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5. First Stage Restore

5.1. Booting tomsrtbt

The first thing to do before starting the restoration process is to verify that the hardware time is set correctly. Use the BIOS setup for this. How close to exact you have to set the time depends on your applications. For restoration, within a few minutes of exact time should be accurate enough. This will allow time-critical events to pick up where they left off when you finally launch the restored system.

Before booting tomsrtbt, make sure your ZIP drive is placed on a parallel port, either /dev/lp0 or /dev/lp1. The start-up software will load the parallel port ZIP drive driver for you.

The next step is to set the video mode. I usually like to see as much on the screen as I can. When the option to select a video mode comes, I use mode 6, 80 columns by 60 lines. Your hardware may or may not be able to handle high resolutions like that, so experiment with it.

5.2. Restoration

Once tomsrtbt has booted and you have a console, mount the ZIP drive. It is probably a good idea to mount it read only:

# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt -o ro

Check to be sure it is there:

# ls -l /mnt

At this point, you can run the restoration automatically or manually. Use the automated restore if you don't need to make any changes as you go along.

One consideration here is whether you have multiple hard drives. If your Linux installation mounts partitions on multiple hard drives, you must mount the root partition first. This is to ensure that mount point directories are created on the partition where they belong. The script first.stage will run the scripts to mount the drives in the order in which they are created. If you have created them (in the script save.metadata) in the order in which they cascade from root, the mounting process should work just fine.

If you have multiple hard drives, and they cross-mount, you are on your own. Either combine and edit the scripts to mount them in the correct order, or do it manually.

5.2.1. Automated

To run the first stage restore completely automated, enter the command:

# /mnt/root.bin/first.stage

If you want to check for back blocks, add the -c option.

5.2.2. Manually

To run the process manually, change to the directory where the scripts are on the ZIP drive.

# cd /mnt/root.bin

Now run the script(s) that will restore the partition information and create file systems. You may run them in any order. e.g.:

# ./

If you want to check for back blocks, add the -c option.

This script will:

  • Clean out the first 1024 bytes of the hard drive, killing off any existing partition table and master boot record (MBR).

  • Recreate the partitions from the information gathered when you ran make.fdisk.

  • Make ext2 and ext3 file system partitions and Linux swap partitions as appropriate. If you provide the -c option to the script, it will also check for bad blocks.

  • Make some types of FAT partitions.


If you have other operating systems to restore, now is a good time to do so. When you've done that, reboot to tomsrtbt and continue restoring Linux.

Now run the script(s) that create mount points and mount the partitions to them.

# ./

Once you have created all your directories and mounted partitions to them, you can run the script restore.metadata. This will restore the contents of the ZIP drive to the hard drive.

You should see a directory of the ZIP disk's root directory, then a list of the archive files as they are restored. Tar on tomsrtbt will tell you that tar's block size is 20, and that's fine. You can ignore it. Be sure that lilo prints out its results:

Added linux *

That will be followed by the output from a "df -m" command.

5.2.3. Finishing Touches

If you normally boot directly to X, you could have some problems. To be safe, change your boot run level temporarily. In /target/etc/inittab, find the line that looks like this:


and change it to this:


Now, you can gracefully reboot. Remove the tomsrtbt floppy from your floppy drive if you haven't already done so, and give the computer the three fingered salute, or its equivalent:


The computer will shut down and reboot.

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