I lost my drive with my media center on it, and I realized that I had an old backup lying around.

But when I went to restore my backup, I realized that all of the files had been copied with a Windows utility, and more than likely my file permissions are all messed up.

It will be a few hours before I'll be able to attempt to boot to this, but is there anything I can do, even manually, to restore this to a bootable condition? I assume, at the least, that the execute bit has been unset on any and all files.

1 Answer 1


Sorry, it would be very hard to restore your system from this backup. You didn't just lose file permissions, you also lost file ownership and symbolic links. With so much lost, restoring manually would be an arduous process, there'd be a lot to do manually and it would be difficult to ensure you have them all.

It would be far easier to do a new, clean installation, and then restore selected configuration files (and any data files, of course) from your backup. If your backup at least preserved timestamps, you should be able to find the files that didn't come with the original system through their timestamps (you can use something like find /path/to/backup -type f -newer SOMEFILE to list the files that were modified more recently than SOMEFILE); this may mix some software updates with your changes. In principle, the files you modified should be under /etc or under home directories. You may have installed things under /opt or /usr/local as well.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .