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SCO HD Crash - Pls Help! - SCO

Hi All, I'm fairly new to SCO ... and could really do with some help here. I have a SCO box (OpenServer 5.0.5), which is randomly crashing. When rebooting, fsck runs and reports a number of problems, mainly "File System larger than Physical Disk - please backup and rebuild". It seems that the cpio backups have been failing for the last x months (but not reporting an error - they just 'hang' - probably due to FS corruption!). So, I have a SCO box, with no backups (cpio hanging) - and a disk full of major FS errors. The machine ...

  1. #1

    Default SCO HD Crash - Pls Help!


    Hi All,

    I'm fairly new to SCO ... and could really do with some help here.

    I have a SCO box (OpenServer 5.0.5), which is randomly crashing. When
    rebooting, fsck runs and reports a number of problems, mainly "File System
    larger than Physical Disk - please backup and rebuild".

    It seems that the cpio backups have been failing for the last x months (but
    not reporting an error - they just 'hang' - probably due to FS corruption!).

    So, I have a SCO box, with no backups (cpio hanging) - and a disk full of
    major FS errors. The machine however is up and running (albeit crashing
    every few hours). We really need to rescue as much data as possible.

    How should I attack this? Is there any trick to fixing / recovering from
    this sort of state?

    I would try installing a second disk, creating identical sized partitions -
    and manually moving data accross. However, I have no idea how to re-create
    the boot blocks etc.

    Any help would be *very* much appreciated.


    Thanks,


    Steve
    Bristol, UK


    Steve Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: SCO HD Crash - Pls Help!

    On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 10:08:58 +0100, "Steve Netting"
    <co.uk> wrote:
     

    How is it crashing? Panic? If so, show the panic message. Is the
    system running off of a UPS? If so, are the batteries dead, bringing
    the system down ungracefully?

    Any hints here would help.
     

    (possibly) Known issue; See TA#105306 at support.sco.com
     

    Ouch!
     

    First thing I might try - 'might' being the operative word here - is
    to download and install one of the Supertars
    (http://aplawrence.com/Reviews/supertars.html) and attempt to create a
    full backup. This may be a double-edged sword, as introducing
    new/additional software on a system with FS corruption *may* compound
    the problem. If at all possible backup your non-OS data to tape (via
    tar or cpio), THEN install the Supertar. If the Supertar backup
    verfies OK, then use *it* to restore your system.
     

    Check /var/adm/syslog and /var/adm/messages for any hints as to what
    is causing the corruption. If there is no indication of a hard disk
    failure, then I might be inclined to low-level the existing disk and,
    assuming no errors during the format, reload the system (either from
    the Supertar backup or from scratch, depending on which I trusted
    most).
     


    Scott McMillan

    Scott Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: SCO HD Crash - Pls Help!

    Steve Netting wrote:
     

    That message indicates a very serious problem, very likely the cause of
    _all_ the system's problems.

    As far as I know, there are only two ways to get a filesystem larger
    than the device. One is to run `mkfs -y /dev/some-device 123456`,
    giving too large a number. The "-y" overrides mkfs's normal caution
    about the requested size not matching the size of the device. The other
    way is to make an image backup of a filesystem, then restore it onto a
    smaller device.
     

    Boot from a crash recovery floppy set. Mount the hard disk filesystem
    read-only. Attempt to back it up.

    You say "cpio hanging". A cpio backup is typically done with a pipeline
    where one part collects the filenames:

    find . -print

    and the other part backs them up:

    | cpio -o -O /dev/rStp0

    You can do these separately, to get a better idea of where it's hanging.
    Suppose you had booted from a boot/root set; /mnt was mounted from the
    hard disk; and /mnt2 was another hard disk you added to the machine as a
    writable scratch area. You could do something like:

    cd /mnt
    (find . -print > /mnt2/file-list; echo DONE) &
    cd /mnt2
    ls -l file-list
    [wait a while]
    ls -l file-list

    Eventually you'll see "DONE". Or maybe hard disk activity will stop and
    /mnt2/file-list will stop growing. If the list completes, you can back
    up from it, e.g.;

    cd /mnt
    cpio -ov -O /dev/rStp0 < /mnt2/file-list

    If this hangs, you'll be able to tell because the tape will stop
    spinning and the filenames will stop scrolling. At that point you'll
    have a tape containing _some_ of the files you want to back up. You can
    restore it on another system. Meanwhile, you reboot, edit
    /mnt2/file-list to remove the files already backed up, and back up again
    to another tape. Repeat until frustrated.

    You may find that the tape contains less files than you saw printed on
    the screen. The hang may cause the tape to stop writing before it
    should. When cutting down the list, be sure to remove only files that
    have already been successfully restored elsewhere (plus the file(s) that
    cause the hangs).
     

    This would also work -- in fact copying directly across will probably be
    a lot easier than doing it with tapes. You can use any archiver; tar
    and cpio come with the system, the various "supertar" products are
    better.

    The best approach here would probably be to put in a new drive (take out
    the old), do a fresh install, then add the old drive as a secondary
    drive, copy the data files over.

    You're either going to learn a lot about the system very fast, or you'll
    end up hiring a consultant...
     
    Bela Guest

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