Reinstalling Mint 19 without losing existing files


My Mint 19 has crashed after trouble free upgrade (since the launch) from 18.3. I have the Mint 19 ISO file but I realise if I install it normally my existing files will be lost. How can I reinstall keeping the files intact.


Is making backup on an external device an option here?


Many years ago you could keep a system intact when reinstalling, by keeping the /home and the /usr/local partitions by choosing them during the installation, but disabling formatting of these. I don’t know if this is still possible the same way nowadays, so I would advise to check out some newer sources on the web.


If you have the install media then run it in compatibility mode rather than an install mode and it should sort any problems out that way - If you can get onto it and have enabled timeshift, you can restore that way as well -the timeshift way would be the first option to do if you can - if you can’t then try the other method I have used this in the 18 series and it has worked


Your best bet is to backup and a fresh install especially since it’s on an upgrade. Put in another hard drive and start fresh. I like to save old ones and look at them in a few’s fun to see what you were involved with what was important to you two years ago.


You have the ISO, did you create a Live DVD or a install it on a thumb drive? If so just boot from the DVD or Thumb drive, the Live version of Mint will allow you to copy your home directory to an attached storage. Depending on how large you home directory is you could also upload the contents to a cloud location like Mega Cloud, Droopbox or Google drive.


Thanks much for all the advice. I think most of it is useful. I will keep you guys posted on my progress.


Like the other suggestions great ideas
But another aspect …
Partition the drive in 2
Copy documents, photos, etc onto second partition
Install on first
Copy back
Then use 2nd partition for copies just in case
Ok bad idea if drive fails you loose them all
But a different attack without buying more

I always go for a drive swap with my own clients and give them the older drive clean with copy just in case


Thanks for all the advice. I am back up and running with Mint 19.1 and I did not lose anything. It seems the SSD that my Mint is loaded on got unseated (may be by an earthquake last October) I copied every thing and formatted it and its working again.

thanks again.