I just want to drag files to the drive and be done with it, I want it to be like a usb or external hard drive. Completely separate from my main storage partition. I want to do this because I want to upgrade from 12.04 to 13.10. I would like to make a clean install, to where all my current files are deleted, app data and all. I'm afraid that if i try to restore the files when installing 13.10, that some of the files would be missing or damaged. Tell me, am i being too irrational and paranoid or what?

I have ubuntu installed on only one partition containing everything and I want to backup my personal files without the use of and external storage because I want to start a fresh new install of Ubuntu.

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    To be clear you don't want to backup a full partition, you just want a new partition you can drag and drop things as a backup? You can use Gparted to create partitions. – Julian Stirling Jan 2 '14 at 10:29
  • i tried to do this but i wasnt able to shrink my main partition because i happen to be currently on it. No unallocated, so no backup. – BigDoge230907 Jan 2 '14 at 11:25
  • you need to boot on gparted from a cd or a usb key. I also delete my answer as it was clearly off topic – Kiwy Jan 2 '14 at 11:28

The files you want to keep are not the old Ubuntu programs. These would be replaced and should be replaced when you upgrade. The files you want to keep are any personal - sensitive - or important - data. All these personal files rely in you /home directory. During the upgrade procedure they will not be deleted. Only if you specify this option (delete everything). But a backup is always a good practice in case that something goes wrong.

You can read here on how you can create a second partition (shrink the big one you have now with gparted) and create another one and use it as a backup partition. It is a very well tested procedure, if you make a mistake I cannot say that. You have to be careful and always shrink from the end to the beginning. Not the opposite.

Then read here on how you can upgrade. Multiple answers there, pick the one you like and what seems to you the easiest.

  • Alright, this is what I want to do. And its what I did, i booted into my 13.10 live usb, accessed gparted and resized my main partition to ~35 gigs. But i dont know what file system to use for storage, so i did what i thought was right and selected ext4 and selected Create as: Primary Partition. Then rebooted back to 12.04. Well, that didnt work and now i have a big unallocated behind my main. I tried to change it again but it only lets me create as a primary partition, so no storage... – BigDoge230907 Jan 2 '14 at 11:55
  • No matter if the partition is primary or logical. Linux has not such problems (as Windows have). Did you shrink from the END to the begging ? You can also use the live CD/USB to take your personal files. There is no need to boot back to the old release. Use "files"(nautilus) access and copy your personal files to the partition you've created. (ext4 is ok, as long as you don't have Windows). – NickTux Jan 2 '14 at 12:05
  • I did shrink from end to beginning. My usb isnt big enough to carry all my stuff. And if i dont boot back to the old distro would the partition not revert back to unallocated? I ask because it did that when i rebooted(imgur.com/PHoGmPK). And also no, i no longer have windows. – BigDoge230907 Jan 2 '14 at 12:10
  • Why you left it unallocated ? Create an ext4 filesystem there. I didn't mean to copy your staff in the USB, but to the new ext4 filesystem (39GB) you've created.(unallocated now). You can do so from the Live USB with no need to reboot to the old release. Open nautilus file manager, click on the /dev/sda2 (425 GB filesystem) and search for your files. Copy them to the new ext4 partition (39GB filesystem). Then do anything you want. You can also use boot-repair might help to fix the boot problem. – NickTux Jan 2 '14 at 12:16
  • I was unable to access the files i needed as i "did not have the necessary permission to access" them. – BigDoge230907 Jan 2 '14 at 12:34

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