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Formatting a hd in order to clear a SingletonLock: other options?

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October 12, 2011 3:11:02 PM

Hello,
I have a Dell OptiPlex 720G & need to do a disk format but the backup needs to be done to an external hard drive (I'm using a reg hd w/ an external drive adapter kit). What is the easiest backup prg I can use? I have some cognitive issues so using the Terminal window is risky for me.

Presently I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 but can't clear an error msg & SingletonLock left by Epiphany, the browser. It's why I'm resorting to a format'g of the drive. Anyone have any ideas on this? I'd rather not format ...
October 14, 2011 7:51:03 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Applications to section Linux/Free BSD by Nikorr
October 15, 2011 8:49:59 AM

iluminameluna said:
Hello,
I have a Dell OptiPlex 720G & need to do a disk format but the backup needs to be done to an external hard drive (I'm using a reg hd w/ an external drive adapter kit). What is the easiest backup prg I can use? I have some cognitive issues so using the Terminal window is risky for me.

Presently I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 but can't clear an error msg & SingletonLock left by Epiphany, the browser. It's why I'm resorting to a format'g of the drive. Anyone have any ideas on this? I'd rather not format ...


Well, for one, I would suggest using some browser other than Epiphany (Opera or Firefox should do it) unless you have a specific need to use it.

I will traditionally boot a liveCD (so the disks that I'm backing up are not active) and simply issue a dd-type backup that will make a complete image of the disk on backup media, but it is a terminal approach and you do have to be careful since you could very well steamroll the very disk you're trying to backup.

Did you want to do a complete backup or just a more targeted backup (e.g. just your users' home dirs)? In either case, this page should give you some ideas
Related resources
October 15, 2011 9:03:27 AM

My son fixed it remotely but the prob was that I had just wanted to try out Epiphany. When I tried to launch my reg browser, Chromium, I got that error msg & wasn't able to launch ANY OTHER browser BUT Epiphany ...

Not to slam my son but after working all day in an IT dept. the last thing he wants to do is deal w/ more of the same, which is why I'm here.

One more question? He suggested I do a .tar.gz archive but I've run into probs there too ... I'm now on my netbook (an ASUS Eee PC 901 w/ a 4g & a 16 g pair of SSDs on which I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.10) , where I'm also having probs w/ the .tar.gz method of backing up.

All I want to do is back up my /home dir. I'm the only user & what I'm trying desperately to avoid is resetting all my prefs & "tweaks".

I want to run a LiveUSB of Lubuntu on this netbook as well as on the Dell desktop. This one for obvious reasons, the Dell 'cause it's a very barebones setup w/ no video card but what's onboard & a relatively slow processor (Pent IV, 2.4G, 333Mhz, 64K FSB [I think] but 2g RAM).

Thx for your help & if you actually read this further post *thunk .. sound of forehead knocking on floor in reverence ...
October 15, 2011 9:21:14 AM

When you hook up the external drive, it should automatically mount (if I recall the way Ubuntu handles them), and you should have write permission to the disk itself. As such it should be as simple as (starting up VM...)

GUI Method: Navigate to the /home dir, right-click your user folder, select Compress..., in the popup dialog, make that changes/config settings you want, and click on the drop-down for the location and either select the device (if listed) or Other... if you wish to put it in some sub-folder of the disk

Terminal method Navigate to the /home dir, know/find the path to the external drive FW-wise (usually /media/$DRIVE_NAME on 'buntus), and issue the following: tar czvf $EXTERNAL/DRIVE/PATH/some_name.tar.gz $HOME_FOLDER_NAME

But what error(s) are you seeing? What was the steps that you took leading to the errors/issue?
October 15, 2011 9:34:35 AM

This is the code my son gave me, modified by me for this netbook:

sudo tar -zcvf /media/16 GB Filesystem/home/jessie_2011-10-15.tar.gz /home/jessie

These are the last 2 lines in the Terminal window. All I see above this is the archiving of Firefox & it's files (I don't use it but you know how Ubuntu loads it anyway. Just ONE of the reasons I'm trying out Lubuntu.)

I HAD been monitoring the archiving process & noticed a bunch of msgs flash past w/ something along the lines of "thumbnail fail". When I went to ck the mem stick on which I was archiving, there was no sign of a tar file which tells me that it TRIED to create an archive & for some reason it just couldn't .. I forgot to mention that it has a LiveUSB of Ubuntu 10.04 on it. Wld that cause a prob? It's showing as only occupying some 4g of space & there's no indication that the tar ran out of room ...

Edit session #2:

My thought process, as mentioned previously is a bit impaired (I have Lupus & the Lupus fog is too REAL), but it just clicked what you mentioned. That you usually make sure that the disk you're archiving is INACTIVE ...

Meanwhile, here I am, chattin' away, while running Chromium (which I know uses the FF profile for it's settings) & downloading SBackup & reading a tar pdf file .... BIG DUH

So, I will disconnect & do another run @ a tar archive (I miss DOS sometimes but NOT the 40 floppies it took to backup a 20M hard drive!). I will come back & label this thread solved if I manage it. IF I can figure out how to do that ... :pt1cable: 

THANK YOU!!! :hello:  :love: 
October 15, 2011 9:45:39 AM

Quick note: Sorry 'bout the lag. I'm in El Salvador, which is currently overflowing w/ water from Jova, & all this humidity is doing a number, it seems, on connection consistency. Also on my joints, which on this tiny kb, makes for interesting results when I accidentally hit weird key combos.

Best solution

October 15, 2011 9:47:04 PM
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No big deal, hopefully it works out as it should and how you want it to.

The basic principle behind archiving a part of the disk that's not actively being used is that you don't want the content you're backing up to be changing as you are backing it up (the copy should be consistent, but may not reflect the latest copy of all the content that you are backing up, in filesystem parlance, in simple terms it means some of the backup will be the new stuff, some the old stuff)

If only you could send some of that precipitation this way, I certainly wouldn't mind (central Texas has seen some pretty rough drought conditions this year).

If you have further questions, let us know and we can certainly help you out.
October 16, 2011 4:36:53 AM

Best answer selected by iluminameluna.
October 16, 2011 4:46:46 AM

See? I KNEW that ... it's why they call it the Lupus fog: you KNOW that tree is there but you can't SEE it!!!

Anyway, I did as you suggested & went looking at the suggestions for backups. I finally stuck to SBackup. Simple & straightforward. I did one backup, tested a recovery & it all worked fine.

As for the tar .. I realized, again the darn fog!, that I was trying to put the tar on my iPod (it's got a cracked screen so I'm using it as media storage only after this fiasco), at least at first, which has a FAT32 file system. Ergo, a small file saving size. *SIGH ....

As for the external drive, not sure why it wldn't do it. So I took as much data as I cld & saved it either to the external drive or to the iPod, depending on it's nature (media vs docs & such), then, as the home folder was TONS lighter, I did a backup to the external drive.

VOILA! I now feel secure in trying out Lubuntu on this desktop w/out worrying about having to reconfigure Ubuntu in case stuff goes catastrophically South .. which it prob'y will.

Thanks, bmouring, for EVERYTHING!
October 17, 2011 1:56:50 AM

No problem at all, if you have further questions or issues don't hesitate to stop by and let us know.
!