SUMMARY: Restoring a dead boot drive

From: Leo Crombach (
Date: Mon Jul 07 1997 - 07:27:38 CDT

Sun Managers:

I decided to get a "Jumpstart" on my summary.

My original post:

Here's the situation: A SS4, Solaris 2.5 with a dead boot drive. This
machine is used for all of our software development and is home to all of
our source code (on a different disk). My question is, what is the best
method for restoring the root file system? I just did a level 0 dump the
day before so I have an up-to-date tape archive. Also, I am going to steal
the hard drive out of a less important SS4.

This is my first experience with a dead drive since I began this career
approximately 20 months ago. I did find an example of how to do this in the
Answerbook but, quite honestly, it did not make total sense to me. I then
searched the Sun Manager archives and found some useful information but
still insufficient.

My plan until I receive suggestions from this list is to follow a procedure
outlined in the text that is used for the SA-285 course. The drawback to
this procedure is that I will have to remove the tape drive from one of our
other servers and attach it to the dead machine in order to perform the

All suggestions will be appreciated and I will summarize.


Initial summary:

My plan was to boot from the CD-ROM single user (boot cdrom -s) and restore
the file system from the backup tapes. Unfortunately, I ran into problems
with the CD-ROM drive and was unable to directly boot from the CD.
Therefore, I configured one of our Ultras to be an install server following
the procedure in the manual that comes with the server edition of the
CD-ROM. Having done this, I was able to boot the machine single user over
the network (boot net -s). I then formatted the replacement drive and used
newfs to create the file system. Next, I restored all of the root file
system (including /usr - one partition) into the /mnt directory. After that
I created the bootblk on the replacement drive (installboot), umounted the
drive and rebooted the machine.

I of course left out many of the details; however, for the benefit of others
who have yet to encounter this situation I will post a second summary with a
detailed description of what I did to restore the machine.

Special thanks goes to the following indivduals for their many helpful

Gustavo Chaves
John McWilliams
Adrian Cole
Jim Harmon
Francis Liu
Marina Daniels

And also to the many others who will respond after this summary.

Leo Crombach
System Administrator
Tropel Corporation
60 O'Connor Road
Fairport, New York 14450


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