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We recently had our repository machine (SuSE 9.3) start misbehaving on us, throwing off a vast number of errors on boot. Additionally, we were less than properly diligent about checking ...
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  1. #1
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    SuSE 9.3 - Retrieve data from bad drive - how to do?


    We recently had our repository machine (SuSE 9.3) start misbehaving on us, throwing off a vast number of errors on boot. Additionally, we were less than properly diligent about checking the backups coming off of said machine (my fault, I should have kept aware of the situation and did not) costing us one of our repository directories. As a result, I'm trying desperately to come up with some way of getting the repository data off of the drive.

    The machine never seems to boot up far enough for network connection, and during the boot attempt it's showing many errors invoking reiserfs. I'm unable to mount the cdrom; attempting it gave me a list of errors. (May not have been writable anyway; not sure.) I've tried plugging a jump drive into the usb port, but I cannot tell if it's being registered or not. I have managed to successfully mount the floppy drive and save some files that way, but the actual repository data is over 500 megs in size when packaged tar.gz, and split apparently only allows for 100 files.

    We have another working box with the same hardware and an active SuSE 9.3 drive in it; I was hoping I could put the failing drive into that one as a secondary, but my own personal attempt at this ended at a grub prompt that I'm unsure how to proceed from. Beyond that, what information I have found on putting a secondary drive into the system seems to indicate that I'd have to completely reformat the drive in order to put it on...which kind of negates the point.

    Does anyone have any more suggestions for what I might be able to do to retrieve our data from the bad drive, and if so would you please share them with me?

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    If it is a single disk, then connect it to a working linux box as additional disk.
    Either direct or for simplicity sake via an usb <-> sata/ide adapter.
    You can then access this broken disk from a known good platform and see what can be saved.

    The fact, that the direct connection results in a boot error may indicate a wrong boot order in bios, or some confusion in devicenames from grubs perspective.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
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    You can also work to take off your data by use of the other machine, or using a live Linux disc in a DVD / CD drive, I would recommend Knoppix as live system, and copy all necessary files to an independent external hard drive (USB connected). (ddrescue). Then and only then check BIOS and boot of machine and hard disc. Is it system corruption (software problem solved by a new install) or is it a hard disc error (failing hard disc) or is it a machine BIOS or hardware problem ( BIOS set up, memory etc). You need to distinguish to get at root problem.

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