Protect home if system needs reinstallation

I found many times I could not salvage my installation and had to reinstall. With the legacy I had /home in a separate partition that I did not format when I re-installed Manjaro, or whatever I was using at the time I would reformat the / partition. With EFI, I could not see doing that if the drive needed reformatting. Reinstallation would mean that my system files would all be cleanly reinstalled and the /home would not get formatted. I just put Manjaro EFI on a USB on a new computer. I want to know what the procedure is if things go bad ahead of the time. Also besides backing up is there something I should be doing now. Would a reinstallation not involve formating?

EFI has nothing to do with whether or not you can have a separate home partition.

I don’t see why not. My system here boots in native UEFI mode, and I do have a separate /home partition, as well as many other filesystems that were split off from the root filesystem. :arrow_down:

[06:52:31][aragorn] >  lsblk
sda       8:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─sda1    8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2    8:2    0   512M  0 part /boot
├─sda3    8:3    0     1G  0 part /
├─sda4    8:4    0    22G  0 part /usr
├─sda5    8:5    0   512M  0 part /usr/local
├─sda6    8:6    0     2G  0 part /opt
├─sda7    8:7    0   1.5G  0 part 
├─sda8    8:8    0   400G  0 part /srv
├─sda9    8:9    0   450G  0 part /home
├─sda10   8:10   0    10G  0 part 
└─sda11   8:11   0    20G  0 part /var
sdb       8:16   0 698.6G  0 disk 
├─sdb1    8:17   0    10G  0 part 
└─sdb2    8:18   0 683.6G  0 part 
sr0      11:0    1  1024M  0 rom  

[06:52:36][aragorn] >


If you opt for manual partitioning, then you do have a choice.

From your lsblk output it becomes apparent I only need the /boot/efi partiion of about 550Mb. All the other partitions including the /boot could be part of the root partition except for the /home.If this is correct then I should just redo the installation. I really didn’t understand the file structure requirements of this EFI. I think you may have really answered my question. I missed the lsblk on the first reading. Thanks

About 300 MiB should be enough.

Yes, that is correct. Although you may need to create a swap partition if you don’t have one already. You could also use a swap file instead, but a swap partition is easier to set up.

The requirements are simple…:

  • The drive must be partitioned as GPT, not as MS-DOS MBR.
  • You need an EFI system partition of 300 MiB, formatted as FAT32, marked with the esp flag, and mounted at /boot/efi.

Everything else is at your discretion.

Installing Manjaro in the /boot/efi there was no place to insert the flag esp. When I finished the installation and checked the partitions on gpartd the installation itself had put in the flag esp on the partition. Everything else ran fairly smoothly. Your advise was truly informative and very clear.

There was something strange about this installation. At the bottom of the page there was always a place where they asked me where I wanted to put the boot or something like that on the page before they ask for my name and password setup. This is something that I have had for all my Linux installations. I always said I wanted it on the USB. I was not asked this time and there was no place to make the choice. On the old installation I was asked with the same installation disk. I always wanted my USB to be the first drive to be booted off of if it was plugged in because of what I read about the installation being messed up by the Windows Update. I figured if I am booting in Windows the USB should not be plugged in if I could remember. The grub screen would remind me to unplug the USB. When I set it up the last time it lasted in the bios until I loaded Windows. Then the whole thing disappeared and the boot went back to booting Windows, USB plugged in or not. This time I set it up but I put the USB at the bottom of the boot order so hopefully it did not get erased and I could come back later to play around with it. Yesterday I pushed it up to the top to see if it got erased. Try as I would I could not get it erased. I opened Windows both with the USB plugged in and not plugged in. Not plugged in I did not get the grub plugged in. I don’t know if it is going to revert and erase the USB as the first to be picked up for booting but only time will say. Another thing I did differently was I opened msconfig.exe but I did not see the USB in there at all. I didn’t change any of the settings in msconfig.exe. I may have clicked on something anyway to make the changes permanent but I am not sure. I found it strange and still expect along the line that the boot order allowing me to boot from the grub which I assume is on the USB because when the USB is not plugged in it goes straight to the Windows to boot and not the grub screen. I will have to wait for the next Window update to see if the boot order doesn’t work afterward but right now I am up to date. I had started to read about bcdedit but I really did not understand it and I do know I could mess up the computer if I do something wrong with it so I may not try. It might be better to keep putting the USB back in the bios as being first to boot when plugged in.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.