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RE: backup plan bare metal


Rodney Richison wrote:
> Would be interested in seeing what some of you use for a backup plan. 
> Mainly for servers.
> Tar?
> Easy/quick way to restore bare metal?
> Rsync? Can it do bare metal? what about hard links?
> Again, easy/quick way to restoe entire debian server?
> Unfortunatly, I've found mondo unreliable for bare metal. Though when
> it works, it's the cat's meow..

Let me preface the following by stating that I have just a few personal
machines on my LAN/DMZ, and that there is no time pressure other than
inconvenience if I need to recover from a disaster.

Machines with data have cron scripts that create tarballs and MD5
checksum files (on alternate drives).  A dedicated backup server has a
cron script that fetches the tarballs and MD5 checksum files using
rsync, and then checks the MD5 checksums.  Disaster recovery is a
manual process of exploding the tarballs, putting everything back into
place, and/or adjusting ownership, permissions, etc..

For bare metal recovery of GNU/Linux machines, I've tried and failed
several times in the past with Norton Ghost 2003.  I recently rebuilt a
vintage Intel Advanced/AS (Atlantis) and Pentium 166 MHz machine with
Debian 31r0a (minimum install, one normal user), and have been wanting
to do some more testing with Norton Ghost 2003.  Tonight, I did:

1.  The Symantec web site says that Ghost 2003 will do Ext2 and Ext3
    file systems and the LILO boot loader: 


2.  This is the partitioning scheme of the Debian 31r0a drive:

        /dev/hda    LILO in MBR
        /dev/hda1   /boot using Ext2
        /dev/hda2   / using Ext3
        /dev/hda3   swap

3.  Tonight I took two Ghost 2003 images (see A:\GHOST\GHOST.INI for

    a.  One with the AutoName, Image Boot, defaultTape, and
        locktype-none options.

    b.  Another with the AutoName, Image All, defaultTape, and
        locktype-none options.

4.  I then used a Windows 98 Second Edition startup floppy with some
    DOS utilities added (esp. format) to completely change the disk:

        fdisk /mbr


            enable large disk support
            delete all non-DOS partitions
            create primary DOS partition
            use maximum size and make active


        format c: /s /v:win98
            (I tried the quickformat option, but wouldn't allow)

        reboot and test drive -- Windows works.

6.  I then restored the first image (Image Boot).  Ghost indicated some
    slight discrepancies in the sizes of the partitions, and I accepted
    the defaults.  Booting the disk, I see an "L" followed by about a
    dozen lines of 99's.  I guess this is LILO puking.

7.  I then restored the second image (Image Disk).  Ghost indicated
    exact matches for the sizes of the partitions, with 1 cylinder at
    the end as unpartitioned space.  Booting the disk, it works!

So, Ghost 2003 can do bare metal restores onto the same drive by using
the Image Disk option.  This will protect against cracking, file system
corruption, etc., and will speed up reinstalling/ reconfiguring the O/S
and any applications and data that are present in the image.

It might be possible to do a bare metal restore using the Image Boot
option if I manually tweak the partition sizes on restoration.  I'm out
of time right now, but should be able to try this soon.

I would also like to run some tests to see what happens if the hard
drive crashes:

1.  Restore the second image onto a different drive of the same make
    and model.

2.  Restore the second image onto a larger drive (most likely disaster
    recovery case).

I don't have hardware available for either test right now, but might be able to
shuffle things around and try the tests in the future.



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