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Snap appliance hard drive

I have an old Snap Appliance NAS which has recently failed me, however the hard drive is still readable, I know because I some how managed to get the thing turned on one more time, but was unable to get everything copied before the device stopped responding.  So my quest is to somehow mount this drive in Linux.  I have Knoppix to use, but I am a newbie with Linux and don't know many commands to use.  Knoppix wasn't able to determine what the file system is so I must now try to mount this device manually.


Your help is much appreciated.

Phil
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klog_69
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klog_69
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2 Solutions
 
jlevieCommented:
Whether that's possible will be a function of what file system the SNAP system used. I'm not real hopeful that you'd be able to mount the drive if Knoppix wasn't able to figure it out, since it is has lots of file system type support (more than most other Linuxen in my experience). And, it is possible that the SNAP device uses a proprietary file system... If you can contact the vendor they might be able to help.
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macker-Commented:
I seem to recall that SNAP uses a standard filesystem, but chances are your errors are coming from the drive being damaged.  If you have specific files/directories you're looking to copy, you may have a chance, but if you're looking for wholesale data recovery (i.e. the whole drive), you should evaluate how much time/money it's worth.  If the data has monetary value, start talking to a professional data recovery service ($1000+).  If it'd be nice to recover the data, but not critical, then some tinkering may be of benefit.

Specifically, once the Knoppix system is booted with the drive attached, run "dmesg | grep -B 1 -A 1 hda" (or whatever the device name is).  If you're not sure, just do "grep -B 1 -A 1 hd" and it'll match on the pattern "hd", and will show the previous and following line as well; this may yield lines not related to the hard drive, just ignore those.

You're looking for something like this:

Partition check:
 hda: hda1 hda2 hda3

If you see that, it means it found the partition table, and identified the partitions.  If instead you see errors, or nothing at all, it means it was unable to read the partition table, and the drive may not be accessible by Knoppix.

There are various "tricks" that may help recover a failing drive, but they are really intended as last-ditch efforts.  These include carefully hitting the side of the drive with a blunt object (particularly if it's not spinning), and placing the drive in a freezer for a short period of time.  Both of these are at your own risk, and may permanently damage the drive beyond repair.  I really don't recommend either of them, but if the drive is going to the trash-can whether or not it works, then it may be worth trying.
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klog_69Author Commented:
Let me clarify.  The snap appliance will not power on.  I somehow managed to get the controlling hardware to power on one other time earlier this week, but I didn't get all the data copied for one because where I was copying it to ran out of disk space, so I left it for the morning, well I wasn't able to access the snap appliance in the morning so I powered off to reboot, but it didn't turn back on.

I appreciate the comments thus far, and hope to get somemore that will help get my data back, I will check macker-'s info out in the morning.

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
Do you have some more info on the snap appliance (model number, etc)? That may help in identifying what it is using. How important is the data?
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klog_69Author Commented:
It's a Snap Server 1100, it has an 80Gb drive in it.  The data is important, but if I don't come up with a solution it is not the end of the world
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klog_69Author Commented:
Well I tried macker-'s commands and it sees the drive, but it can't determine the partition table.   Does anyone happen to know what file system these Snap Appliances use?
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jlevieCommented:
What file system a SNAP server would use is solely a function of the "OS" the SNAP server uses. The SNAP server's OS could be based on most any conventional OS (Linux, windows, BSD, etc) or it could be a unique proprietary OS. And there's nothing to preclude the vendor from using a special file system.
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rindiCommented:
I think they use a proprietry filesystem, probably based on ext3. Have you called snap appliances for assistance? It doesn't sound as if the disks were broken to me, maybe repairs won't be expensive!
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klog_69Author Commented:
Snap wants $120 just to talk to support.  It's out of warranty
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macker-Commented:
Sorry for the delay in updating on this question...

Whether or not the filesystem is proprietary, the partition table should be visible.  It is only in the case of specialized hardware like TiVo that you actually need to worry about this.  (TiVo does byte-swapping when accessing the hard drive, presumably for DRM reasons, but uses ext2 if memory serves.)

If the server itself is not powering on, it's possible it's not a failure of the hard drive, but a failure of the power supply or main board.  the controller may also be compromised by this overall failure.  I would suggest looking to see if you can "borrow" or buy a replacement server.  If you have a local technical user's group (e.g. a Linux User's Group), craigslist-type forum, etc. I'd start there, followed by eBay.  It may just work if you plug the drive into another SNAP appliance.

However, the fact that the partition table isn't showing me up does lead me to suspect actual hardware failure...  normally you will be able to see the partition table when mounting on Linux, whether it's Amiga, Macintosh, SCO, etc.
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ggirardCommented:
Hello:

I have exactly the same problem. It looks like the either the power supply or the main board is fried. I have attache dthe HD to a W2K machine, it is spinning ok, W2K is seeing the HD but of course can't access the partition...(it is seeing it with the appropriate size informations but denies access).
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