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I am willing to perform a clean installation of ubuntu on my hard drive. I was looking for efficient ways to backup settings and applications. There is one thing in common between all the solutions I have seen which is the following:

"You can backup your system and personal files using an unused partition and perform the ubuntu installation on another partition. But try to avoid this because it is too risky."

Can someone please explain to me why is it that risky and unsafe ?

Thank you all for your time,
Regards.

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    It's good practice to backup to a separate device anytime you're doing drive management activities like partitioning, or applying file systems because they can put your partition table at risk. Also it's easier to mistakenly choose the wrong partition to install to; not likely but it does happen :P even by skilled users. These are worst case senarios. There is nothing wrong with using a partition on the same drive as long as you understand and are willing to accept the risk. – please delete me Jun 20 '14 at 21:35
  • Yeah I know but I mean what could go wrong with using another partition to backup the data and create a new one to install the OS ? I mean I've always done this and I cannot see what could go wrong :P – Hussein Hammoud Jun 20 '14 at 21:45
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    If the installation fails during the partitioning portion it could corrupt the partition table and make all the partitions unreadable. You would end up needing to use recovery software to get any data off the drive. – please delete me Jun 20 '14 at 21:49
  • Well, the best answer I have heard is that it is not a question as to if your hard drive will fail, but when. When your hard drive fails you will need to replace it and restore your data from backup. Your back up will obviously need to be on a working device, flash drive, DVD, cloud storage, your choice. – Panther Jun 20 '14 at 22:01
  • Yeah you're kind of right, both of you answers lead the same result, which is that i need a working external device if the data on my hard drive became corrupt. Thank you all, have a good night from Lebanon :) – Hussein Hammoud Jun 20 '14 at 22:04
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It's good practice to backup to a separate device anytime you're doing drive management activities like partitioning, or applying file systems because they can put your partition table at risk. For example if the installation fails during the partitioning portion it could corrupt the partition table and make all the partitions unreadable. You would end up needing to use recovery software to get any data off the drive.

Also it's easier to mistakenly choose the wrong partition to install to; not likely but it does happen :P even by skilled users.

These are worst case senarios. There is nothing wrong with using a partition on the same drive as long as you understand and are willing to accept the risk.

  • The problem is more, imo, what to do when the entire hard drive fails – Panther Jun 20 '14 at 22:03

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