SITREP: In my previous report, I had caused a meltdown of my major client's file server "Old Blue" in the process of adding a second SCSI hard drive to it. Now it was time to repair the damage I had wrought. Lucky for me I had current tape backups to the data I had destroyed. Once again I'll repeat here that LAROKE's One Cardinal Rule: MAKE BACKUPS A RELIGION. If I had not been prepared in this manner, I would have been In deep trouble. The only way out of that situation that I can currently think of would be early retirement, under an assumed alias, to a refrigerator crate in a convenience store parking lot in the Florida Keys to live out the remainder of my miserable days.
MISREP: The current situation might even be benefitial. Old Blue had been set up with an MS-DOS operating system. Old Blue was scheduled to eventally upgraded to a Windows 95 operating system so that it could be configured as a intranet web server, as well as take advantage of newer tape backup software that is compatible with the Windows 95 32-bit operating system. I was looking forward to this upgrade with trepidation due to all the existing data and programs installed on Old Blue. Due to the "mindwipe" I had caused Old Blue, I now had a clean slate to work with, a much more benign environment in which to install Windows 95. My gut feeling was that this was the best time for the Windows 95 installation in addition to some much needed housecleaning (some obselete programs and data would not be restored).
TACAMO: Armed with the required software, tools, and backup tapes, I got started.
- Since the Stacker Manual recommends that Stacker be installed prior to installing Windows 95, and Upper memory had to be configured to accomodate the Stacker software, installing
MS-DOS was the first step.
- After installing
MS-DOS, which went without a hitch, "
MEMMAKER", the DOS memory configuration utility was run to gain as much conventional memory as possible for the Stacker soffware configuration.
- Install Stacker v4.2 and setup 5 volumes (drives C thru G) on Old Blue). This consisted of three Stacker compressed volumes of approximately 2 gigabytes each with the remaining space left alloted to the two physical drives (approximately 200 MB and 350 MB) The uncompressed space was retained for software that doesn't work well with disk compression.
- Installed Windows 95 from diskettes (this was a new installation, not an upgrade, and Old Blue does not have a CD-ROM drive). Since this was a clean installation without any existing software on Old Blue except for
MS-DOS and Stacker v4.2, there was a good chance the installation would go smoothly the first time, and it did.
- Windows 95 Plug-and-Play technology is a mixed blessing, especially if you have a mix of non-pnp devices and a non-pnp motherboard. I crossed my fingers for this was my situation and in the pre-meltdown
MS-DOS configuration I had been experiencing conflicts between the AdvanSCSI adapter and the Colorado Memory Systems Datastor Tape Drive proprietary SCSI adapter. I had applied a kludge solution that used separate
AUTOEXEC.BAT files and a reboot when I needed to use the tape drive. I did not even install the
MS-DOS drivers for the tape drive adapter when I set up
MS-DOS in Step 1 above. The electron gods were on my side this time - Windows 95 setup found both adapters and installed non-conflicting drivers for them, even though they were not plug-and-play devices!!
- I next downloaded the Windows 95 compatible backup software from the Colorado Memory Systems area of the Hewett Packard Web Site since the drive had originally been supplied with
MS-DOS backup software only that could not handle the Windows 95 file system and long filenames. The downloaded backup software installed without complications.
- Installed Invisible LAN Windows 95 "Beta" Network Operating System (NOS). This software was not ready for prime time, but in "plain vanilla" configuration (i.e. standard setup) it was stable enough, and the backup software would not work otherwise.
- I was now ready to restore the lost files from the backup tapes. The plan was to selectively restore data directories from the tapes to the server. With crossed fingers I restored (and compared) the most important data directories, first from the last full backup tape, and from the most recent differential backup tapes. I accessed the restored files at random from different workstations on the network until I was convinced I had a successful restoration. Time for a BEER! (too bad I gave up drinking).
- I continued to restore the remaining directories and files. It all went without a hitch, and I went home happy. The next installment is about "Fun with Fonts".