Replacing the hard drive in a server
To establish a standard method for upgrading the disk in a NetWare NDS file
server. This is not a disaster recovery procedure but a way of performing a
controlled hardware upgrade. These instructions assume the use of SCSI drives,
but are equally applicable to EIDE drives. They also assume that the server
contains volumes SYS and VOL1. Adjust accordingly for your environment. Note
that this procedure was originally written for NetWare 4.x. If you are running
it on a NetWare 5.x or 6.x server, where the procedure refers to INSTALL.NLM or
DSMAINT.NLM, you use NWCONFIG.NLM instead.
- A new hard drive which has been prepared ahead of time with a DOS
partition (use Novell's suggested size for the DOS partition). If you want to
be able to take a server dump, the DOS partition needs at least as much free
space as the amount of memory on the server. It is easiest to prepare the disk
ahead of time in another machine, as the DOS partition can then be marked as
active. If it is prepared as the secondary disk when it is the server with the
existing primary disk, the DOS partition cannot be marked as active until the
existing primary disk has been removed.
- A SCSI ribbon cable with sufficient connectors for the new hard drive and
the existing SCSI devices in the server. The existing cable in the server may
already have sufficient connectors. If the drive has a different width
connector (eg you are replacing a narrow drive with a wide drive) you will
also need a narrow-to-wide SCSI converter.
- A bootable DOS floppy disk containing the FDISK, FORMAT, XCOPY, and EDIT
- A NetWare license disk to reinstall the server license.
You will need a 32-bit Windows workstation with the Novell client and with
the TRUSTNDS and NWCOPY utilities
- Take a full backup of the server.
- At the workstation, map a drive to the server, make that the current
drive, and run TRUSTNDS /R /A. This will create the file TRUSTEES.BAT in the
root of SYS containing all the trustee assignments and IRMs for all volumes.
This step is not strictly necessary, as NWCopy can copy the trustee rights for
you. I use this just to audit the existing trustee rights.
- Edit AUTOEXEC.NCF and comment out all non-essential software (eg.
Arcserve, Inoculan, Managewise, etc).
- Down and power off the server. Add the new disk to the SCSI chain,
jumpered to an appropriate id which does not conflict with any of the existing
- Boot the server to DOS only (with DOS 6.22 or Novell DOS 7, you can do
this by booting off the hard disk and holding down the shift key when the
"starting DOS" message appears), and use XCOPY /S to copy the NWSERVER
directory from the existing disk's DOS partition to the new disk’s DOS
- Load NetWare by running SERVER.EXE from the NWSERVER directory on the new
DOS partition (make sure you use the NWSERVER directory from the new disk and
not the old disk, in order to verify that you can load NetWare from the new
DOS partition). Once you have logged your workstation in, disable login and
use Monitor to remove any other licensed connections to the server (including
- LOAD INSTALL and select "Disk options" and "Modify disk partitions and Hot
Fix" to create a NetWare partition on the new disk, allocating all the free
- Exit to the main INSTALL menu, and select "Volume options". Press Insert,
and create a volume called NEWSYS on the new disk at the size that you want.
Create another volume called NEWVOL1 in the remaining free space. ESC to save
your changes and mount all volumes. If either of the existing volumes on the
server (SYS or VOL1) have long name space support loaded, then add the same
name space support to the corresponding new volume with the console command:
ADD NAME SPACE LONG TO VOLUME <volname>
- At the workstation, use NWCopy to copy all directories except DELETED.SAV
and CDROM$$.ROM from SYS to NEWSYS and from VOL1 to NEWVOL1. Make sure that
under the Attributes tab in the NWCopy options, you check all options. Also
copy TRUSTEES.BAT from the root of SYS to NEWSYS.
- At the console, LOAD DSMAINT and select the option "Prepare NDS for
hardware upgrade". Once this has completed, go to the workstation and copy the
BACKUP.DS (BACKUP.NDS for NetWare 5.x/6.x) file from SYS:SYSTEM to
- At the console, make sure that INSTALL is still loaded, and then dismount
all volumes. Use the Volume options in INSTALL to rename:
NEWSYS to SYS
VOL1 to OLDVOL1
NEWVOL1 to VOL1
- Selectively mount the SYS and VOL1 which are on the new disk. Do not mount
OLDSYS or OLDVOL1.
- LOAD DSMAINT and select the option "Restore NDS following hardware
upgrade". When this has completed, check the system console to ensure that the
NDS database has opened.
- Use the "License options" menu in INSTALL to install the server license.
When you copy SYS to NEWSYS, the server license does not get copied and needs
to be re-installed.
- Edit AUTOEXEC.NCF and uncomment the software you commented out in step 3.
At this stage, you can either reboot the server to activate the software or
load it manually at the server console.
- Down and power off the server. Remove the old disk, and jumper the new
disk to the same SCSI id (normally id 0).
- Reboot the server.
- Login and use NWAdmin to remove the NEWSYS and NEWVOL1 objects from NDS.
- Once you have verified correct operation of the new disk, you should
delete and purge the BACKUP.DS file from SYS:SYSTEM. This is because it
contains a complete copy of NDS on that server, including the hashed user
passwords, and an attacker who managed to get hold of a copy of this file
could use it to launch a password attack.
- For a similar reason, once you are satisfied that all files were
transferred to the new server, that it is running properly, and that you have
a backup of it, you should erase the old disk to remove all data from it.
Copyright © Nick Payne 1999