Options For Repairing and Replacing a Bad Netware Hard Drive


Have a server running Netware v3.12.  Had an error that said:

Mounting Volume SYS
Mirror copies of the volume directory don't match
Volume SYS NOT mounted

I ran the vrepair command 3 times to fix all the errors and the server booted fine.  It ran for about 10 hours and now I get the following error:

Offset 0000002h data stream 0
Read was requested by the SERVER
10/11/06 9:37:06 am: 1.1.36 File TTS$LOG.ERR write pre-read error
Offset 00000018h data stream 0
Read was request by the SERVER
10/11/06 9:37:06 am: 1.1.72 VALLEY TTS shut down
   because backout volume SYS was dismounted
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
10/11/06 9:37:07 am: 1.1.45 Error writing to the directory on VALLEY/SYS.
System halted Wednesday October 11, 2006 9:37:12 am
Abend: NWPA-4.10-032: Invalid message Passed to CDI_Complete_Message
      OS version: Novell NetWare v3.12 (25 user) 8/12/93
      Running Process: AES Sleep Process
      Stack:       47 B1 FE 07 22 FF 07 50 22 DB 07 00 00 00 00
            1D 62 E6 07 43 00 40 00 12 00 00 00 00 00 00
            F0 2D DB 07 54 99 F2 07 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
Press “Y” to copy diagnostic image to disk. Otherwise
Power off and back on to restart.

So it seems to me my hard drive is going belly up.  As such I'm wondering if I have any options to try and fix the errors and clone the bad drive to a new drive with imaging software (ie ghost or Acronis).  Would it be possible for me to run scan disk or perhaps Spinrite to try and mark the bad sectors on the drive and recover the data from them, or is there a better utility for that with Netware?  What are my options for recovery?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

The old Server Magic program was a good one for cloning NetWare 3.x drives.  A modern utility that should work fine as well is Portlock.

There used to be a Ghost for NetWare, but I don't think it's likely you'll find it anywhere.  Symantec, since they bought Ghost, has "windoze-ized" it to the point it's useless for anything that's not a Windoze PC.

I wouldn't try Spinrite on it.  NetWare volumes often have a "hotfix" area where bad sector data gets written.  If you get the server back up, and you use the info at the link pgm554 gave you in the other question you had, one of the things you'll be looking for is hotfix redirection blocks more than likely.  

If the info provided by following those instructions indicates the drive is failing, you might be able to throw another drive of the same size or slightly larger into this box and setting up a mirror, but not knowing anything about NetWare, I wouldn't advise you to do that.  The time to do that would've been years ago, well before the server was "retired," when you had NetWare-knowledgeable support available, whether on-staff or on contract.

Your best bet, since this is a "retired" server that you only access occasionally, may be to use one of the data-recovery tools made for extracting files from NetWare 3.x volumes.

If that concept works for you, you could physically mount the drive into a Windoze PC as a slave or on a secondary IDE, or if it's SCSI, on a SCSI controller added to a Windoze PC, and use something like Stellar Phoenix http://www.stellarinfo.com/netware-data-recovery.htm to recover the files to the Windoze PC's drive.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
The drive is going bad.

The more you use it ,the more damage will be done to the drive and the less likly you will be able to recover data.


Do you have a known good backup?

Do you have your original install disks?

I would get a new drive and try to reinstall and recover from a backup if you have one.

If that doesn't work,send it out for repairs.

There are lots of folks that can recover your data starting at about $400 bucks.(no fix ,no pay)

www.gillware.com comes to mind .

But their are folks like Ontrack too.

ckangas7Author Commented:

Had a meeting with the bookeeper and the office manager.  They are unwilling to put any money into the server.  I informed them that the hard drive could go anytime and that all data would be permenantly lost.  I was told to keep it running as long as I can and when it goes it goes.  So that's what I will do.  I did another vrepair on the server and got it going.  From now on I will only boot it when someone needs access and then down it when they are done.  Who knows it may last another year like that.  The backup tape drive on the server is not working and I can't install a backup drive as the company is unwilling to spend any money.  This sound familiar to anyone? : - ).

Anyway, I like both the solutions proposed so I will split the points.  Probably the safest solution would have been to send the drive out for data recovery.  Thanks guys.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Novell Netware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.