I'm using Ubuntu 12.04. I don't know what happened to my Unity and Unity 2D, but it doesn't work anymore, only Gnome Classic does (When I try to start using Gnome-Shell, the session starts with Gnome Classic). So when I log in using Unity, The only things I see are Desktop wallpaper and icons (I think Nautilus is working fine) but no launcher and no panel...

The fact that Gnome Classic is launched instead of Gnome-Shell made think that there is a problem with my GPU proprietary driver; though, I don't know from where to open the propritary drivers manager through Gnome Classic.

So what I want to do now is to completely reinstall Ubuntu without losing my personal folder. Actually, I've already seen this choice when I was upgrading 11.10 to 12.04, now it doesn't exist.

I should add, my home folder contains more than 50GB of files, so the online backup tools won't help.

Thank you.

  • Opening the proprietary drivers manager: Main menu->System->Administration->Additional Drivers – Piskvor Aug 15 '12 at 11:01
  • I don't find it there. – Mohamed Aug 15 '12 at 11:04
  • 1
    Hmmm. Can you open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run jockey-gtk? – Piskvor Aug 15 '12 at 11:15
  • Why not install unity back again? – Mitch Aug 15 '12 at 11:16
  • @Mitch I tryed to, but nothing did work. – Mohamed Aug 15 '12 at 11:25

This is easily achievable in Ubuntu simply boot to a live cd and choose something else.

Then in the partition manager find the partition you have Ubuntu on and choose this as you install as normal (mount as /) but MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE by unticking the little box and keep the user name and password the same, or you will not have the permissions for the folder. When you re-install just your system files will be installed and the /home folder untouched.

WARNING - You must set the theme to the default theme and the icons etc as every thing stored in the system folders will be deleted.

NOTE - People (including me) have had no wifi on reinstall, you should Google this first to check any risks.

Good luck..


Use the backup program supplied. It will completely restore your home folder and contents after a complete re-install. I used it myself to restore everything to a completely new installation.

  • My home folder countains 50GB of files – Mohamed Aug 15 '12 at 11:15
  • So you don't have an external drive or something with enough space? They are cheap - and you really need to take backups anyway. – Jazz Aug 15 '12 at 23:12
  • Thank you; but my problem was solved. no need to completely reinstall Ubuntu. – Mohamed Aug 16 '12 at 21:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.