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I have an access problem with ICE I cant boot as my user. So I thought that maybe I could save my home directory Into w7 partition would be easiest I guess and upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04 Can someone run me through copying my home directory over to w7 partition of suggest where to save it please. what should I write to copy it already as antony@antony-305V4a-305V5A Thanks

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did you try using a Linux livecd and recover your data with it? – fromnaboo Sep 10 '12 at 21:37
We all need more info on where your Win partition is. If it is mounted already and I do not know what you exactly mean by copy as "antony@antony-305V4a-305V5A". You can copy your home partition with no problem. But I would not really advice that. So you have your home folder on an extra partition? If so - just make a copy of it on an external usb drive and after that install only to / (root) folder the OS. Leave your home untouched. But as said before we need more info to give a detailed step by step tut. – Peterling Sep 10 '12 at 22:08
@Peterling Hi I am travelling and dont have the live cd with me but will get it later. ICE wont let me log on. My password is valid but i get an ICEauthority problem when I logon as my user. So I was thinking as user Antony going in recovery mode if there is a command to copy my home directory (about 12gb) somewhere safe while I try or at worst upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04 maybe. As I am concerned that the upgrade might wipe my home folder. So how can and where I copy it fore safety? In the past when upgrdaingI have copied the directory into the w7 partition as Ubuntu doesnt touch that.Thanks – Antony Sep 11 '12 at 5:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I used so far the following command:

tar -cvf - /home/your_username/ | split -b 2000m -d -a 3 - /media/backup.tar

As you said you have 12 GB to copy you should have 12 GB of free space on this usb-stick/drive.

To copy the files back to its orig place you just move them back to your home/username folder. Therefore you type in a console that you open in your /home/your_username folder:

cat /media/backup.tar.* | tar -xvf -


  • your_username = your username
  • media = Your path to your usb stick.

You could also copy to your win partiton. But I am not really a friend of that cuz even your win might get damaged somehow. But if you still prefer that you will have to mount your win partition first (if not done already) and then write the files there. (just adjust the commands accordingly)

But I have to admit I never mounted my NTFS partition in Ubuntu. But it should be somehow like the following:

sudo mkdir /media/win123
sudo mount -t ntfs -o umask=007,gid=1000,uid=1000,nls=utf8 /dev/your_ntfs_part /media/win123

after you copied:

sudo umount /media/win123

But I am not a Linux -> NTFS expert. Might be you need NTFS-3G. So best thing will be putting your backup on a normal VFAT32 drive.

I hope I did nothing forget. But as others might read it here they are welcome to comment on it.

BUT I have never tried that out of recovery mode. So wait until you have your CD at hand. But if it works in recovery just report back here please cuz others might need that info once as well.

Good luck!

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tar -cvf - /home/your_username/* will leave out hidden/dotted files. Is that on purpose? tar -cvf - /home/your_username/ includes them. – LiveWireBT Sep 11 '12 at 21:52
Thanks for that. The reason I am doing this as I said it to keep the home folder while I try to sort out the ICEauthority problem. I will try that. Thanks – Antony Sep 12 '12 at 12:32
Is there a good way to check the size of the home directory to decide size of usb medium before I start? Thanks – Antony Sep 12 '12 at 12:48
df -h in a console should do the trick. @LiveWireBT Thanks for the comment and editing! – Peterling Sep 12 '12 at 16:41
which one is it please....I have /dev/sda8 udev tmpfs none none – Antony Sep 12 '12 at 20:07

I think Peterlings answer is otherwise good with regard to using the tar command but it looks like there is one extra dot (.) in the tar extract command.

In the example above the backup.tar file is saved in 2000 MB chunks of the form backup.tar000, backup.tar001,.... Therefore, in extracting the backup files back to home directory the proper form is

cat /media/backup.tar* | tar -xvf -

but not

cat /media/backup.tar.* | tar -xvf -
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