At the risk of seeming to "pile on," I'm going to echo and amplify what Thorny has already mentioned.
"It is possible to reinstall without backing up" is simply the wrong question. It's like asking "Is it possible to drive around with no spare tire?"
The answer to both questions is the same: Even if it were "possible," there's no earthly reason to want to do it in the first place. Failures happen, sometimes in critical systems, and you have two choices: be prepared for them when (not if
) they occur or suffer the consequences.
Putting critical data (think: /home
) on its own partition is a well-known and well-documented way to make backup and recovery easier. If you'd taken that simple precaution in the first place, you'd be "home free" right now, able to restore or reinstall the OS without affecting your personal data. But you chose not to do that. Ooops.
Regular and redundant backups is the only way to preserve data against all sort of problems--not just PEBKAC, but lightning strikes, flooding, mechanical failure, etc. But you chose not to do that, either.
And now you're asking for help in perpetuating your mistakes. Really?
In other words, this backup you're trying so hard to avoid is actually the only sane and sensible path available to you. And you're complaining that it will take time?? Pardon me, but WFW
The true "take away":
Step 1: Back up your data. If you're frustrated by the time it takes, remind yourself of how long it would take to recreate
all your data; you'll realize in an instant that, temporally speaking, backups are the best bargain of all time.
Step 2: Reinstall, but this time, put /home
on a separate partition. That way, the next time you type sudo do-something-really-stupid
, you can restore/reinstall the OS without risking data you care about. Added bonus: you won't have to spend 2 paragraphs tap-dancing around about how you were tired, or distracted, or sexually frustrated, or whatever.
- Step 3: Repeat step 1 on a regular basis. Use multiple media, and rotate your backups. It's what the pros do, and there's a reason they do it that way.tl;dr
: Your problem isn't a lack of sleep, it's a chronic lack of insight and forethought.