About 1 year ago, I installed Kali Linux alongside Windows 7. I made 2 primary partition (ntfs) and an extended partition for Linux. The first ntfs partition is used to install Windows 7, the other one is a big shared partition for general purpose data. The extended one contains 3 logical partitions : one for / (ext4, also contains grub boot-loader), the other for /home (ext4) & the last is a swap.

After some time of using Linux, I started feeling that I was using the wrong distribution. Moreover, it started to have a lot of errors, so I wanted to get ride of it -- but I want to keep the 2 ntfs partitions and Linux's /home partition untouched.

What are the precautions I need to take in consideration in order not to lose the /home partition and keep Windows installed alongside the new distribution (boot-loader precautions)?

The current Linux distribution is 32-bits & I am going to replace it with 64-bits Debian 9 (stretch).


Have you got any experience in manual partitioning during a Linux distro installation? If so, what is the problem? Just choose manual and set to format and reuse the / partition.

If you specify what distro you're going to install, I can be more precise on instructions, and maybe provide a sort or guide or how to.

Remember the device node so you can reinstall grub at the end of the installation.

Just to better reply your question: "what are the precautions...".

Have multiple and proven and reliable backups!

Edit #1 debian forums take a look at paivakil's first reply. It's all you need to do, even if it's an old post. Debian setup didn't changed in this part.

Edit #2 Please take debian handbook as best reference, at the "Manual partitioning" chapter. You need to find the / partition where you have Kali installed, and set the manual partitioner the following:

  • format partition (optionally change fs etc)
  • mount point /

Then go to the /home partition and just set mount point /home. Leave the home partition unaltered. Leave Windows partitions unaltered.

If you do something wrong with the partitioner, don't panic! You haven't damaged anything until you do "Save changes to the disks".

  • I am going to replace Kali with Debian 9 (stretch). – Karim Manaouil Aug 19 '17 at 4:54

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