Access Old Home Directory

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Sat Dec 31 17:21:49 UTC 2005

On Sat, Dec 31, 2005 at 09:50:12AM -0500, Robert L Cochran wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently upgraded my desktop system with a much larger hard drive. The 
> old hard drive  is now in an external hard drive enclosure (the kind 
> made by Metal Gear Box) and is plugged in to a USB port. The old drive 
> has these partitions
> Microsoft Windows XP -- 30 Gb
> Fedora Core 4 -- 30 Gb
> My problem is, I can see the /boot partition on the drive, but I cannot 
> see the / (root) partition, and I'm want to get at my former home 
> directory because I have some files there I forgot to back up. I'm 
> wondering if that partition was named something like: 
> '/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00' and mounted on /.

Odd. If you can see one partition you ought to be able to see them
all. What happens if you (as root) run "fdisk -l /dev/..." against the
external drive? And are the appropriate device files being created,
e.g. /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc.

Is your system using the swap partition on the external drive ("cat
/proc/swaps")? If so you may wish to prevent it, as it is a
hot-plugable drive.

I do a similar operation annually. What I do is mount my old /dev/hda
as /dev/hdc, and leave it in place for a year. I set all the
partitions on the old drive to ro in /etc/fstab, e.g.:

/dev/hdc3               /mnt/oldsys             ext3    owner,ro        1 2

The main gotcha is you must be careful with the partition labels so
that you don't get duplicates, e.g. two /home partitions.


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