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I am attempting to reinstall ubuntu 13.04 without losing my installed software and /home docs. I have read countless threads on this same topic, but nothing seems to apply to my situation. When I originally installed, I had created a separate partition for /home, but I am now unsure of which partition that was. Based on the picture below, where should I be installing the new copy?

Also, will I run into problems since I am now running 13.10 and want to put 13.04 back on it? Should I grab 12.04 or 13.10 for this reinstall?

installation partioner

(Note: I am performing this reinstall due to a complete muck up of my unity/compiz settings and configuration, resulting in no desktop. I've done my best to resolve this problem first before resorting to this.)

/ was on /dev/sda6 during installation

/home was on /dev/sda7 during installation

swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation

fstab file contents

UUID=f7ecdb5e-c421-4fbd-856b-78080a3ac57e /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
UUID=f7e8d7c4-6313-4920-b04f-c72dbf745474 /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
UUID=369992cf-a663-4d8b-9f55-63ee653b3afe none            swap    sw              0       0
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2 Answers 2

You could mount your disk partitions using the Ubuntu live-CD to figure out which one is your home partition.
Downgrading will delete your installed applications (if you format your root partition "/"), but you could keep and use your home partition with the new installation (do not check format this partition for /home partition).

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My guess from the picture is that you want to install on /dev/sda6.

But to be sure:

Before you do anything else, back up your /home to an external USB drive or some equivalent.

Then, find /etc/fstab on your existing install, and check which partition is mounted as / and which as /home

Although you do not have a desktop, you should still be able to log in and perform these tasks. If not, boot up an Ubuntu disk in LiveCD mode so you can work on your system.

I can't think of any reason why you should not be able to install any version from 12.04 to 13.10 and then mount /home on it.

Just make sure you do not tell Ubuntu about the /home partition during the install. Get the install done, then mount /home afterwards.

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You appear to be correct about / on sda6. Thank you for showing me the fstab file (I added to my edit). I think I will be re-installing 13.10 just to avoid any potential compatibility issues. Do I simply select sda6 under the "Device for boot loader installation:"? –  Forerunner117 Oct 29 '13 at 23:46
    
I can't remember the process exactly, but I think you will have to choose a manual partitioning on the disk and then specify sda6 as the partition to load on to. Don't forget to back up sda7 before you start! –  David Purdue Nov 1 '13 at 0:19

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