If you’re trying out the latest version of Ubuntu, 12.04 or Precise Pangolin and you want to keep your old /home partition, chances are you’ve come across the installation hanging on a process “Removing conflicting operating system files…”. No worries, this seems to be a common bug and there’s a pretty easy work around.
Continue with the installation, without asking for the /home partition to be mounted. Only set the root partition (/) and your swap space.
Once the installation is complete, reboot and load it up.
Now, you’ll want to find the partition that /home is mounted under, this will likely be /dev/sdxN, where x is the drive letter and N is the partition number (i.e mine is located under /dev/sda5).
If you’re unsure, you can list the possible drives using the following command:
ls /dev/ | grep sd
And then you can mount each drive under in a temp directory and check what’s in there:
mount /dev/sda1 temp
Once you know which partition you want, it’s time to edit your /etc/fstab/
sudo gedit /etc/fstab
For those who don’t go digging around in the config files of linux, this may look pretty daunting, but it isn’t. All you really need to do is add a new line to mount your home partition. Here’s mine:
/dev/sda5 /home/ ext4 defaults 1 2
The first part is the partition that’s being used, next what the partition is. Next is the file system type. Followed by default options and then the dump and pass values.
Once you’ve saved this file with the appended line, reboot your system. Now you should find your old home partition is mounted normally and you can get on with your install.