Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

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softwarehoarder3000
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Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#1 Post by softwarehoarder3000 »

I switched from windows 10 to debian a few months ago, backed up all relevant files to a flash drive, installed debian and then moved my files back...

but when i look through, it seems like lots of files that were there before are now missing. is this due to the difference in file systems and what can i do about it should i have to back up again? (i think my flash drive uses the same file system as windows)

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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#2 Post by arochester »

Normally a flash drive is formatted to fat32 to be readable by both systems.

What files or type of files seem to be missing?

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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#3 Post by steve_v »

softwarehoarder3000 wrote: 2021-07-15 19:34what can i do about it should i have to back up again?
Put a proper backup strategy in place and test it regularly?
There are two kinds of computer users, those who take backups regularly, and those who have never had a hard drive fail.

Did you check to see that all your files made it onto the flash drive in the first place, and they were all readable from Windows before you copied them to your GNU/Linux install? IME flash drives are not the most reliable of storage media.
FAT32 (or ExFAT) support on GNU/Linux is very good these days, assuming that's what you used, but without seeing which files (or at least what kind of files) are missing, it's difficult to even speculate on what went wrong.
NTFS support is slightly sketchier, but it's pretty uncommon to format removable media as NTFS.

Presumably you can compare the contents of your flash drive (or some other backup set) to the files on disk in your GNU/Linux install and see exactly what you're missing?

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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#4 Post by stevepusser »

A file isn't "backed up" if only one copy ends up existing, such as you had on when they were only on the pen drive--if they actually all made it. A savvy user will follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy for truly important files.

A FAT32 file system also has more limitations on file names and sizes than modern FSs. Maybe some of those files didn't transfer because of an odd character in the file name.
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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#5 Post by arid »

softwarehoarder3000 wrote: 2021-07-15 19:34 I switched from windows 10 to debian a few months ago, backed up all relevant files to a flash drive, installed debian and then moved my files back...

but when i look through, it seems like lots of files that were there before are now missing. is this due to the difference in file systems and what can i do about it should i have to back up again? i think my flash drive uses the same file system as windows)
Really?

I can't even tell if the OP still has Windows or it's a dual boot or what.

Therefore I cannot continue with any cogent advice. :mrgreen:
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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#6 Post by craigevil »

I am running Debian on a 500GB SSD, i have both a 256GB flash drive and a 256GB SD card plugged in.
Deja-bup does weekly backups to the SD card, while Timeshift backs up to the flash drive.
I also backup configs and other important files to Mega.
Roughly once a week I clone my drive to a SD card. Etcher is great for that.
I have things like ebooks, music, audiobooks, synced between Mega, my Debian system, my Kindle Fire, and my android phone.
I use Syncthing to sync the computer, Kindle, and Android Phone.

You can never have too many backups.
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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#7 Post by softwarehoarder3000 »

arochester wrote: 2021-07-15 20:37 Normally a flash drive is formatted to fat32 to be readable by both systems.

What files or type of files seem to be missing?
various ones, but i've noticeed a trend of missing exe files and pdfs

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Re: Lost a lot of files when I switched, what should i do to prevent this happening again?

#8 Post by softwarehoarder3000 »

steve_v wrote: 2021-07-16 07:40
softwarehoarder3000 wrote: 2021-07-15 19:34what can i do about it should i have to back up again?
Put a proper backup strategy in place and test it regularly?
There are two kinds of computer users, those who take backups regularly, and those who have never had a hard drive fail.

Did you check to see that all your files made it onto the flash drive in the first place, and they were all readable from Windows before you copied them to your GNU/Linux install? IME flash drives are not the most reliable of storage media.
FAT32 (or ExFAT) support on GNU/Linux is very good these days, assuming that's what you used, but without seeing which files (or at least what kind of files) are missing, it's difficult to even speculate on what went wrong.
NTFS support is slightly sketchier, but it's pretty uncommon to format removable media as NTFS.

Presumably you can compare the contents of your flash drive (or some other backup set) to the files on disk in your GNU/Linux install and see exactly what you're missing?
I have been really bad about backups in the past, and this was my first time switching operating systems like this. for some reason my files on disk were moved off my drive rather than copied. they're likely permanently lost. I really should try to do regular backups...

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