Need to restore NDS database, but can't get Arcserve to login because the database is broken. Catch-22

Posted on 2006-05-22
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
The NDS directory services database on a Netware 5.1 server has become damaged due to some disk corruption. I have a copy in our backup tapes (Arcserve 6.5), but I can't get Arcserve to fire up, because it can't log in (the DS is closed). So, while I would usually just restore the NDS from tape, I can't get there yet because Arcserve isn't running to do the restore.

This was the only server in the tree.

I suppose that one of my options is to remove directory services, then re-install it.  Then re-install the Netware licenses. Then re-install the Arcserve, and then I'd be able to restore the NDS Directory Services database from my tapebackup.

Does anyone else have a better idea?

Question by:studios
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Well, although your situation is undesirable, IMHO you described the fastest and safest procedure to achieve your goal.

    Remove NDS - 10 Min
    Install new basic NDS - 15 Min
    NW License - 4 Min
    ArcServe - 15 Min
    Resotore - 15 Min

    In less then an hour you are done.
    The only thing that bothers me is the disk corruption you mentioned, how did you addressed that?
    Another issue is the loneliness of your NDS server, you probably know that NDS servers should not be lonely ;-)


    Author Comment

    It's kind of a long story.  
       First, the server is maybe 5-6 years old (HP NetServer E45), and I have been telling them that it should be replaced for two years.  The GroupWise system kept outgrowing the physical disk it was on, so I took the server back to our office to put in a larger disk for GroupWise using Portlock Storage Manager.  I was able to migrate the data from the current 9gb drive to a larger 18gb drive.
    When I went to put it all back together, the keyboard controller failed on the system board. It won't boot and only gives a beep code.   I have a loaner server that I keep around for these kinds of problems, and so I moved their drives into it.  The NetServer was using an Adaptec 2910 controller for the drives, and I have a spare 2940 controller (same driver). However, the 2910 had 50-pin cables with adaptors to connect to the 68-pin drives.  The new setup had all 68-pin SCSI-2 cabling, running at 40mb instead of 10.  
       But when I hooked it all up, and started it up with all the production stuff running, the disk started to have a lot of blocks getting redirected.   Now, the disk (an IBM SCSI-2 drive) has run really well for a long time.   So, either the drive didn't like running that fast, or my termination was wrong somehow, or my luck was out to lunch. Anyway, I tried to get the server shutdown as fast as possible, but had to drop into the debugger to get out faster.
    Then I copied the drives into new drives, and put those into the server.  No drive problems, but a Vrepair ran when I brought it all up, and had a bunch of fixes to run.
        So, I have the server pretty much put back together. There are some files missing, and the NDS is a mess.  DSREPAIR quits after find 1574 errors.  
        Your time esitmate looks good, except it doesn't have a budget for getting the client to find the license disks and find the old Arcserve license info.  That's the part I'm worried about at this point.
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    The thought about trying to analyze the possibility and to recover NDS from a single server situation, gives me the creeps, no way it can be done in an hour.
    As I understand the process is about to be done on the 18GB while the 9GB is still in it's original state, that your rollback option.
    You can use any license for NW and ArcServe, since they will both be overwritten by the restore.

    Depends on your partnership level with Novell you can try this link for NW 5.1 licnese:

    Or look for "NetWare 5.1 SP8 Build 228 (Gold Master)" in Downloads --> My downloads --> directed downloads, it includes a license in the CD, here is the link:

    I can send you a time limited NW 5.1 license if you want.
    As for ArcServe, there might be a trial version on the CD, I couldn't find one on the site, CA support sucks.
    LVL 34

    Assisted Solution

    Ugh. What a mess.

    If the eDirectory database is that hosed, consider that the copy on tape may be equally hosed. You might restore it just to restore a corrupted DIB set.

    Note that you do NOT need to re-install the NetWare licensing to restore from ARCserve. You're limited to two user logins, but that should be enuf to get the job done.

    I don't think the cabling is a culprit. SCSI will "shift down" to the speed of the slowest/least-capable device on the SCSI bus. If the IBM drive was plain 'ol SCSI-2, then the HBA would simply run the bus as a SCSI-2 bus and forgo any later extensions. I'd suspect simple drive failure (yes, even IBM drives can fail).

    I really think that getting the necessary license diskettes and restoring onto fresh hardware is the way to go at this point. I'd find a local Novell sales rep (not a VAR, but a Novell-employed sales rep) and explain the situation to them and ask for assistance getting their customer running.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    After reading PsiCop I've realised that you don't need ArcServe license either, if ArcServe files are ok (you have mentioned that it loads but does not login), just recreate the Queue with asutil (or asutil6, I think) and load ArcServe.
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    Once you're all done - do you have only one server license?  Perhaps it's time to a) bump to currently-supported Netware or 2) pop for another 5.1 server license and install another NetWare server on a commodity desktop-class PC, JUST so you can have a replica of your NDS!  It doesn't need to have anything else on it, and no users have to have access to it.  (of course, if you upgrade to OES, that per-server-access stuff goes away...)

    Single-server NetWare isn't a good thing.
    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    Are you sure that was a 2910?
    That is a cheap non bootable HBA from Adaptec(CD-ROM/Scanners).
    The 2940 was the choice for bootable peripherials.

    Arcserve by default will license for 90 days without a license key.
    You can download unlimited licenses for NW from Novell's site that are time bombed.

    As for Portlock,you didn't happen to create a server image at some pont did you?
    You could use Portlock to restore the image of the original server and then restore NDS from the AS tapes.

    Author Comment

    This was an instance the "perfect storm" where a number of contributing factors all combine to make a bad situation worse.  First, the server hardware was about 6-7 years old, so I always felt it was on the brink of something kicking over. So, (second), when the system board did fail, it wasn't really a surprise, but was certainly a disappointment.  But when I put the working disk drive in the second (loaner, Gateway-brand) server (that I had just finished loaning to another client), and it started corrupting the disk structure for no apparent reason, that was the third factor.  So then I tried another IBM NetServer, but it didn't want to boot off my Novell (bootable) CD, making it difficult to build a "fresh install" of the OS with the correct drivers and stuff.  So I had them bring over a new SuperMicro server we had just sold and delivered, but that old version of Netware ( I had thought it was 5.1 but it was really 5.0 ) completely choked on seeing "four" CPUs ( two dual-thread Xeons).  So then I was finally successful at getting a fresh, solid build in the first box I had tried (the Gateway loaner box), with different disk drives and different cables.  So when I went to install their Arcserve 6.6, it wouldn't install from a Windows XP Pro 4.92 Netware client machine. I had to figure out that the answer was to install from a much-older Windows 98 PC I still have around.   Then I found that I couldn't restore the NDS back in because I didn't have the EXACT same tree name as before, so I had to remove directory services and re-install them again with the right tree name.   That installed, and I got all my accounts, print-queues, application objects, etc, but I didn't get any of my trustee-assignments back.  So I had to re-assign all the home directories and give the users all the rights and do the group file-rights over.  And re-install the Groupwise components into the newly created SYS volume.  

    So, it took three days, instead of an hour.  But it is back in production.  I'm back to complaining that they haven't upgraded to the newer versions of GroupWise, and that the system is politely trying to reply to all the spam they get sent ( GWIA has processed 13,000 email messages in the first 6 hours after being off-line for three days).  

    At least I got it done before the Memorial Day holiday (we're in the US).

    Thanks to all for your help and suggestions. They were quite helpful.

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