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Has anyone lost his/her data or OS while installing Ubuntu (not accidentally by clicking "erase the whole drive") (and how many people)? I have 110 GB of data and I do not want to back up my data on a hard drive (I do not have one anyway) as it will take too long. I also do not want to spend money to get a dropbox/sugarsync account to back up my data. So my second question is whether it is safe to not back up my data.

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that's higly unlikely to happen, unless you tell the installer to do it. –  Uri Herrera Jun 4 '11 at 7:22
    
Where is your data currently? In a Windows partition? –  ændrük Jun 4 '11 at 7:26
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3 Answers

It is not the installation of Ubuntu that puts your data at risk but the changes on your hard disk partition that may lead to corrupted data if something fails.

The major bug when performing hard disk actions still is the human being pressing the wrong button or typing the wrong commands at the wrong time. It is very rare that you loose your data when installing Ubuntu - but it does occur (e.g. in case of a power failure).

You may find it time consuming or too expensive or whatever to backup your data but this may only be because you value your data less.

The only secure way to make sure your private data persist is performing regular backups - this not only before installing an OS but at least then

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Ok thanks. I think I will just try to backup my data. –  Bernard Boey Jun 4 '11 at 7:36
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Words to live by: data worth keeping is data worth backing up. Also I've learned that ANY hard drive could die at ANY time. Old or new. One that is working now could be dead in the next 5 min. Be ready for when it happens. –  dr_willis Jun 4 '11 at 8:52
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When installing Ubuntu I personally tend to create 2 partitions, a 20gb '/' partition and the other '/home' and this way my data is always safe on the home partition no matter how many times I install Ubuntu on the root '/' one...

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I have done one reinstillation of ubuntu without backing up my data. It went oke expect I had some problems with that software from 3the party software. I had no private data lost only programs.

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