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RE: System crashed while using parted

From: Michael Wendell
Subject: RE: System crashed while using parted
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 09:26:49 -0400

        Upon more careful inspection of the machine this morning, it appears 
the /usr directory is completely empty, which just so happened to be the
directory on which /dev/hda5 was mounted (the partition that parted crashed
in mid-copy)  We did copy in the usual manner, although I am not positive
that parted works this way...the documentation stated:

cp copy_me_to_working_partition source_part# dest_part#

this was the approach stated in the readme file included with the package,
however when attempting this method, the command asked for the partition
numbers before the /dev/hda[WHATEVER]
And thus we modified our command in this fashion...so if for some reason
this command wrote over the /usr directory, this would in theory explain why
the system crashed.  Any thoughts? If so, do we have any bare-boned chance
of recovering any portion of this directory? It is extremely important, and
the engineer who worked so hard on this for almost a year (without an
external backup) informed us that his backup was in the /usr directory.
(how's that for irony?)
Any help would be GREATly appreciated.

Michael J. Wendell
Binghamton Simulator Company
151 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
607-722-6178 x369

-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden Behalf Of Andrew Clausen
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 8:52 PM
To: Michael Wendell
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: Re: System crashed while using parted

Michael Wendell wrote:
> Hello,
>     I was attempting to use parted version 1.4.13 to copy
> partitions on an existing hard disk to an additional
> attached hard disk.  However, I had a couple of other
> windows opened.  I had gnome running and was attempting to
> copy while running this as well as a few other
> applications.  I am assuming this was a poor way to go
> about things, since the machine locked up entirely and the
> only way I could clear out was by rebooting manually
> (resetting the machine).

I have also found problems with X and heavy IO.  I should upgrade
to a newer X, and see if it persists.  I suspect it's an X issue,

>  Now at every boot of Red Hat 7.0
> 2.2.16.ert, the machine locks up and fails its self test on
> /dev/hda7, which is a linux partition on the drive I was
> attempting to copy from.  This machine has vital
> information on it and I need to get this hard drive copied
> in its entirety in order to have a backup of this OS for a
> very crucial job here at work.

Ouch.  What do you mean, "fails it's self test"?
Can you run e2fsck on it?  Anyway, copying *from* a partition
in parted shouldn't do any damage...

Was the partition mounted?  Maybe there are cache issues...

>     On another note, what would be a best bet suggestion to
> accomplish this? Is parted the right program to be using?

I would use tar or some backup program.

> I
> am rather new to Linux and I have read pages upon pages of
> How-To's, but nothing seems to come closer than Parted.
> Will parted successfully copy the boot sector so I can use
> my copy to run a system standalone without the Mother hard
> disk?

Perhaps partimage.sourceforge.net is what you want...
I don't think it does partition tables / MBR though.
(you can do that with dd, though:
        # dd if=/dev/hda of=mbr.backup bs=512 count=1

If you want to backup "then entire disk", you can use dd
to copy.  Eg: if you have a spare hard disk:

        # dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb bs=4M

(bs=4M means "copy 4Mb at a time")

If you copy all the partitions on a disk to another disk
with Parted, it won't be bootable.  However, it is easy
to make it bootable, by booting off a floppy (say, the
parted boot floppy, or your distro install CD), and doing:

        # chroot /dev/hda[INSERT-ROOT-DEV-NUM] /sbin/lilo

Andrew Clausen

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