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Author Topic: Recover desktop from old distro  (Read 3304 times)

Mr. Creosote

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Recover desktop from old distro
« on: March 17, 2011, 05:32:35 pm »

I recently switched to to VL light from another distro. Unfortunately, I neglected to rename my desktop and, on the install, VL has put a new Desktop folder. Is there any way to recover the files that were in my old desktop?
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rm-r

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 06:11:12 pm »

Unclear what you meant - the new boot loader cannot find old system 
If lilo/grub error - post your /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menulst file

OR: @ VL light install, did you

A ~ choose a different partition for the " / ''  (root file system)  ?

B ~ Or -was it overwitten/formatted for new VL

If "B' only slim hope -shut down immediately, use a separate Linux rescue media (bootable cd/dvd or usb)
(Advice on that will depend on willingness to use CLI)
 
If "A"   as the sys admin -(become root)  do

fdisk -l  > partitions.txt

Above creates a file you can read & compare

Once the old partition is known ~ do

mkdir /hd_whatever_nuimber

 mount -t  (file_system_type ~ext3, reiserfs  etc etc)   /dev/hd_number_from_above=  the mount point      /just_created_device_directory= name is whatever you used

You now have access to  old system, can copy etc at will

NOTE the hard drive may be called /dev/ "H"dxx  or "S" dxx  alter as needed in above steps
From that  - it can be seen *why* a separate partition for home or boot  directory is good

HTH
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 06:17:03 pm by rm-r »
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"Problems are seldom resolved by thinking in the same manner they were created"

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Mr. Creosote

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 06:44:11 pm »

Sorry, I wasn't clear.




I have 2 partitions with the old install (Zenwalk). I installed VL light using these partitions. The /root partition I set to overwrite; it's what I intended.  The system itself works fine.

The /home directory was mounted on the second partition with install set to mount /home with no formatting of the partitions. I intended to keep the files intact except for what I knew may be overwritten in the user root directory (e.g.  program .config files etc. that were common between the 2 distros) Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that the old directory Desktop, which had a fair number of files in it would be replaced by VL's version of desktop. So now, if I look in the desktop directory, I see the VL desktop icons and that's it (ie. welcome.desktop, etc.).

I'm hoping to recover these files.
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rm-r

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 07:24:20 pm »

So you installed OVER the old  /home/your_name  directory
Same file system ?

(You keep mentioning "desktop")
That is only the logged_into GUI mode of the system - default display, your home directory

BTW - old configurations are NOT compatible between two different O/systems (& often even different versions of same)

Likely too late now (other than VERY slim chance, via access from *separate Linux rescue media*
 
Try - at boot prompt, log in as root ~  do NOT startx
cd /home/"user-name"   ls -la |less  see if anything from old install still exists

To avoid this in future ~ copy all desired  onto removable media (I.E. pen drive/or separate partition dedicated for storage) only) 
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stretchedthin

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 07:48:22 pm »

You could try a data recovery tool like photo rec and testdisk
http://www.opensourcebistro.com/Tutorial/VL60/Trouble-Shooting/Photorec/photorec.htm
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Mr. Creosote

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 08:22:49 pm »

Thanks for the software suggestion. I was looking at foremost, but I'll try this as well.

The Desktop I keep referring to is the directory "Desktop"  /home/user/Desktop.  I've updated distros before, but this time, as I mentioned, I neglected to back up the Desktop directory. Any folder that is user generated is untouched as long as no formatting is done.  Not so with install generated directories, which I forgot (never do this late at night), but I'll try Photorec and testdisk. they look promising.

Thanks for the help
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rm-r

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2011, 10:20:19 pm »

S-T

Are you  recommending to  install  Photorec to the same partition as VL ?

That is adverse to all forensic rules I have ever seen

It overwrites the very spaces that is being attempted to recover

And yes, O.P is correct~ *if* not formatted by installation,  any previous files should exist
 
Over-writes may still take place - all  depends on what got default installed,  - where the directory sectors started
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Creosote:

From a stand-alone Linux ~  NOT booted into  same partition:
Use root login as suggested -       the /home/user/desktop is a *folder* just as any other
Look in user's  directory - all files *not overwritten* should still be there

STOP using VL GUI until  all is corrected -you are exacerbating problems
 
 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 10:50:57 pm by rm-r »
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Mr. Creosote

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2011, 08:34:21 am »

Thanks to all for the suggestions.  I went to the CL only as soon as I recognized the problem (and used another computer for this communication).

Running photorec and foremost from another partition allowed me to recover the files I wanted to keep.
Photorec seemed to do a more complete job but foremost found some additional files.

Thanks again.

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stretchedthin

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Re: Recover desktop from old distro
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2011, 10:27:16 am »

Nice job, congrats.
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