[CentOS] [Slightly OT] Data Preservation - More

Robert Heller heller at deepsoft.com
Sat Oct 3 16:40:04 UTC 2009

At Sat, 3 Oct 2009 08:19:48 -0700 CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org> wrote:

> Hi Robert,
> >> I should just be able to insert the live cd and do a cp -r on / to  
> >> the
> >> destination USB drive, correct?
> >
> > You don't even need the live cd.  Just boot up single user, plug in  
> > the
> > USB drive, format it with ext2 or ext3 to match the box and do your cp
> > -r, although there are probably better options (eg dump/restore, tar,
> > etc.) that might do a better job. Warning: there might be more than  
> > one
> > partition (eg /boot and/or /home might be a separate partition, esp.  
> > if
> > the machines are using LVM).  You might need to cp each partition/file
> > system separately.
> I booted to a the CentOS 5.23 LiveCD.
> Yes, it looks like LVM is running because I do have VolGroup00- 
> LogVol00 in Local Logical Volumes on the desktop.
> Can I get the whole VolGroup00 at once, I see an entry in /etc/fstab  
> for /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00?

You can't just 'cp' the VolGroup00 itself, since it is not a mountable
file system.

> If not, how do I know what the partitions are that I need to go after  
> on this old drive after being booted to a LiveCD. I chose a LiveCD  
> because without it the machine takes an hour to boot die to DNS issues  
> and time-outs since moving it to my location (and the original  
> location does not exist either)

There are *probably* two file systems: /boot on a regular partition
(probably the first partition on the hard drive) and / on
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00.  You'll have to look at /etc/fstab closely. 
There might be more than two file systems -- eg /home, etc. on its own
file system.

It should be possible to boot into single user mode.  In single user
mode it won't even try to bring up the network and won't have DNS
issues.  When grub starts, hit the 'Any Key' and then edit (e) the boot
command and add 'single' to the end of the kernel line and boot that.
The advantage of booting the native O/S (in single user mode) is that
you will see exactly what the file system layout is, instead of having
to poke around and possibly miss something important.

> Best,
> -ML
> -Jason
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Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933
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