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I would set up some kind of backup strategy. I know its almost too late in
the game to bring that up, but you may still be able to pull it off. 

That said, what I would suggest to make a rebuild easier, would be to
capture the following:

Capture your package list:
	dpkg --get-selections > <hostname>-pkglist

Grab any non-standard directories you have on the machine, e.g. /usr/local,
/opt, /home, etc, as well as a few debian-specific directories (like 
/var/backups, /var/cache/debconf, /var/lib, /boot and /lib/modules). From 
this I exclude /var/cache/apt/archives, Cache and cache directories
(mozilla and netscape cache directories respectively).

Write these to a CD, and you should be able to rebuild on another drive
without problems:

1. Do the base system install. After reboot, when prompted to start run
deselect, exit out.

2. Log in, mount the CD you made, then do
	dpkg --set-selections < /cdrom/<hostname>-pkglist
	apt-get dselect-upgrade

3. Go through the configuration, then go ahead and restore from CD
(although you probably want to skip the /var directories if you rebuilt
 from scratch).

I actually have a backup script that does a pretty good job of backing
up and is pretty configurable.

On Thu, Feb 06, 2003 at 11:22:40AM -0800, D. wrote:
> Hi All,
>   I know that this has been discussed before so I
> apologize for asking again.  I believe that my hard
> drive is on its last leg.  Can I do a quick and dirty
> bzip2 / and will that bzip2 by drive so that I can
> copy it to another, then do the bunzip2?  I'm looking
> for a easy solution, I can re-install, that's not a
> problem, I just hate to loose some programs that I
> have installed.
> Thanks in advance.
> Don
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Bradley M. Alexander                |
Debian Developer, Security Engineer |   storm [at] tux.org
Debian/GNU Linux Developer          |   storm [at] debian.org
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