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How to recover from failed NetWare 6.5 upgrade, or access non-SYS volumes prior to reinstall

Posted on 2005-03-01
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Two existing NetWare 6.0 SP5 servers were upgraded to NetWare 6.5, the first server was upgraded using the OS CD's in the internal CD drive, and was successful.  The second server was upgraded remotely, from a Windows 2000 workstation running NetWare client 4.9; the upgrade proceeded well until the first reboot.  After waiting for the server to reboot and become available; we went to the physical location of this server and saw that the restart had hung during the initial load.

We followed the "downed server upgrade" mentioned on Novell's web site.  (Boot with NW65OS CD, select 'manual', from R: prompt type 'install /?' for options, select 'downed server upgrade')  The upgrade appeared to work, but the server abended during the restart.

How can I recover this server, or complete the upgrade to 6.5?  The primary concern is to preserve the adminstrative data archived on two other volumes on this server.  

Is there a way to start the server so that the data can be accessed?  If the data can be copied from the server to another location, then we can run a fresh install of NetWare 6.5 and delete the existing partitions.

Thanks for your help in saving the data on these volumes.
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Question by:4RunnerBob
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13432144
Were you using the SP2 overlay CDs or the red-box CDs with no SP?  It could be a driver issue - a lot of those were fixed with the support packs.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13432274
Yep. Also, I hope you upgraded the server hosting the [Root] of the eDirectory tree FIRST. That's important.
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ShineOn earned 1500 total points
ID: 13432341
This is exactly why I prefer migrating to new hardware over in-place upgrade, by the way.  If something fails in the migration, the original server is intact.  That's not necessarily the case with a failed upgrade.

The data should be OK, by the way, so don't worry about that.  Go to http://support.novell.com/filefinder/18197/index.html and download both the OS SP2 overlay CD image and the Products SP2 overlay CD image, burn 'em to CD using the burn from ISO option (don't just burn the .ISO file to the CD) and use them in your next attempt at the "downed server upgrade" procedure.
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by:dawho9
ID: 13438550
Depending on how you have your drives setup - you may be able to get to the data (if you don't have a rock solid backup).

We always setup our servers with 5 (or more drives).  Two drives (Mirrored) with SYS and DOS on it.  Then the remaining drives in a RAID 5 array.  That way, if a SYS/Dos partition goes crazy on us - we can pop out those drives and load them into another box and have immediate access to the data.

The only tricks on this is you cannot have volumes named the same from server to server.  This has been nice a few times this year - as our Dos partition on several 6.5 boxes has died.
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by:4RunnerBob
ID: 13442394
The first server upgraded (using CD's in the drive) contained the master replica of the [root], and upgraded without any problems.  ShineOn, I attempted to run the downed server upgrade from the CD created from the OS SP2 overlay ISO, but the only choices were:
  I to install NetWare
  P to specify additional installation parameters
  H for help

On the original NW65OS CD, selecting manual install drops to a DOS prompt at R: where I am able to execute INSTALL /UPGRADE.   By booting with the NW65OS CD to get to the R: prompt, I was able to execute INSTALL/UPGRADE from the OS SP2 overlay CD, and start the "downed server upgrade".

The upgrade ran without problems, until the GUI loaded and the list of optional software was displayed and selected.  The upgrade failed at that time because Directory Services was not loaded.  The server was restarted successfully even though the upgrade was not successful.  

We can now access the data on the two (non-SYS) volumes, and will create a backup prior to trying to upgrade the server again.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 13442713
Groovy.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 13443075
Great - glad to hear its working.

When installing NetWare, whether its a fresh server or an upgrade, its generally best to use the latest Overlay CD images. That way, you get a patched OS from the start - sometimes an Overlay CD install will succeed where one from the base media fails due to an outdated or buggy driver.
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