[HowTo] Reinstall Manjaro without losing data

BE WARNED


Even Gparted is a proven tool to do the job - the risk of losing data is always present when you work with the filesystem.

The author of this guide is not to be blamed if you mess up and loose data.

USING THIS GUIDE IS ENTIRELY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Target audience


This guide has been written for a default Manjaro EFI based system using GPT partition scheme.

  • Two partitions
    • $esp partition as first partition - sdy1
    • Single root partition as second partition - sdy2
  • You have booted a live ISO
    • Several steps in the guide cannot be done if a partition is mounted.

The scope of this guide is not to cater for complex systems like dual-boot. You can of course amend the guide to suit your specific system. Don't hesitate to ask - after all that is what the community forum is all about.

Using live ISO and Gparted


In this guide the device is assumed to be located at /dev/sdy. Usually it isn't and you need to locate the device you want to operate on.

Use the terminal to locate you device path and replace sdy with the device name you find.

$ lsblk

Switch to a root shell - on a live ISO the password is manjaro

$ su -l root
Password:
[manjaro ~]#

1. File system check


If errors are found - do not proceed unless you have fixed them.

   # fsck /dev/sdy2

2. Backup


Now is the time to backup important data to external media - whether this is a physical or an online storage location.

3. Resizing


The Manjaro system itself do not require much space when /home is on a separate partition. A root partition of 32-64G is more than adequate.

A. Shrink root partition

Release as much space as you can - preferably at least the space needed to hold the entire content of your current $USER folder.

B. Create partition

Create a new partition using the claimed space and format to ext4 - it will become sdy3

    # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdy3

C. Temporary folders

Create two temporary folders e.g. /mnt/home and /mnt/root

    # mkdir -p /mnt/home
    # mkdir -p /mnt/root

D. Mount the partitions

    # mount /dev/sdy2 /mnt/root
    # mount /dev/sdy3 /mnt/home

E. Move data

Then move the folder /mnt/root/your-user-name to the new partition.

    # mv -r /mnt/root/home/your-user-name /mnt/home/

Depending on the amount of data and how much space you currently occupy - you may need to unmount the temporary mounts and repeat the shrinking of your primary partition.

Extend the new partition with the released space - remount and continue the moving of data.

NOTE: You can do a simple cut'n'paste within Thunar just remember to launch Thunar from the root shell. Remember your dot-files/folders - press Ctrl+h to toggle hidden files.

4. Install Manjaro


How you want to finish is up to you. Using the Calamares graphic installer presents two options.

NOTE: Formatting of the $esp partition - not strictly required - but recommended.

Option 1

  • During install select the Manual partition option
  • Select the previous efi partition
    • mount point /boot/efi
    • format using FAT32
    • ensure $esp and boot is selected
  • Select the previous root partition
    • Mount point /
    • Format using ext4
  • Select the new partition
    • Mount point /home
    • do not format
  • Continue the installer and reboot when done.

Option 2

  • During install select the Manual partition option
  • Select the previous efi partition
    • mount point /boot/efi
    • format using FAT32
    • ensure $esp and boot is selected
  • Select the previous root partition
    • Mount point /
    • format using ext4
  • Continue the install and reboot

Link your data

When you have rebooted you can use the groundwork presented in the linked article from the #technical-issues-and-assistance:tutorials section

Conclusion


If you reached this far without breaking sweat - you are a champion. :checkered_flag:

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