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Recover files from Novell Netware 6 volume onto external USB hard drive

Posted on 2013-12-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-06-24
I have a Novell Netware 6 enterprise server that has previously crashed. The server is able to boot now but It appears that the directory database has crashed and it doesn't allow me to login with a client, or can the client even find the tree.

My only interest is to recover the files an abandon the Novell Netware 6 server all together.
I am very unfamiliar with Novell, and I am unfamiliar with even browsing the folders through the console.

How can I browse through the server using the console and mount a USB drive to copy the files to. I dont even know the commands to do this, but when I tried NDIR, the command was missing. The FILER module wouldnt seem to work either.

Is it possible to stage the server as a Windows server and use a 3rd party program to browse the Netware volume to copy the files off?
Question by:rpeterslll
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 39711578
Try runtime.org's get data back.  there's a demo, you can run and see if the files are available.  IF they are you can register it and pay without having to rescan everything(can be a long process) I've had great luck with them.

Author Comment

ID: 39711589
Thanks for the quick response! I will check that out!

Any other suggestions from anyone would be very helpful until I have a working solution.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 39711780
Before you attempt a recovery yourself, it is important to diagnose the cause of the crash - especially if you have data that appears to be missing.


If the crash was due to a physically damaged hard drive, you may be doing more damage every minute it is powered up.  If that is the case, you should power it down and get it to a lab that can remove the platters, examine them,and determine the best way to recover your data.

If the cause of the crash was "soft" - malware, intentional or unintentional deletion, etc, then attempting self-recovery is a good ok - as long as you do it safely.

Make an image of the disk (GetDataBack can do this for you - we use it - it is a good tool).  and only use the image for recovery.  I've never used GDB to recover a Netware volume, but with the trial, there is no harm in trying.

- Gary Patterson
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Author Comment

ID: 39711788
Thank you for your comment Gary! The server has two RAID Array's. One is the system Array and one is the file storage array. The System array lost a couple disks temporarily, and then one came back. THis seemed to have damaged the directory database, but the File storage array it still fully functional.

I will try getdataback to see if it reads the Netware FS properly.

LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 39711825
get back data actually does not look like it'll work on Novel's file system, sorry.  Unless it's using fat or ntfs, but some of their linux tools "might"  Gary's suggestion of imaging the drive before working on it is excellent advice.

is the top of the google search for tools.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 39712088

That sounds like a real mess.  I assume that there aren't any backups, or you wouldn't be fooling with data recovery.

How to proceed depends on the data involved.  

Is it mission critical?  If so then power down, pull and label the drives, and send them to a professional recovery company.  It is going to cost, but at least then you aren't the guy that ruined any chance of recovery by fooling with it.

If the data is important to retain but not immediately needed, (archival, or retained for regulatory or compliance reasons), you may just want to pull the drives, label them and document the problem, and store them in a safe location for future recovery by a lab in the event something is needed badly enough to justify the cost of professional recovery.

If the data isn't important (or liable to become important in the future), then it won't be a big loss if you ruin it trying to recover it yourself.  

Depending on RAID level, and what drives failed, you probably need to recover or rebuild the RAID set(s) before you can do any volume-level recovery.  What RAID level was in use?  How many drives failed in each set?  Why did they fail?  Were they replaced?  What did you do to get them working (assuming they are) again?  

Again, you absolutely should not be operating on the primary disks.  Make images or clone identical copies - the more you try to do, the less likely you can get a successful recovery.

I work for or a company that does data recovery jobs, and when we have complex recovery requirements that we can't handle in house, we send it out to Kroll Ontrack.  


They aren't cheap, but if the data is recoverable, they'll be able to get it for you.  

But a common data recovery problem is that most people involve a professional too late - until after they have attempted to recover data themselves and ended up damaging the data past useful recovery.

Good luck.

- Gary Patterson

Check out my EE profile:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_4382324.html

Author Comment

ID: 39712108
As stated before, the data is intact and the RAID never failed on the logical drive that the data is stored on. There are absolutely no problems with the RAID array this data is stored on.  It's is a Novell Netware system and I just need to read the logical drive to copy the data off of it.

The Failed RAID array consisted of the SYS directory, and that logical drive is restored and Novell can boot from it. I am not interested in any data from this Drive array.
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 39712443
Disclaimer:  I haven't used Netware for a long time.

One thought is to boot the server from a Linux boot disk containing the required hardware drivers for your RAID array, and the ncpfs file system installed:

LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 39713466
If this is a server from a multi-server eDirectory tree you should be able to install eDirectory on this server with NWconfig - Directory Options - Install Directory services.
You should then be able to connect to you existing eDirectory Tree

If this is a single server eDirectory you shoud be able to install a new eDirectory tree through the same procedure.

If Nwconfig does not work, you SYS volume is probably corrupted in some way.
Disconnect your data array, and reinstall Netware from your media.

Documentation can be found here:
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

pgm554 earned 1500 total points
ID: 39787071
Easiest thing to do is to mount the Novell drive partitions using Captain Nemo from runtime.org and then just copy the data off to another drive.


Also,if your Sys volume is mounted,you could try running a dsrepair from the console prompt.

Type in dsrepair -u at the console prompt and try running a full repair of the ds database.
Might fix you admin login issues.


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