Backup/RAID of HD on Old UNIX Server


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# 1  
Backup/RAID of HD on Old UNIX Server

I need to be able to make a backup image of an OLD UNIX server HD where I can restore the complete HD from scratch if (when) the HD fails. This server runs the accounting system for a company.

I can and have backed the data up via local FTP, but O/S and Apps are so old that I am not sure I could get the right version of the O/S and Apps back to make it work, even with data

The O/S is : SCO SCO_SV scosysv 3.2 5.0.6 i386
It is an HP E800 PIII 800 MHZ with a HUGE 9 GB SCSII HD (Circa 2000)
It also has IDE as well

The server has already failed and I was lucky, I found another and popped the HD in and it came back up. However, it is just a matter of time before the HD goes.

There is a SCSII Tape drive, I am still trying to ascertain if it is actually working. Have ordered new tapes. (they had been using the same two about 7 years)

I have this line in the root crontab file

Code:
0 0 * * * find / -print | cpio -ocO /dev/rct0


Not sure if that backs up entire HD and would allow me to restore and have a bootable drive or not.

I would love to be able to make an image of that HD every night (or even realtime) on another HD or, at 9 gb, even USB, but not sure if that version of UNIX supports USB.

I just want to be able to restore and go without risking having to reinstall anything.


A bit more personal background and why they are in this mess in case you are interested. No need to tell me how dangerous and idiotic it is to be in this situation, belive me, I know.


I do not work for or at this company. It was my father's company he built from scratch and knew everything himself inside and out. He passed away about 6 years ago and it just kinds of runs itself and I have to go down and deal with crises (like this one). My father wanted me to keep the company going so that loyal employees that had been with him since the start could work until retirement.

I will be able to retire from my current job in a couple of years and at that point I may move there and fix all these issues correctly. For now, I just put out fires (like this)

I know the equipment is old, but the employees are as well and they are familiar with it and it the does everything they need and the company does not have the $20k+ needed to upgrade at this time.
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Last edited by Don Cragun; 09-30-2015 at 09:54 PM.. Reason: Add CODE tags.
# 2  
I am not familiar with SCO, but the command in the crontab will "just" copy the files and directories to the device /dev/rct0, which is most probably your attached tape drive.
This type of backup is not bootable. It misses the boot sector, filesystem structure etc. which is needed, to have bootable backup. It will have your business data in there though.

You could do a copy of the disk with the command dd which will create a file of 9GB, as larges as your disk is, because it copies all bits of your disk. It could be restored with using a bootable medium that gives you a shell from where you can issue dd again, to restore the backup.
The hardware sounds x96 compatible so you could for example try Knoppix (KNOPPIX - Live Linux Filesystem On CD) which is a free Linux bootable system with desktop etc. to issue restore.

Here is some guy that tried something similar:
SCO 6. Backup & Restore from USB

Maybe it is an option to get a modern x386 PC or server hardware, install a later version of SCO Unix and migrate your application overthere. It could be it is possible by simple copying it's needed files over to the new installed machine. Though I saw the latest release of SCO is 2009 Smilie OpenServer X seems to be the continued SCO Unix but I have no clue how compatible to each other.

Last edited by zaxxon; 10-01-2015 at 05:50 AM..
This User Gave Thanks to zaxxon For This Post:
# 3  
Okay, I get the picture.

Do you have the install media for this O/S?

Does the machine have a floppy drive (that works)?
If so, you can make what is known as a "root & boot" set which will facilitate you getting the machine back on its feet if you have a full tape backup.

To create the "root & boot" floppies login as root and run:

Code:
# mkdev fd

which will give you a menu driven interface. Select the options to write out the emergency floppies.

To make a full tape backup capable of disaster recovery you should use cpio NOT tar. (The reason is that tar doesn't backup/restore the device nodes properly in /dev).

Typically:

Code:
 
 # cd /
 # find . -depth -print|cpio -ov -C10240 -K<tape size in K's> /dev/rct0

Yes, you can leave out the -C switch out but it is more efficient to write 10K blocks to tape. The -K should specify the capacity of each tape so that it calls for the next tape if needed. You should also use the -c switch if you want to write in 'portable' format such as knowing you are going to change platforms.

With a 'root & boot' set you can boot from floppy which contains all the commands needed for recovery, the required boot block copies, etc. So you can use the 'divvy' command to lay out a new hard drive and create the filesystems. The 'dd' command to write out boot blocks 0 and 1.
You can then mount your new empty hard disk root filesystem and restore the whole from tape. Also, restore any non-root filesystems.

That is broadly it. Feel free to ask further questions.

There is better SCO knowledge on this forum than mine so, down the line, you might ask moderators to move this thread to the SCO forum proper where it will be more likely to be seen by the right people.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by hicksd8; 10-01-2015 at 07:49 AM..
This User Gave Thanks to hicksd8 For This Post:
# 4  
You used the word RAID in your subject line, but since you only speak of one disk in the post itself, I am going to assume that you have a single SCSI disk.
Here are some approaches you might take.
1. Corner the market for 9,18,and 33gb scsi disks. You can use disk duplication programs like hdclone to make a copy of your current disk, although you will not be able to change the logical size of the disk. That is, if you copy your 9gb disk to a 33gb disk, when you install the 33gb disk it will still appear to be 9. Put several of these on the shelf, and if the disk fails, install a replacement, and restore the latest tape. Cost 100-200$US per disk.

2. Toss the tape drive, and install a DVD writer. Purchase Microlite Edge, and do backups of the entire system to dvd. This software also allows you to create a bootable cd/dvd with a menu driven restore procedure. Cost 600US$

3. Upgrade the entire system to a new I3 processor with 4gb memory and 32gb SSD with DVD and backup to either USB or DVD and SCO 6.0.0. Cost less than 5k (hardware, software and installation.)
This User Gave Thanks to jgt For This Post:
# 5  
Along with the above it might be good to have an idea of how the hard disk is arranged. Accomplished with
Code:
divvy /dev/harddiskname

. Also would help to know what accounting program or how it is set up as some go into the /usr or /usr2 areas with all the programs and data there and transferring to a new machine a matter of copying that across.
This User Gave Thanks to edfair For This Post:
# 6  
Yes, to reinforce what edfair says it is extremely useful in a disaster recovery situation to know how the original disk was laid out. Edfair's post#5 is very important. I second that and reinforce it. Didn't mention it myself because I forgot and I've not used SCO for years.

Thanks also to SCO expert jgt for setting out some very good options.
This User Gave Thanks to hicksd8 For This Post:
# 7  
Quote:
Originally Posted by hicksd8
Okay, I get the picture.

Do you have the install media for this O/S?

Does the machine have a floppy drive (that works)?
If so, you can make what is known as a "root & boot" set which will facilitate you getting the machine back on its feet if you have a full tape backup.

To create the "root & boot" floppies login as root and run:

Code:
# mkdev fd

which will give you a menu driven interface. Select the options to write out the emergency floppies.

To make a full tape backup capable of disaster recovery you should use cpio NOT tar. (The reason is that tar doesn't backup/restore the device nodes properly in /dev).

Typically:

Code:
 
 # cd /
 # find . -depth -print|cpio -ov -C10240 -K<tape size in K's> /dev/rct0

Yes, you can leave out the -C switch out but it is more efficient to write 10K blocks to tape. The -K should specify the capacity of each tape so that it calls for the next tape if needed. You should also use the -c switch if you want to write in 'portable' format such as knowing you are going to change platforms.

With a 'root & boot' set you can boot from floppy which contains all the commands needed for recovery, the required boot block copies, etc. So you can use the 'divvy' command to lay out a new hard drive and create the filesystems. The 'dd' command to write out boot blocks 0 and 1.
You can then mount your new empty hard disk root filesystem and restore the whole from tape. Also, restore any non-root filesystems.

That is broadly it. Feel free to ask further questions.

There is better SCO knowledge on this forum than mine so, down the line, you might ask moderators to move this thread to the SCO forum proper where it will be more likely to be seen by the right people.

Hope that helps.
They are still looking for the install media. They should have it, but the company that did the turnkey setup and initial support may have kept it or it may have been lost.

I think it does have a floppy and your solution sounds good and makes sense to me. I think in terms of DOS, it sounds like the floppy is kind of doing what the old dos format c:/s command did? Then, I am just copying files?

I am sure I am over simplifying, if not totally wrong above, but it at least now I know one way to do it.

---------- Post updated at 08:04 AM ---------- Previous update was at 07:54 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgt
You used the word RAID in your subject line, but since you only speak of one disk in the post itself, I am going to assume that you have a single SCSI disk.
Here are some approaches you might take.
1. Corner the market for 9,18,and 33gb scsi disks. You can use disk duplication programs like hdclone to make a copy of your current disk, although you will not be able to change the logical size of the disk. That is, if you copy your 9gb disk to a 33gb disk, when you install the 33gb disk it will still appear to be 9. Put several of these on the shelf, and if the disk fails, install a replacement, and restore the latest tape. Cost 100-200$US per disk.

2. Toss the tape drive, and install a DVD writer. Purchase Microlite Edge, and do backups of the entire system to dvd. This software also allows you to create a bootable cd/dvd with a menu driven restore procedure. Cost 600US$

3. Upgrade the entire system to a new I3 processor with 4gb memory and 32gb SSD with DVD and backup to either USB or DVD and SCO 6.0.0. Cost less than 5k (hardware, software and installation.)
I only have one disk, but I will put another in, SCSI or IDE or USB as needed.

Right now, I am afraid my Application Software stops me from upgrading. I do not really understand it, but they told me the copy protection in it was tied to the compiler and the compiler to my version of Unix and I would not be able to simply install the software on another machine/hd. That really does not make sense to me, but that is what I understood them to say.

Though it has been upgraded several times, last about 10 or more years ago, our original license is over 20 years old. A complete new system for us is over $20k, probably over $30k, that is why I need to backup what I have.

There are plenty of E800 servers out there and I have already moved this HD once to a new server, right now my critical link is the HD, O/S and APP. (I have the data backed up.)

---------- Post updated at 08:34 AM ---------- Previous update was at 08:04 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by edfair
Along with the above it might be good to have an idea of how the hard disk is arranged. Accomplished with
Code:
divvy /dev/harddiskname

. Also would help to know what accounting program or how it is set up as some go into the /usr or /usr2 areas with all the programs and data there and transferring to a new machine a matter of copying that across.
Last part first. Using Open Systems Inc. Accounting Software for Electric Motor Shops. I think it is a standard commercial accounting package they modify for specific industries, but could say that 100%.

My Data is in a directory off the root called /u. The application is there as well, just not sure if 100% is there, but I can find where all its parts are if needed. I have backed up the /u directory to a windows box using ftp.

Here is the Divvy command without parameters. Let me know if you need it with the specific HD parameter (I am afraid to start typing in parameters for fear of messing up something, but I will if I need to do so)

# divvy
+-------------------+------------+--------+---+-------------+------------+
| Name | Type | New FS | # | First Block | Last Block |
+-------------------+------------+--------+---+-------------+------------+
| boot | EAFS | no | 0 | 0| 15359|
| swap | NON FS | no | 1 | 15360| 277503|
| root | HTFS | no | 2 | 277504| 1534975|
| u | HTFS | no | 3 | 1534976| 5723165|
| u1 | HTFS | no | 4 | 5723166| 8867869|
| | NOT USED | no | 5 | -| -|
| recover | NON FS | no | 6 | 8867870| 8867879|
| hd0a | WHOLE DISK | no | 7 | 0| 8875880|
+-------------------+------------+--------+---+-------------+------------+
8867880 1K blocks for divisions, 8001 1K blocks reserved for the system
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