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Promise RAID Recovery

I've got 4 IDE drives stripped into a single drive using the Promise RAID drivers. I've installed Redhat 7.3 on them and it was working fine until I did something really dumb and deleted the /boot and /etc directory.

The drives still seem to look fine but the machine won't boot.

How can I recover information that is stored on the drives?
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tristan_louis
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tristan_louis
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1 Solution
 
rindiCommented:
Try the following:

http://www.stellarinfo.com/linux-data-recovery.htm

You'll probably have to install a windows OS to another HD first so you can run the above software. Maybe you could also try combining this tool into a UBCD4WIN

http://ubcd4win.com/
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tristan_louisAuthor Commented:
I don't have any more slot for another HD in the machine so that solution won't work... What I probably need is something like a LiveCD type of approach. I've managed to get Knoppix loaded via a CD but I couldn't find a way to mount the Promise RAID drive with it....
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rindiCommented:
I think the first link above needs windows to run on, so you'd have to combine it with the ubcd4win like I mentioned there. If the livecd way won't work, you should still be able to temporarily install another OS to a harddisk, you don't have to permanently install it, so you don't need a slot, just let it hang there.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
why do that?  You should just be able to recover the boot loader, by installing the linux CD and going through the install but making sure you dont refomat or re-initialize the drive, it should do that now...
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rindiCommented:
He's lost /etc, Linux needs /etc to run, if he writes anything to the HD he could overwrite that space which would make it impossible to recover. Just recovering the bootloader alone won't help. In order to recover deleted files on a HD (or in this case an array), you have have to boot from another system and get access to the Disk or array...
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scrathcyboyCommented:
well of course, but surely the linux install is smart enough by now to just refresh the boot loader?  I mean, it has been over 8 years now, and these linux installs havent been able to just remake the boot loader or partitions without scrapping the drive.  You know, one only has so much patience for dippos that never learn, if they cant create a proper install that doesnt blow off all the data, then their product is not worth using, right?  I mean, at some point, we have to get beyond the moron level that cannot think with logical intelligence, and we have to get intelligent linux SW that can install itself over the old right.  The last Mandrake I used could do this, I assumed all Linux installs had got beyond the destroy it mentality?
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rindiCommented:
Restoring the bootloader alone won't help getting back /etc. Besides, redhat 7.2 is about as old as win95...
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Well tristan, this is a case for the Knoppix boot CD -- www.knoppix.com should be able to see the date and probably restore it.  In future, use the latest Mandrake, it is the only Lx that works as you want it to.
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RiDo78Commented:
I *think* the experts before me overlooked one thing (otherwise I am mistaken).

The raid-solution offered by the Promise-controller is not fully supported anymore in the new 2.6 kernel as 2.6 has better LVM support. Therefore you need an Linux CD that runs a 2.4 kernel.

The RedHat 7.3 installation CD allowes you to boot into rescue mode (enter 'linux rescue' in the CD-bootmanager). In this mode you must be able to configure your RAID-setup and mount the old partitions again.  From there, you can start recovering data to an (external) harddisk or a network-share.

Because you lost your /etc, I would suggest to make an backup of all the important data in the recovery-mode, and leave everything as-is. Once you got your backup, reinstall RH 7.3 again, just as it was before.
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RiDo78Commented:
@scrathcyboy: RedHat 6 could already install itself over the old version (just use 'custom install'). Repairing wasn't a problem either, boot into rescuemode, mount /boot and execute lilo. But compare it to Windows... Windows 95 wasn't able to repair the bootsequence without userintervention (one might still use FDISK /MBR and SYS A: C: to fix things). And even Windows XP can't as you still need to go to the recovery-mode and enter FIXMBR and FIXBOOT.

And if we look to the windows-equivilent of the problem discussed here, you might say the author removed his bootfiles (ntdetect.com, boot.ini, ntldr and so on) AND the entire windows-registry. So the problem is a bit bigger than booting alone.
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tristan_louisAuthor Commented:
scrathcyboy: Knoppix looked like a great idea but when I boot it up, it sees the 4 drives separately and can initialize any of them. I suspect it is because Knoppix itself doesn't seem to have a Promise RAID driver built in.

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tristan_louisAuthor Commented:
RiDo78: Seems close to the answer... Any idea where I can get an ISO of disk 1 of redhat 7.3? (odd thing is I have disk two and three and the SRPMs disk but seem to be missing disk one. It's at times like this you realize your backups are not as good as they should be.)
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RiDo78Commented:
Google is your friend :) (redhat 7.3 iso)

http://freshrpms.net/mirrors/redhat/7.3.html
It is quite a list of locations but I don't know if they are still valid. The ones I've tried were not, but perhaps you can find one that is still working. Otherwise, let me know and I'll create an ISO myself (I still got the discs) and make it available for you to download. But my internet connection is not that fast so it is not the preferred way.
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tristan_louisAuthor Commented:
Got the image, launched the linux rescue mode, loaded the promise fastrack drivers from diskette. However, after that, it's telling me "You don't have any Linux partitions"

Any ideas? Is my drive hosed?
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RiDo78Commented:
True... it cannot find partitions because it only sees half of the partitions per disk. Note that you can probably access the disks using /dev/hdX. However, you should start the RAID-device and have it check the both /dev/hdX drives. The RAID-device will then make the driveset available on /dev/sdX.

Unfortunately I don't recall how I got the thing up and running (I did it just once in rescue-mode). But when my nightshift is over, and I had a goodnight (or actually goodday) sleep might try something out in a VM for you if you can't figure it out yourself.
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Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
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RiDo78Commented:
I'm sorry but I'm running short on time now, so I did not have the chance to simulate your situation in a VM. However I searched for some howto's and I think those can be of use:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/ATA-RAID-HOWTO/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Software-RAID-HOWTO.html

As soon as I've got some more time I'll see if I can simulate it. But I'm sure it's possible 'cos I was in a similar situation with two 20 Gb RAID-disks containing data-volumes and no system-volumes.
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tristan_louisAuthor Commented:
I managed to actually solve it!!! The linux rescue approach failed but it highlighted the fact that I may be able to do a linux rebuild. I thus reinstalled the OS (without changing or deleting the boot and sda partition) and managed to get the problem solved that way.

Thanks to all of you for your help on this.

TNL
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