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Re: i386 debian to 64bit intel

On Fri, 4 Dec 2020 at 09:39, Jerry Mellon <jfmellon@netscape.net> wrote:

> Hi,
> I am new to linux and made the mistake of loading the i386 Debian
> release 10 onto my 64bit intel system. I now want to put the 64bit
> version for intel on the system.

> Do I have to backup the data I have in my $HOME directory to load after
> loading the 64bit version or can I in someway just load the the OS over
> the i386 OS and retain the $HOME contents?????

The Debian installer handles each *partition* of available drives individually.
So if you previously allowed everything (system and home) to install into
just one partition of your drive, a consequence is that if running the
installer a second
time, it can't change the system without also overwriting the home directories.
That's one reason why some people use more than one partition, to keep
their unique data separate from the installable system.

You haven't told us any details of what data storage devices you have
available or how they are configured so it's hard to offer any more advice
without that. For example, if you have unallocated free space on your drive
then you could create a second partition and install into that, or move your
data there. It's quite useful to get comfortable with these operations.

One thing that really reduces the stress of this kind of situation is to
not have "all eggs in one basket". For example, for the price of a second
hard drive and an external USB caddy, you gain a lot of flexibility
and the ability
to do experiments with less risk. Especially if your second hard drive is
physically compatible with your main drive and easily swappable.
Drives are so cheap that this is standard procedure here. It gets addictive,
my main machine now has 3x 3.5" SATA caddies as well as its internal drives,
very flexible for drive cloning and shadowing and similar.

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