I needed to repair a VirtualBox Linux Mint install because I updated VirtualBox and suddenly LM decided it didn’t want to start, it just kernel panicked its butt off! Kassie walked me through how to do a repair install type of installation. This works like the Windows XP, Vista & Win 7 “Repair/Upgrade install”. I’ve made notes here as she did it with me, so it’s here for my and my readers’ use in the future!
Before you start, make a backup of the virtual machine itself by making a copy of the machine in VirtualBox by clicking “File”-“Export Appliance”
To repair an installation use the Live CD of the version you have installed, and if you want to upgrade an installation use the LiveCD of the newest version.
Step 1. Load the “live CD” by attaching the ISO of it to the VM on the Storage settings page, or using a real disc version.
Step 2. Open the installer, pick your localization, then go forward.
Step 3. Pick the same timezone you had on first install. Go Forward. Pick the same keyboard layout that you had previously, and click Forward.
Step 4. To do a “Repair Install” pick the “specify partitions manually (advanced)” option. Go forward.
Step 5. This next step MUST be the SAME as you had previously.
I have 4 Partitions:
Partition one is my home partition.
Partition two is my Linux Mint boot partition.
Partition 3 is my windows partition, I know this because it is NTFS.
Partition 4 is my swap.
For me to do “Repair/Uprade Install” I have to click on partition one and then click Change. I change partition one to the SAME file system it had before crashing (Ext4) and the SAME Mount point it had (/home), then I click OK. DO NOT FORMAT!
Then I change partition two to the SAME file system it had previously (Ext4) and the SAME Mount point it had (/) then click OK. DO NOT FORMAT!
I don’t change and DO NOT FORMAT partitions 3 and 4. NOTE: You need to setup the partitioner the SAME way you did in the first install. DO NOT FORMAT! DO NOT FORMAT! DO NOT FORMAT! DO NOT FORMAT!
Step 6. Now it’s safe to click Forward. The following message will appear with different sda numbers etc depending on your setup:
“Do you want to return to the partitioner? The file system on “/dev/sda2” assigned to / has NOT been marked for formatting. Directories containing system files (/etc, /lib, /usr, /var, …) that already exist under any defined mountpoint will be deleted during the install. Please ensure that you have backed up any critical data before installing”
IF YOU DO NOT SEE THIS GO BACK TO THE PARTITIONER! You clicked format on something. Again DO NOT FORMAT!
If you see the message just Continue to do “Repair/Uprade install”.
Step 7: When you see the parts asking “What is your name? What name do you want to use to log in? Choose a password to keep your account safe. What is the name of this computer?”
All MUST BE THE SAME as when Mint was first installed! Especially if like me you originallychecked the option to encrypt your Home dir. If you don’t get your credentials the same your Home folder will be inaccessible, you will LOSE ALL DATA in there! Then click Forward.
Step 8: Ready to install (“Repair/Upgrade install”)? Are you? You are only ready if swap is the only partition to be formatted. If you see other partitions to be formatted, go back to the partitioner (step 5). If swap is the only partition to be formatted, you can click “Install” to do “Repair/Upgrade install”
Step 9. Restart PC, then install updates and proprietary drivers. Reinstall software as needed. NOTE: Most software configurations should NOT have been deleted as they are saved in your home folder. Once you reinstall software using the Software Manager or Package Manager things will work as they did
Step 10. Finished!! These steps will work for both Virtualized installs, and native installs on a PC HDD. Thankyou to Kass for helping me, I thought my encrypted Home folder was lost forever!