how to protect previous personal files/data on reinstallation

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http://forums.fedoraforum.org – When I install Fedora 12, I tried to use manual partition like before. But installation failed somewhere. So I have to accept Fedora 12's default partition. Once I experienced slow login problem. I have to reinstall. But the reinstallation would delete the previous installation. Is there a good way to keep personal files intact on reinstallation? (HowTos)