Cloning Novell partitions

November 19, 2008 at 11:38:21
Specs: Novell 5.1, AMD-32
Hi guys

I am looking for some idea/software to help
me ghost/clone my Novell 5 server.

I have a HD that is dying and I don't have
the original licenses on floppy, however
they have been installed on the server, can
they be backed up and reloaded should I need
to reload the OS?


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November 19, 2008 at 14:56:17
If you plan to make a one by one copy of that drive, you can use Norton Ghost and make an Image disk to disk.
Or you can use a Linux Live CD and use the dd command to create a one by one copy of the whole harddrive.

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November 20, 2008 at 05:19:49
Thanks for the reply.

I looked into the linux idea and it makes
sense, however can you please give me an idea
of what I am in for when the Linux live boots
from cd?

Will I be able to see the 2 HD's like ghost
shows? or do the HD's have to be mounted?

I haven't touche Linux in app. 6 years so my
memory is cloudy.

Thanks for you help

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November 20, 2008 at 10:11:27
First of all, make sure, that your target disk has no partition on it.
That's because it's easier to find out the Device File Name later on.

This description is based on OpenSuSE 10.3 Live CD.

When booting from Linux Live CD, choose language (F2) and screen resulution (Text based).
In the boot parameter line, type in "init 3" without quotes.
Then press enter to boot the system.
When boot process has finished, you will get a prompt "Linux login".
Enter root and press enter.
Now you will get a command line prompt like this "linux:~ #", which means you're loged in as root.
Linux uses devices like harddisks just like a file. So there is a file like "/dev/hda" or something like that, we have to figure out.
This can be done by typing in the following at the command prompt:
hwinfo --ide | less

This shows a scrollable list of the IDE harddisks found by linux.
If you have SCSI harddisks, use --scsi instead of --ide.
Find the entry "Device File: /dev/xxx", where xxx is the name of the device under linux, we need to use fdisk, to figure out, which drive is full and which is empty (for target).

So for this example we assume, we have IDE drives and found the line "Device File: /dev/hda" and "Device File: /dev/hdb".
But which is our source and which the targed drive?
Ok, press q to quite the scrollable list.

Now type
fdisk -l /dev/hda

Info: -l is L in lower case for list partitions.

Ok, now you get a table printed at the screen like this:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 624 214464+ e

/dev/hda1 means, this is the primary partition on harddisk /dev/hda

What we see is, this harddisk has a used partition on it.

Now use fdisk again but at this time use hdb instead of hda, to verify, whether we use the right disk as target later on.
Type in:
fdisk -l /dev/hdb

Ok, now you get a table printed at the screen like this:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

As we can see, this harddisk is empty. No partition on it.
So we know, /dev/hdb is our target disk and /dev/hda is our source disk.
(Better you write this down for later use)

Now it's time starting to clone the drive.

Use the following command:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb bs=128

if=/dev/hda means infile (as I stated before, linux handles devices as a file)
of=/dev/hdb means outfile
bs=128 this is the block size. Depending on the block size, it may be faster or slower to clone the disk, but 128 is a good value.

After a while, you'll get some output to the screen.
Something like this:
2516580+0 records in
2516580+0 records out
322122240 bytes (322 MB) copied, 277.182 s, 1.2 MB/s

Ok, now it's done.
You can check, whether it's really done, by using:
fdisk -l /dev/hdb (the target disk)

and you'll see, it's done !!!

You can now reboot the machine or shut it down.
For reboot type in:

For shutdown type in:

I hope this will help.

On further more questions, post back.

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Related Solutions

December 15, 2008 at 16:47:30
Would alway be nice to get a reply on whether you get solved your problem, so that I can delete the message from my list.


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December 17, 2008 at 12:30:33
Yes the above post worked fine, again your reply was fast worked great.

Two thumbs way up!!!!

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December 22, 2008 at 05:55:39
That is great.By the way, is there a way to write a script to run it instead of live cd?

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December 22, 2008 at 06:05:18

Sure, you simply can create a bash script with all the parts of the commands, described above, to manage your "backups".
This can be scheduled in the crontab, if needed, a.s.o.

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January 16, 2009 at 19:49:42
I think this must be the most common Netware related issue.

Most Netware servers you see nowadays in small to medium business are used by customers who want nothing changed.

It works and they just want to keep it working, even if it's Netware 3.12.

I'm interested Paul: do you think Norton Ghost is the best software for cloning Netware partitions? What other options have you tried?

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid" - Soren Kierkegaard.

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February 24, 2012 at 03:59:12

I would like to present my highly appreciation for the best solution to clone Novell 5 Server. For which I had googled so many times and I almost give up due unable to find the best solution with the expert. For the begining I am intend to find the software tool of Ghost which version is the right one for Novell Server cloning. Even I had Ghost for Netware 2.0.7 while I am not sure if it is the right one for Novell 5 Server. I think that I should use the OpenSuSE 10.3 Live CD for cloning.
B. Rgds., Robert Chen

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