install Ubuntu" icon on the desktop in the live system.

  2. Install Ubuntu on the Windows partition of a hard drive. This does not require partitioning, because Ubuntu will be installed within the Windows partition. However, it is known not to work in some cases. Go here from Windows and click on the "Windows installer" button.

  3. Install Ubuntu on a USB stick in a permanent mode. It is possible to do a "real" installation on a USB stick. If you want that, read this guide.

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So for option 1, I click on "Install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS", right? Because I clicked that and the first option was "Install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS alongside Ubuntu 12.04 LTS." Is this the correct option? – ABro21 Aug 23 '12 at 7:01
Not really. If you have Windows installed on your machine, it should say "Install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS alongside Windows" or something similar. I'm not sure what is happening on your machine. So maybe you did install Ubuntu on the same disk where your ISO resides? I'm confused. – January Aug 23 '12 at 7:11 this is my screen. – ABro21 Aug 23 '12 at 7:13
Apparently, you already did install Ubuntu. But where? On the hard disk? On the USB stick? What happens if you remove the USB stick and restart the computer -- does it come up with a choice of operating systems? – January Aug 23 '12 at 8:17
OK, one more thing. Please select the third option ("something else") and create a screenshot that hopefully shows the partitions. Maybe we can guess something from there. – January Aug 23 '12 at 8:24

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