Data recovery emergency on a downed server... Help please!!

Kevin Cozens kcozens-qazKcTl6WRFWk0Htik3J/w at
Wed Dec 31 17:31:15 UTC 2003

At 12:23 AM 12/29/2003 -0500, Madison wrote:
>I have had a drive failure on a server and I can no longer mount the
>data partition on the hard drive (/dev/hda5 [ext3 under RH7.3]) because
>the replacement server (Fedora Core 1) claims that the drive's
>superblock is toast.

Sorry to hear about your hard drive and tape drive problems. Hopefully the 
recovery service will be able to help you. As was suggested earlier I was 
wondering if using one of the other superblocks would have helped you 
recover the files if the primary superblock was bad.

>   Now, before anyone rips me a new one, I -DO- have a tape drive but that,
>too, has rather depressingly failed. When I try to recover the files
>from the IDE Travan 8GB drive it successdully recovers about 50 files
>and then fails with this...

I don't have anything against using tape for backups but I do have 
something against tape drives. I have had four tape drives die on me. 
Actually, it was three drives. The fourth drive was made up of the two main 
pieces of two other identical drives that had previously failed in 
different ways. None of the drives had seen heavy usage. In fact, they had 
each been used for barely a dozen or so backups (IIRC).

This is why I am now looking at the use of DVDs for backup. I already have 
software that allows me to backup everything in my Windows side of the 
machine to DVD. It backed up a bit over 6G on to two DVDs and the bonus is 
that they are bootable so I can recover from bare metal directly from the 
DVDs. I'm hoping to eventually be able to do something similar under Linux.

One other difference between the use of tape and CD/DVD for backup is that 
the CD/DVD drives (AFAIK) are a lot cheaper to buy/replace should something 
happen to the drive. There is a place I know of which can repair the tape 
drives I have at a flat fee of $350 per drive. Only problem is, I don't 
have confidence that a repaired drive would last any longer then the new 
ones did.


Kevin.  (

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