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2006 - 2008 Notfall Rücksicherung mit Netware 4.11 - emergency restore for NW 4.11

This is for professional Experts only - so no German language, sorry. Sie müssen recht gute Englischkenntnisse haben, damit Sie hier weiter machen können.

If you run a Novell Netware 4.11 or 4.2 Server for several reasons, and it crashes or must be moved .....

because running and supported hardware is extreemely important.


We are running a single Compaq DL380 G1 Server with onboard Intel LAN chip and one RA 3200 Raid controller and one RA 4200 controller. It was updated and upgraded during the last 10 years step by step up to (NW 4.11) service pack 9 (SP9) and it did run and work fine for years.


Netware 4.11 is built 1996 and  the Compaq DL380 was born in 1999 to 2001. So dont expect any modern drivers on the Netware boot disk. However, we did copy the entire NW 4.11 setup CD onto our second Netware (Test-) Server, to install NW 4.11 from that server in about 15% of the time usually needed. The old Compaq CD drives are really slow.


Now (July 2008) it was time, to migrate the two RAID arrays to one array with 6 (72GB) drives.

How to save the old running configuration :

Netware is (and was) setup to boot from a standard primary bootable DOS partition. This DOS boot-partition we are saving completely with Ghost 5 or Ghost 7 from DOS with Netware 32 Bit Client to be stored as a compressed image onto a second (reserve and Test-) Netware sever, all running over good old SPX/IPX. Therefor we did create a bootable CD with many different versions of DOS and a select menu for 12 major LAN chips including DEC chips and intel chips and compaq TI chips. We will offer this CD as ISO download on request. With this CD we can boot any of our current PCs and backup all volumes (even large ones) as compressed Ghost images onto our Netware server.


The Netware "sys" volume is a little more difficult. There are Netware files and there is the NDS. Every Compaq Server has SCSI chips on board an at least one connector on the back.


You need a tapedrive of any kind, but trustfully working, with at least 2 gigaybyte capacity. I do use an old 15 Giga DLT drive. You need to connect this SCSI device to the server in "power off" !! mode, never !! in "power on" mode.


Booting the server you must see this tape device on your DOS like boot commandline screen after detecting the SCSI chip.

Invoking the Netware "save and store" (NLM) modules

So on your current running server, you need to load an ASPI driver, a TSA410 and a TSANDS module from your netware environment. NWPA mostly ist already loaded. You need NWTAPE and the SBACKUP module, all NW serever drivers or server NLMs.


Very important: at any time you may type "scan for new devices" and later "list devices" to see your tapdedrive. If you do not see your tapedrive, you need to fix this first !!!!. Don't waste too much time but collecting all modules and load them part by part. Don't mix 4.11 SP0 (install version ) or SP1 modules and SP9 modules.

Using sbackup for backup and restore is simple at all, however, you must be fully awake !!

Follow up here only if you have already checked to see your tape device. No listed tapedrive means no backup !!


Novell's sbackup is really simple to use. step down the menu to the very low line and the NDS as the source. You need to login into the current server with ".admin.xxxxyyyy" as an example !! (you need to use your NDS organisation name) and then your admin password. Now step up the menu to the 1. line and start the write-tape procedure. Up to here it is very simple and it is fast, the NDS database is small compared by the filesystem, following now.


If first tape session is written, go back to the very low menu line and now select netware filesystem as the next surce, but not all of the disc, select the "sys" volume only. Now go up again and select to add this as the next session behind !! the first session. Be extreemly careful, not to overwrite the first NDS part on tape, alread written to tape. You must deselect the overwrite marker !!!


All other data stored on the other volumes can be copied (saved) easier and faster to external NAS stations with huge capacities or local USB drives with 500 Giga or 1 Terabyte. The "sys" volume is the most important one, where the NDS cannot be copied as a user, even the admin. In case of an error or misunderstanding, you may repeat these steps many times to get familiar with this.

Setting up the "new" and emty RAID disk system including configuring the Compaq Server.

This was our biggest Compaq problem. The Compaq RAID Array Controller 4200 is different (means better with a new CPU chip) to all the others as RA 3200 and former ones. So the NW 4.11 boot CD does not detect the RAID drives connected to the 4200 any more.


And, we (at RDE) need to run 2 LAN cards for speedy installation. One to connect to our (DOS based) install sources using our DOS boot CD (logged in to our NW 4.11 test and experimental server) and the second LAN card to establish a "server to LAN connection" later on during installation. It will not work with one LAN connection only !!!!

Remember, the (means our) CD drive does no more read the Netware CDs (and we have more then 10 pcs) and !! the CD was performing really slow.


However, I had to exchange the Compaq 4200 against the older 3200 RAID controller and add the (extra) LAN card. I could not use the very well known DEC 21143-PD chip based one, but I hat to search and find a really old one with an older DEC 21140-AE chip. With this hardware configuration I could setup the "new" Netware Server within minutes. But to find this out, that has taken hours and one night. Now, on an older Compaq server, you must run Smartstart 5.5, otherwise, the added LAN card will not perform well and will fail later on.


Suprisingly the Compaq smartstart 5.5 was read really fastly and the setup of the unconfigured 360 Giga RAID took about 5 Minutes.


The installation of a 400 Megabyte DOS primary partion was easy, formatting really fast and restoring the Ghost "Drive C image" from the other Netware (test-) server took some lonely minutes too.

Preparing the new Netware installation to restore the old "sys" volume and the old NDS

Netware is a highly secure Server operating system. Therefore it is not so simple to steal data, having a simple tape like all versions of MS Windows. You must be anexpert ,knowing about the NDS and restoringthe NDS. And then you must own the passwords. No password means no acces to correctly stored data.


Because we store our 500 Gigabyte of data on USB or NAS drives, we dont have this problem. Huge organistions must take care, that these data are absolutely inaccessable for externals.

Booting the server with DOS, to install Netware 4.11

To run Ghost3 for backing up the DOS volume, we do use the DOS portions fromWIN98. We need to install HIMEM to keep the memory free andeverythingworks fine. To install Netware from a speedy server, we need to bootDOS 6.22 without the 32bit extender, otherwise Netware loader will fail. Any DOS will not accept another 32 bit extender. Now the LAN card driver must be selected carefully. Of we use the added DEC card, we loose 96 !!!! byte on memory and Netware will stop. ???? dont smile, has taken me a few hours.


So we do start our DOS Client session using the onboard Intel chip (all specs are available) and we login into the extra Netware test-server and swith to the install DIR and we start with "INSTALL".


The Install procedure must detect the Compaq RAID and the DEC based LAN card to work properly. Now you may install the minimum installation with IPX only, no extras, but add two lines to the autoecec.ncf:

load remote password
load rspx

to run the remote console shortly for the SP9 update. --

The install procedure must close without errors like a "very" standard installation. Rebooting the new server, it must come up without any confirmation on your keyboard. Goto the install manager as a remote, it is easier and install SP9.

Booting the NW 4.11 SP9 server, to load the tapedrivers again.

Your tapedrive (with your tape inside) is already connected to the server, but the drivers must be loaded again. Carefully load the basic SCSI drivers, better do it manually from the console, to watch the final installation.

in our server we need (mostly on the local DOS drive available)

load c:cpqscsi

load c:nwaspi

load c:tsa410

load c:tsands

load c:nwtape (should be on local DOS drive, in any case it is inside SP9)

list devices >>> notice: !! no tapedrive, no forthgoing !!

load sbackup

that should work, so your device list inside sbackup must show the tapedrive too.

Running sbackup to restore the tape onto the RAID

This is a new 4.11 server, so there are no log files from the old store sessions. Let sbackup read the sessions on my tape and as the first destination, select the NDS first. Now restore the NDS, should be the first sessionon tape.


However, there have been seen some errros during restore.


Then select (Netware) File System and repeat the restore job, but skip the first (NDS) session and continue with the second session on tape. "sbackup" is a little bit crowded, to skip to the next sessionon tape, you need to evaluate this for your language. But beleave me, it works.


Oh, sorry, may be, its was the wrong sequence, sbackup has no more rights, to write to the sys volume, the tape runs but does not transfer any file.

This way or the procedure was no good. The NDS is corrupted.

It did not work, to have the admin rights of any kind of NDS test enviroments. As I found out, it is much easier, to kill the old NDS and install a new one with the known tree and organisations from the old server. The servers name is not important, better leave it as "test", so when you reboot and the former servername appears, you know it was done well.

The second try did totally kill the NDS and I did try to repair teh NDS from server console. dsrepair says ok, but it wasnt ok. So I did restore the NDS portion from tape again. Some new errors occurd and the NDS was finally killed. May be, the nwtape.cdm didnt work and therefore the restore was terminated with plenty of errors.

Now I try dlttape.cdm from quantum, included inside SP9. No succes.


Because I use a German sbackup version, the options buffer and size were tried. However, during restore the NDS was killed and left corrupted. Restore of files did stop NW 4.11 server running, halting Netware ????


Something is wrong compared with the original server-version. Neither the NDS restore nor the file restore did work.


What a luck, there is an undocumented option within the install NLM, to erease a broken NDS without password: "load install -dsremove". Otherwise I would kill the server again, wasting a lot of hours. I did spend another 6 hours for that job here. Now I did sleep a while to dream and look and search for new ideas.

My Server is running well again, but is was a painful way.

So I start with a quick and dirty helpfile.

My way to restore my Netware 4.11 Server on a Compaq DL380 G1 hardware:

The restore procedure during the first try didnt work. The restored filesystem was incomplete and the NDS was killed. So I did try another restore after a cold boot of the server. The second restore procedure with nwtape module failed in that way, that the NDS now was totally corrupted and no more login was possible. I did stop the server and removed the 6 disks.


I did plug in my old four 36 Gig SCSI disks und did a reboot and did store the NDS and the "sys" filesystem (and this one only !!) again, using the already connected DLT tape drive, but on a new tape. I did use the Quantum "dlttape" driver instead of the generic "nwtape". No error occured !! during both store processes.


The experience says, you need to keep more than one error free NDS and "sys" volume backup tape with a "description of howto" !!!


Then I did plug in my six new 72 Giga SCSI drives with the corrupted NDS. The server did boot well and with the console keyboard I did kill the current NDS and did setup a brand new one. Then I did add the "rconsole" lines into autoexec.ncf, did reboot the server and did update to SP9 remotely. That did work well. Now I did load

load c:cpqscsi - load c:nwaspi - load c:tsa410 - load c:tsands

no matter if it was loaded before. Netware will not load modules twice. And now I did load the "dlttape" driver on this new server too and did restore the NDS with sbackup. The procedure was the same like before, but now without errors. May be, the DLTs are to fast for the software, the former errors did point to "underruns".

The final conclusion:

Running a 4.11 or 4.2 fileserver makes sense. Uptimes with 690 days and more are standard, never reached with windows of any kind, but Linux did. 1 Terabyte and more inside a RAID system is no problem.


If your hardware is younger than the 1996 Netware 4.11 version, keep an older RAID controller like a Compaq RA 3200 and an older supported PCI network card like one of the early DEC chip based cards. Keep old LAN and RAID drivers on diskette for faster setup. You need Netware 4.11 (no service pack) drivers.


Use professional server hardware for servers. Keep a tapedrive with 3 or more cartidges and store the NDS and the sys volume with sbackup. Check for errors during backup, check the logfile. If you use DLT drives, download the dlttape driver from


The option from sbackup did not help in any way. There are cheap Addison and Wesly Netware books on ebay in any language, we own the german ones. (very helpful).

You need help ? Use one of the forms here on the RDE pages.

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