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Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Had an Ubuntu 14.04 installation sat on a computer in a cupboard for months, decided to use this computer again. Booted it up and did some massive updates which was probably pointless because I just wanted to check what was on there before wiping and now when it boots into unity the desktop isn't working. Pixelated desktop and very slow typing, even boots me back out to login screen.
Any suggestions on either fixing this error or how to access the folders on the old HDD? I currently have a live cd running but when I try and access the folders I need I don't have sufficient permission. tried sudo -i nautilus but still no joy. Just want to flick through my folders to make sure I haven't left anything important on there to get off onto usb stick.
76 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

by the way, tried gksudo but the livecd couldn't find the package. Maybe should try fixing the original install instead  Undecided
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Is there any way I can change permission of the files? I have my home drive on a separate hdd, tried reinstalling ubuntu but for some reason it's totally screwed up. Everything is slow and jerky making it impossible to move round the desktop ui! When I use a livecd I get nautilus running using livecd it won't let me copy the pics to usb stick and while using the installed version on the computer it won't recognise a usb stick. Seems dark forces are at work, every avanue I go down I come across a problem.
Just need to get these pictures off my computer.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Suggestions:-
1) Original boot:- Use CTRL+ALT+F1 to get into a command line - you won't be able to run a GUI but you can list directories etc
2) Use Live DVD - but you have been trying to run nautilus on the live DVD version of \home, so
1. Try sudo nautilus           (note: ignore massive error messages)
2. Browse to appropriate device/directory
3. You might need to press CTRL+C when you return to terminal screen
4. Don't forget to unmount your drive.

3) Try a different live distro e.g. Mint but note that the file manager is normally "nemo"

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

You could change permissions on files - or you could simply sign on as root if you really don't care.  Cheesy Cheesy

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

It's ok mate thanks anyway. Not sure what happened, I reinstalled again but this time formatted the / partition. Managed to get a working desktop going and it saw the usb stick. Got what I needed off before it could change its mind  Grin Really odd, perhaps it was keeping some of my old unity settings which were crippling the machine.
The folders were locked but when I transferred them over to my XP computer I can access the pictures again. currently uploading them all to my one drive account which was what I should have done to start with!
I think I'm safe enough to do a total wipe now.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Ok So how do I fix grub again. I'm sure I've been through this many times before but its that long between installs I can never remember  Roll eyes
I have two HDD's, a 120gig and a 80gig. Previously I had my 80gig with a ext4 / with a 3gig swap which was at the end of the partition. Decided to wipe this and put the 3gig swap at the start of the partition. So far I have
80gig
3gig swap
77gig / boot
120 gig /home
obviously at some point the grub loader must be looking for something else after changing the 80 gig about. How do I sort the grub out to boot from the right place?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Well this is tricky - not to do but to decide what kind of computer you have!
Are we talking about an EFI-BIOS type system or a traditional MBR type system?
Secondly I presume we are talking about GRUB2, not "GRUB legacy"?
Since I haven't broken GRUB for years Roll eyes  Can I suggest https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Installing#Reinstalling_GRUB_2
I believe those instructions are for a DOS-type partition table (512 byte type) - I'd suggest you use the live CD method of fixing your system.
Sorry I'm not more helpful. Grin
BTW Since you've just done a reinstall, you might as well do a re-reinstall - unless this is for educational reasons!

Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

So you have installed, backed up then moved partitions about? Any particular reason for that? Why a 3Gb swap? I tend to not have a swap any more, unless the pc has <1Gb ram.
Easiest way is reboot from cd again and follow the instructions from above post.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

I've got a 4GB swap.  Grin Grin Grin
It never gets used though.
I'm having a tough time using more than 2GB of my 8GB RAM Grin
I've got 2 x 1TB disks & I've left 184GB unallocated on one disk & 582GB unallocated on the other. Cheesy
Cos I don't know what to do with space.
BTW I've allocated 20GB for / but only used 42% of it.
I've allocated 160GB for /home but only used 12% of it.
So @AVG probably doesn't need 77GB for / on one of those disks.
My suggestion would be 20GB for / and 57GB for a directory which could hold data backups of disk 2
For example see http://backup2l.sourceforge.net/

Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

I normally use between 20-30Gb for / mostly for the /tmp.
I have :
1x 120Gb ssd / & /home 20 & 100Gb with 53% & 31% used
1x 2TB with my data on it 88% used
1x 2TB with M$ on not mounted.
Note NO swap, 8Gb ram
The SSD is overkill but it was on offer at Crucial earlier. Normal boot was <30s now is ~15s, M$ boot is ~5 min to a usable desktop ;-[
Community Veteran
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Quote from: Hairy
So you have installed, backed up then moved partitions about? Any particular reason for that? Why a 3Gb swap? I tend to not have a swap any more, unless the pc has <1Gb ram.
Easiest way is reboot from cd again and follow the instructions from above post.

Was actually your fault HB  Wink I remember many moons ago you giving me advice on setting up a home folder on separate hdd and saying the swap would be better at the start of the disc than the end so I thought it would be a good time to change it, obviously not  Grin
The systems an old athlon with 3gig of ram, probably just standard mbr. I chucked in a XP disc before and restored the MBR hoping I could start from fresh but at the moment I've been getting read errors on the install disc, its been working perfectly all day.
Not going well.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Swap doesn't get used, except in pretty desperate conditions.
So it doesn't matter where you put it.

PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 05-04-2009

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

The only reason I can see for a swap partition is it's use for suspend/resume (I'm basing this on Opensuse  Roll eyes ).
I recently needed to fix GRUB2 but for an opensuse/win7 dual boot. A relatively easy task of running a boot manager from UBCD to get the installed Linux to run and resetting GRUB2 by running the boot loader module in YAST (a system management tool) Cheesy
It's not perfect, as my laptop now offers opensuse and three win7s (the "hidden" boot partition, the Win7 partition and the manufacturer's recovery partition Shocked ) and only the first of these actually has the Win7 boot code.
Phil
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 8
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Getting my stuff of Ubuntu

Thanks again guys for all your help, seems like I could have saved myself a whole world of pain and a waster day! I pulled out my 80gig HDD, it was over eight year old anyway. After using this machine for a few months and confident that I have everything I need I'll pull the HDD from this XP machine which isn't very old and maybe drop that in to this just for backups and VM boxes.
Eventually I got things working using only one HDD and set up the way I wanted. Bit of follow up on the original problem which would have save me a load of heartbreak. It seems that an updated nvidia driver was causing the messed up desktop issue which I cam across by chance. I always used the 304...something drivers which have worked ok but now for some reason they are screwed up. Once I had everything up and running I tried using 304.128 proprietary which screwed my desktop and made it laggy.
ctrl-alt-f2 before going into desktop

$ apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
$ reboot
 
Then went through the list of drivers until one worked, the nouveu ones worked best but I have no control over my fan speed which runs flat out so had to revert to 173.14.30 legacy drivers. Not sure if these are best for my agp 6800gt card but at least they are working.