Why do my backups not completely restore all the files? Solved

I couldn’t find a way to upgrade from 18.3 to 19, so eventually, triple-booted them both with Windows 10. Then I took the backups, I do every week, and tried to restore them on the new 19. It restored some files, but not others. I hand-carried some files, then I did a new backup adding actual “documents”, “music”, “pictures”, etc. and tried again. Not only did it not fill in the holes, it wiped out a lot of the files I’d already restored. SO, I bought a new external HD and did a different app backup. Same thing. How do I get ALL the files restored into 19? Am I going to have to do a clean install of Windows, then the new Mint? At this point, I don’t DARE remove 18.3, because I can’t restore my files. THANKS!

what program are you using to make backups?

The answer to this question is definitely what you need to tell us, before we can help. Although, if you’re looking for a better backup solution have a look here:

If you back up all your personal folders with this, then the restoration will succeed as you expect it, even on a new installation. Tried it myself and works excellently. :metal:

Neither one has a “name” per se. One shows Backup Tool and the other is Backups. I thought one was Deja Dup and the other Duplicity, but I’m not sure, any more. I took the original backup drive and tried to restore on another 19 machine, with the same results. I have Lucky Backup, but haven’t tried that one, yet. This is very frustrating.

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There is a very simple answer here if you had gone here it is a very easy to do and it keeps everything that you have now : https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3615 On the blog you will also find the simple way to upgrade from 19 to 19.1. My wife has no experience at all on doing things and she was able to do both following the instructions without any help from me.

As far as backing up is concerned the back up tool which is found in applications, the 6th item down is very easy to use. You chose either your personal files or software. Personal is best then chose where to back them up and then what you want to back up. It is very easy to do and does not take very long depending upon how much you have to back up.

Mint is designed to easy to use and there is always a simple to answer to most things.

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As somewhat “practical” sollution, I would just bare-handedly copy all my wanted stuff from /home (and probably elsewhere) to the external HDD.
Then “clean” up my installations as desired (e.g. Win10 + Mint 19.1 dual-boot) and finally retrieve my files from the external HDD.
And maybe take the time to try @Akito 's way for backups…

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Oh, Goody! This a.m. I finally found that I had all my backup files, and restored them. Was so proud, but found I had an old copy of a db file, so I went back to 18.3 to find that…it was probably in a sub-file, all the time. Anyway, rebooted, to go back to 19, and it’s totally disappeared! I looked at Discs and saw the partition, but I don’t know what happened to the Grubb??? So, while all this is going on, I want to go ahead and do away with 18.3 and keep Win 10 and 19 (assuming it’s there, somewhere). How do I get into so much STUFF?

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If you upgrade as I said above from 18.3 to 19 - 19 replaces everything, but if providing you have done as the link I gave said none of it will have disappeared and you can do a normal back up through Mint as usual - it’s not hard to do.
If you really want to clean stuff of the simple way of doing it is through the terminal - just put in sudo apt-get autoclean and it will do it for you

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Dandy, I have 3 partitions, Win 10, Mint 18.3, and Mint 19. When installing the new Mint, it asked if I wanted to delete everything and install 19, or install it beside the 2 already there. That’s what I did. How do I get JUST Win 10 and Mint 19? Can I just delete the partition with 18.3 and then use that (resize) to make 19 an Win 10 bigger? The instructions you gave are for installing Mint, but not for dual booting.

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If you just want to keep 19 then yes just delete the 18.3 and then you will only have the two. If you read through when installing mint where it says as mention above - there is a button there that says something else. Tick that and it will take where you can delete the partition. You can safely do it, there.

i would add the caution that this gets into an area where data loss is a possibility. deleting the 18.3 partition is fairly straightforward, but when i have resized the adjacent partitions in the past gparted (the partitioning tool i prefer) has always warned me that data loss might occur. in theory it is also fairly straightforward. in practice there can be issues.

i read earlier that your external is an hdd. is your main drive an ssd or hdd?

It is not likely that will happen, except in the following instances:

  • your file system already is partially corrupted or worse
  • you are resizing/moving e.g. a full root partition
  • you are doing anything with NTFS within gParted; keep NTFS to Windows and modify/create it only on Windows!
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Cord, I don’t know what my HD is. Actually, either of them. HDD, I assume. Anyway, since I had good luck with the restore, this a.m., before the Grubb lost my 19 login, I went ahead and did another backup, and reinstalled 19, after deleting both partitions. It looks like MOST, at least, of my files have been restored, and I’m back to dual booting with Win 10 and Mint 19. I did a recovery disc, for Windows, first, just to be on the safe (I hope) side. So, I think I can mark this “solved”. I’ve just downloaded Iridium browser, and got that set up. I’ve done all the piddly stuff, and will probably think of something tomorrow, but for tonight, I think I’m good to go.

Thanks to all of you for your help.


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i’m glad to hear you got (most) everything back to where you wanted it. i went ahead and marked this solved since all seems well, but i think either of us can reverse that if it seems like something else is amiss in the future :slight_smile:

for what it’s worth, i have read numerous times on reddit where people are asking for help because a win10 update “broke” grub. i don’t know that is specifically why you lost your 19 login, but get the idea that the win10 update process can wreak a bit of havoc on grub from time to time.

this was the possibility that i was considering. if 18.3 was on partition 2 of 3 and got erased, win10 (presumably on 1) would fill out to about 1.5. then it would make sense (if i am understanding the graphical representation in gparted correctly) that the root system of the mint 19 partition would be moved (especially on an hdd) closer to the end of the win10 partition for quicker access (basically closer to the hdd spindle).

again, i am not entirely sure this is how that operation works. i just assumed that was what the warning about data loss was about. it makes sense in my head that a data copy (from position 3 to 1.5) would be fairly straightforward even in this case, but without any backup the possibility of loss was there.

I’d say, the warning itself is like the no warranty disclaimer in licenses. The operation/software will almost always work as expected, but don’t bet your life on it, is basically what it means. It’s more of a “better safe than sorry” approach. Realistically, as explained, the chance of something breaking is pretty low, except there is already something corrupted or you’re working with Windows partitions.

agreed. my final point if op hadn’t come to a different fix would have been to say having a full-system backup (this is what i use clonezilla for) would be a good idea just in case.

Thanks, guys. I screwed up getting Iridium, but just found the fix to messing up THAT problem. I think what terrifies me, most is KNOWING that nothing is perfect, and I could lose the lot. HOWEVER, I don’t use Win 10, unless I have something, like Print Artist (which Linux has no replacement for), and I open it for updates. Otherwise, I have Linux on everything. Now that I have the Win recovery, and I have several ISO’s for various flavors, I do backups once a week, and I’ve started Timeshift, worst case, I’d have to start from scratch, and HOPE for the best from the backups. I really don’t have anything that’s crucial, but I’d really hate to lose my pix. THOSE I backup in several places. My Grands are 2 in their 20’s and 3 babies, 4,5, & 8. Thanks, again. Hope I’m good to go.

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Just a suggestion:
I use “Dropbox” for my important files
(well important to me… Nothing world shaking)
and a separate HDD too. That way I’m pretty sure
of having at least one good copy. It’s worked so far.

When I worked IT, we did cassette tape backups every day,
changed the tapes nightly, and kept copies:
Daily, weekly, and monthly. We kept the monthly copies off site.
in case the building caught fire etc…
To our dept, everything was mission critical.
Heaven help us if some “user” screwed up and lost their entire weeks work…
Their screw-up, was OUR fault, if we couldn’t restore it.

Welcome to the world of IT !

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Flyboy, I really don’t want to have to pay for off-site storage, and really have nothing important…or not much, anyway. I have 3 external drives, and was backing up the desktop using “backups” (duplicity), but when I tried to restore, it didn’t restore all the files, and they only went back to 2017. I found a local file called backups that was a small file of 2014. Anyway, 2-1TB drives, and switched to Backup Tool, which seems to have done a better job of restoring.

I worked in IT a couple of places, and was responsible for the tapes, so know what you are talking about. Another place, I had to proofread the printouts.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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