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I want to install Ubuntu 12 and I would like to partition my hard drive so that the OS lives in its own partition and the data in a different one. Thus if the system breaks for some reason, the data will remain intact. Is there a better way of doing this?

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Although it's a fantastic idea to separate / and /home it's not enough. You need a backup solution. –  Marco Mar 6 '13 at 14:41

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would recommend, especially since you're not an advanced user, a separate /home, as above, and periodical backup to optical media: cheap, easy and somewhat reliable. If you really have important data, I would think of something else, though.

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You might want to consider the following because from a single HDD if that has a hardware problem it doesn't matter what your partition table looks like.

  1. Put data on an external HW Raid array.
  2. Backup Solutions because things happen.

On top of this there are a few Partitioning Best Practice guides like the one I linked which you may want to take a look at.

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I don't think RAID is necessary for the ordinary home user. A backup solution is all that's needed. –  Marco Mar 6 '13 at 14:56
    
@Marco May be not but separating data physically is. Most problems with HDDs on Linux are not partition related but the underlying hardware, which will kill the OS and the data partition together without the separation. –  Karlson Mar 6 '13 at 15:02
    
Thank you guys. I need something basic. Wht is HW Raid array and what's HDD? –  saadtaame Mar 6 '13 at 15:27
    
HDD = Hard Disk Drive, HW Raid is Hardware Based RAID solution like: amazon.com/G-Technology-G-RAID-Dual-External-Drive/dp/… –  Karlson Mar 6 '13 at 15:32
    
I have a laptop I don't need fancy things.. a working solution. What do all folks do when they want to install a new Linux version? –  saadtaame Mar 6 '13 at 17:33

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