Learn from my failure.

March 16, 2008

So today I made the immortal sin of once again deleting all my files.  This time it was purely my own fault (picked the wrong partition on my reinstall of Kubuntu) and it is greatly upsetting.  Luckily, most of my favorite pictures were online (Facebook) and I can recover my music.  And I know nixternal will give me some Sammy Hagar if I ask him 😛 (just kidding).

What is the best way to prevent something like this from happening?  Say I have one HDD with two partitions and no external HDD.  Is there a way to handle while running an installer?

Also, I now have twitter (admiralchicago is my  user name) to test out the twitter microblogging widget.

Life lesson: check your files twice, and format once….


  1. I hope I don’t sound like a jerk, but the obvious answer would be to make a separate /home partition.

  2. I have different linux partitions on my hard drive and giving them names/labels helps a lot. All linux file systems support labels. Ubuntu doesn’t integrate support for labels in its installer but you can still set them up after the install.

    #tune2fs -L Hardy /dev/sda5
    –> Assigns the Label “Hardy” to that partition

    #ls -al /dev/disk/by-label/
    –> Shows you all your labeled partitions — and the partition “number” behind the label. Check this info befor you format your partitions to prevent data loss.

    You can further tweak your grub/menu.list und fstab to use Labels instead of /dev/sdaX device names … It’s a lot more human readable.

  3. I rsync daily all my partitions to a 400 GB internal drive.

  4. Might be worth taking a look at Dirvish.

  5. I have an svn repository hosted by my web host (geekisp) which I put all my code and other text-based important stuff into. For binary files I don’t really have a solution.

    One thing I’ve always noticed with me is that as soon as I add some redundancy to my setup (e.g. buying an external hard drive for backup) some part of my computer fails, causing me to need to use that newly acquired piece of equipment… so be careful 🙂

  6. I read an article yesterday written by Carlo Wood about how to recover deleted files from an ext3 fs. Maybe of use to you.


  7. Three words:
    Backup, backup, backup!


  8. > check your files twice, and format once….
    I don’t think so: Real lesson: Backup!

    But on the other hand I know the problem: In my home server I’ve got 500+250G discs and don’t know how to backup them, because I don’t have another server with 1tb discs… But then it got me a few weeks ago: I was quite sleepy and wanted to move some stuff around:
    mkdir /new
    cp -ra a b c d e f /new
    [using bash history]
    rm -rf a b c d e f /new

    I forgot to remove the last parameter from the cp call and deleted around 100g data. 🙂 Wahhh!

    But I backup my notebook (60gb) regularly on a 160gb external usb drive. And theres all the real stuff. 🙂

    Sorry about your data anyways, Jakob

  9. I did this once. My rule after that was that I don’t use my machine to do crap like that. If I need to reformat a drive I have other crappy machines that have nothing special on them that get used.

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