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#1 2024-06-28 13:52:07

scippie
Member
Registered: 2019-06-07
Posts: 148

Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

After finally having found the solution to my crashes/hangs (thanks Nvidia for such a terrible driver for years) which has messed up my installation more than once (had to fully reinstall all packages after pacman crashes several times to get the system to work again), I want to make a clean start to make sure my system is neat and clean again. So I want to reinstall.

But I'd love to do this whilst being able to go back to the current installed Arch so I can use it to look up some things I manually configured and/or changed over the years.

My current Arch is installed on a partition near the end of the disk, and with the years, a lot of space has freed up before this partition. So I created a new and bigger partition before it and started installing Arch on it.
But I am having booting problems: GRUB does detect this other Arch installation, but can't boot it as it can't find the linux firmware. It is looking for it in /boot/initramfs-linux.img instead of simply /initramfs-linux.img.
I hadn't thought of it but I am using one EFI partition for Arch, Windows, memtest, and my own OS, but this new Arch overwrites the same kernel. I don't really care about using the same kernel because eventually, the old installation will be removed and the partition will be grown, but GRUB doesn't seem to want to use it properly.
So I manually reconfigured grub.cfg so it uses /initramfs-linux.img, which I realize, is the same as the original Arch installation, and this makes the system boot again, but on the original Arch partition.
I can understand how and why this happens, but don't know what else to try...

So I come to you. How can I best approach this, knowing that eventually I will want the old Arch gone, and want the new Arch using the EFI partition as /boot and not some workaround to solve this temporarily?

This is my partition layout:

nvme0n1     259:0    0 931.5G  0 disk 
├─nvme0n1p1 259:3    0   100M  0 part  -> Lovely windows stuff
├─nvme0n1p2 259:4    0    16M  0 part -> Lovely windows stuff 
├─nvme0n1p3 259:5    0   256G  0 part /windows
├─nvme0n1p4 259:6    0 609.2G  0 part -> This is the one I am using for the new Arch install
├─nvme0n1p5 259:7    0   640M  0 part -> Lovely windows stuff
├─nvme0n1p6 259:8    0    64G  0 part / -> Current Arch install
├─nvme0n1p7 259:9    0     1G  0 part /boot -> EFI
└─nvme0n1p8 259:10   0   575M  0 part -> Lovely windows stuff

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#2 2024-06-28 14:00:16

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,857
Website

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

scippie wrote:

I want to make a clean start to make sure my system is neat and clean again.

There's no need to reinstall for this - just remove any packages you aren't using, and check for untracked files in the root filesystem and you'll be set.


"UNIX is simple and coherent" - Dennis Ritchie; "GNU's Not Unix" - Richard Stallman

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#3 2024-06-28 14:18:54

scippie
Member
Registered: 2019-06-07
Posts: 148

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

Trilby wrote:
scippie wrote:

I want to make a clean start to make sure my system is neat and clean again.

There's no need to reinstall for this - just remove any packages you aren't using, and check for untracked files in the root filesystem and you'll be set.

Another reason why I want to reinstall is because I have experimented so much with this installation that there are simply way too much packages to study if I still need them one by one.
And frankly, I am not sure there aren't still more corrupted files left on my system.

Last edited by scippie (2024-06-28 14:19:19)

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#4 2024-06-28 23:45:02

jonno2002
Member
Registered: 2016-11-21
Posts: 689

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

trilby is right, your just wasting your time, have a good read of this page and all related pages:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman
theres ALOT of info there and you should really learn and take advantage of what can be done instead of just "re-install" which is such a windows mentality thing to do.
for your situation have a look at this:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman … m_packages
and this:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman … _(orphans)
this too:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Pacman … g_packages

also check out lostfiles:
https://archlinux.org/packages/?name=lostfiles

once you get your head around it you'll wonder why you even thought about re-installing, im still on my first arch install from 2016 and have been through all the "messing around" with DE's and WM's and migrating to new hardware etc etc, in fact most of my arch installs on various hardware are just clones of my original to save time and messing around setting it up how i like.

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#5 2024-06-29 00:16:05

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,857
Website

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand


"UNIX is simple and coherent" - Dennis Ritchie; "GNU's Not Unix" - Richard Stallman

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#6 2024-06-29 07:08:15

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 54,182

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

partition near the end of the disk … bigger partition before it

can't boot it as it can't find the linux firmware. It is looking for it in /boot/initramfs-linux.img instead of simply /initramfs-linux.img

You've previously boot from a boot partition and are now booting from the root partition.
If this is what you want you can just manually fix the generated grub.cfg to fix the paths.

but this new Arch overwrites the same kernel

That however contradicts the previous assertion, so you better make sure you understand what you're actually doing first.

If you end up trying to use the same /boot partition for both OS you'll have to either manually adjust the name of one of the kernels or (cheap trick) you use the lts kernel for the one and the regular kernel for the other system (at least until you finished the migration)
This is theoretically not even necessary, though. At least for equally updated systems they're the same kernel versions and you can just use the exact same kernel and initramfs for both.

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#7 2024-06-29 10:27:05

scippie
Member
Registered: 2019-06-07
Posts: 148

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

Ok, thanks for all the info, I am going on vacation and will do the reading there before I actually do anything.

Will it help me find a way to migrate the current installation to the new and bigger partition as well? Or should I read up on other stuff for that too?

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#8 2024-06-29 14:54:20

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 54,182

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#9 2024-06-29 15:57:29

scippie
Member
Registered: 2019-06-07
Posts: 148

Re: Want to reinstall Arch whilst having my old Arch installation at hand

Thanks!
You've all given me the itch to 'do it right' :-)

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