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I hope someone can help. I installed a 2nd HDD, set up 2 partitions on it.

I set up both partitions to mount automatically in /etc/ftsab.

One of the partitions has a mount point of my home directory /home/nick

Trouble is, I forgot to copy everything from the original /home/nick before testing my /etc/fstab by rebooting. (Yes, I'm an idiot). Now I cannot log in (it just bounces back to the login screen), and when I go to a terminal (ctrl+alt+f1) and log in there, my home dir is empty. When I comment out the changes in /etc/fstab, I still cannot log in. I even created a new user, and cannot log in with that either.

My questions:

Is there any way of recovering my lost home directory?

How can I unbrick my system?


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You just mounted another filesystem on top of a directory. Nothing to worry about - unmounting the filesystem will make your files visible again. – gertvdijk Jun 18 '13 at 8:54

You probably want to mount both the old and the new home directory without logging in as "nick". As root in a rescue shell:

  1. Create two directories like /mnt/old-home and /mnt/new-home.
  2. Change /etc/fstab to mount the home directories on these directories.
  3. mount -a
  4. Move the files.
  5. Unmount both directories.
  6. Change /etc/fstab to use /home/nick instead of /mnt/new-home.
  7. mount -a
  8. Exit the rescue shell and tell Ubuntu to boot normally.
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