Data on /home partition

I recently reloaded Linux Mandrake 6.1, leaving my /home partition and data intact.  I now find that I cannot access the user group that was present on the home partition.   Even if i create the exact name and password, linux will not show me my folders and hence data.   Can you tell me

i) is the data still intact?

ii) how can I access it?

Yes, I am new to Linux!!!

Many thanks

MAC
cliffhanger121599Asked:
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bernardhCommented:
reinstall is what you mean when you say 'reloaded' right? unless you create /home on a partition on another drive, you can still recover your data but if it is on the same hard disk where you reinstall your Linux...it's gone for good.
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edicomCommented:
Assuming your home partition hasn t been deleted by the reinstallation and it is mounted under /home, the possible problem could be your user and group IDs are differents from what they were.
I mean, if you had a group your_group owning the files, recreating a new group with that name wouldn t be enough, it also has to have the same ID (numerical ID in /etc/group) so it s properly displayed (same for user, in /etc/passwd).
But it looks strange if logged as root you don t even see the directories in /home...
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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
So what your saying is that it's lost if I can't see the directories from root ????

MAC
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edicomCommented:
not necessarly, it may just not be mounted. How s your disk partitioned, and which partitions did you recreate during reinstallation?
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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
My disk has a partition for swap, one for /home and one for /.   When I reinstalled Linux I deleted the / partition (largest)and created another, but maintained the swap and /home partition with my data under a user group.   One mistake I may have made was to create another user group(when asked) on this existing /home partition, but under a different user name.   Would this have deleted the original group with my data on it?

MAC
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edicomCommented:
Well it seems it shouldn t have deleted your data. Adding a new user would just create a new directory with eventually some rc files in it, plus add an entries in /etc files.
what s mount saying?
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svindlerCommented:
and what does "ls -l /home" say?
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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
ls -l/home says       ls: - :No such file or directory
                      ls: 1 :No such file or directory

mount says             more than I can type!!!!, but no mention of the /home directory or the original user group.  
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svindlerCommented:
reg. "ls -l /home": remember spaces before and after "-l" which is the letter l not the number 1.

It looks like you haven't specified that you want the old partition for /home to be mounted.

Could you specify the output from
"cat /etc/fstab" and from
"fdisk -l /dev/hda" (that is the letter l again)
If you have more than one harddisk, or the harddisk is not an ide-disk then please repeat or correct the fdisk command appropriately.
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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
"ls -l /home =
total 2
drwxr-xr-x    5 Cliffy   root         1024 Feb  2 20:20 Cliffy
drwxr-xr-x    2 root     nobody       1024 Aug 13 15:28 samba

fdisk -l /dev/hda =

 Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda2   *       134       393   2088450    b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda3           394      1123   5863725    5  Extended
/dev/hda5           649       680    257008+  83  Linux
/dev/hda6           394       648   2048224+  83  Linux
/dev/hda7           681       697    136521   82  Linuxswap

cat /etc/fstab = no such file etc

Note that Cliffy is the present user group on the /home partition and samba is in the same dir.

Does this confirm that mt old data is gone?

Thanks

MAC


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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
Many thanks for your help chaps, but I've given up on the data.   Some of it was backed up and the other, well you win some you ......

One thing though - is it possible to reinstall Linux(any distro)and preserve ones data on /home and have the new system read it?   The answer must be yes.
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Barn_OwlCommented:
DON"T GIVE UP JUST YET. This error "cat /etc/fstab = no such file etc" is hte likely problem. If you do not have an ett/fstab then you are not mounting partions and have abigger problem on hands. Your data is lilkly okay. you will just have to mount the partion

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bughead1Commented:
cliffhanger:

I can't help with this, because I'm not much of a troubleshooter, and I have little experience with Mandrake. But regarding your last question -- yes -- you can reinstall Linux if you don't format your /home partition. In fact, that's how I upgraded the machine I'm writing this on from Slackware 4.0 to 7.0 -- so it should have worked for you.
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DVBCommented:
write a file in /etc called fstab.

/dev/hda2  (MountPointForWindowsPartition) vfat defaults 0 0
/dev/hda5  / ext2 defaults 1 1
/dev/hda6 /home ext2 defaults 1 2
/dev/hda7 swap swap defaults 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0

      This should give you a minimal system fstab w/o cdrom or floppy support. (I am assuming that hda5 is the root partition and hda6 is the home partition -- check your configuration).
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jyu_88Commented:
to preverve /home data through a reinstallation:
1) back it up to some removable media or via network
cd /home && tar cvf /tmp/oldhome.tar .
Then send /tmp/oldhome.tar somewhere else safe
2) do your reinstallation, what ever you want
fetch back oldhome.tar
cd /home && tar xvpf /tmp/oldhome.tar

Note:
1) careful when you create user after reinstallation, make sure the uid/login pair matchs the old installation otherwise ownership on restored /home contents will be a bit off here and there.

2) if you have extra space to do the reinstallation without using the old /home, then, you can just leave it out on-purpose during the re-installation(do remember which partition it is though, like hda6). The backup step above will not be essential but for peace of mind.
After you finish the reinstallation, modify /etc/fstab to mount the old /home partition as /home. then you are there. caution about uid/login pair still applies.



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cliffhanger121599Author Commented:
Many thanks to everyone, very useful info.

MAC
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