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How to restore image to software RAID 1 array?

Posted on 2008-10-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I have a linux box running Centos 5. The system has 2 HDDs configured as software RAID 1. I imaged one of the drives and want to restore the image, and would like advice as to the best way to go about this?

Would it be best to wipe HDD1, restore the image to HDD0 and allow the system to rebuild HDD1?

Or just restore the image to HDD0 and allow the RAID array to rebuild to HDD1?

Or fail the array, restore to HDD0 and then re-create the array to HDD1?

All your advice and opinions gratefully received!
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Question by:EricTViking
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by:jools
ID: 22649068
How did you image ?
Are you re imaging to the same or different hardware ?
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by:EricTViking
ID: 22649127
The image was taken using Acronis TrueImage and was of one of the HDDs in the array.

I am re-imaging to the same hardware.
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Expert Comment

by:jools
ID: 22649484
Is your live system unavailable? why do you want to wipe it?

Overwriting the system would be a bit dangerous unless of course you know you have a good backup or are not bothered if it all fails!

I've not use acronis of a software mirrored system before so cant say for sure.

Can you test on a different (but similar) system?
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by:EricTViking
ID: 22649546
Hi Jools, let me elaborate a bit.

The server that I want to re-image is in our R&D department on a lab bench. It's not in production and is working fine, but I need to be able to restore it to a baseline image.

I installed the OS to it along with the latest updates and then imaged it using Acronis. I have subsequently played around with various settings and want to take the server back to the state it was in when I imaged it.

So there's no data on it and if the restore process fails it doesn't matter as it will only take 20 mins to put the OS back on.

However I need to be able to restore from images because as the project develops I will want to be able to image and restore a more developed installation i.e. it won't always be that easy to restore the OS manually.
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jools earned 500 total points
ID: 22650306
Cool, a plan :-) Sorry you have to start with the basics here...

If you're going to do that you would have to assume that the OS is not functioning when you have to restore anyway, so, given your circumstances, I would actually erase the system and boot from the acronis media and see how a recovery goes.

The last thing you want to do is try a procedure and find it doesnt work when it needs to so while you have the benefit of a rebuild I'd go for it.

You would want to erase the system first because you may not be able to guarantee it will be there in the event of a real disaster, that way you wont rely on existing configurations etc.

I don't know if Acronis will work correctly with software raid and the md devices or if it will then reinstall grub correctly (whilst anaconda handles this ok on install time other software may not!).

If you like you could do a full backup of the system to an external disk using tar, at least it could save some of the customised settings you have configured.

I'm afraid this may be a suck and see approach.

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by:EricTViking
ID: 22653826
Thanks Jools. That's pretty much what i thought. Reckon I might be able to get away with just wiping HDD1 and restore the image to HDD0.

Like I said I don't mind a suck'n'see approach as it will only take me 20 mins to re-install the OS - if it all goes 'Pete Tong' it's no big deal.

Thanks for your help!
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by:EricTViking
ID: 31503341
Thanks Jools for an excellent sanity check :-)
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Expert Comment

by:jools
ID: 22654226
Acronis is usually quite good, I have a few customers who use it to recovery linux with little or no issues, it takes a lot of hassle out of the process.

Alas, I've not seen it used with software raid.

Hope it all goes ok for you.

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