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Data recovery help

 
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Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Data recovery help

I was just assigned an issue within our company and I really don't know where to start. First, I know nothing about OpenVMS, and the system is running 7.2-1. I can login to the system with the administrator account and that's about it. Turns out the application crashed years ago and is not recoverable. System has a jukebox attached, and most data was converted to a new system. However, 30 platters from the jukebox were overlooked, and over 500,000 records are missing from the conversion that our auditors require that we recover--software vendor is defunct. I have no clue how to recover any data from these platters, how to get it off of the system, how to even find out if I can get to it. Any takers on getting me started?
21 REPLIES 21
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

i would suggest you look to get in some consultancy on this, a number of contributors on this forum offer these services.

could you post the output from 'show cpu/full' 'sh dev d/full' and 'show dev mk/full' this should give some of the guys here a start.

good luck

Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

Carlotta,

welcome to the OpenVMS ITRC forum, although I wish you had a less severe reason fro coming here.

Please first provide the type of jukebox drive you're using. Looking at the hardware drive, it should be possible to read some sticker or such with the type of device.

Use some kind of terminal emulator to login to your OpenVMS system and activate the session log file. Then issue commands like:

$ SHOW DEV D
$ ANAL/SYS
SDA> CLUE CONFIG
SDA> CLUE SCSI/SUMM
SDA> EXIT

And then provide the session log file text as a .TXT attachment to your next reply.

Volker.
Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Re: Data recovery help

There are no funds for consultancy at this point. And while I can run these commands and output them to files, I can't see all of the information on the screen and don't know how to get the files off of the server. Believe me when I said I know nothing about VMS. No one here does.
Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Re: Data recovery help

Ah, just figured out about the session logging.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

Hello and welcome to ITRC.

On no evidence, this is likely an rwz-series MO jukebox (eg: the rwz01 series, or analogous), and you will end up calling in formal help. MO drives were popular for a while, and then mostly disappeared. The CD and DVD formats won that round.

Do confirm the identity of the particular drive, of course, but that detail does not alter the reverse-engineering sequence.

Somebody will have to reverse-engineer the application data formats involved here, and no, there's no way to do that in a tiny little box here in ITRC and no, there's no automatic data definition used in OpenVMS. Each application tends to use its own formats and its own approach for how the structures within the records within the files are organization.

Then there's the whole issue of getting the raw data off the (I assume) MO platters. That data may or may not read back correctly.

Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

Carlotta,

can you login to your OpenVMS system using a TELNET client ? I assume you're logged in on the console terminal right now or on some other physically connected terminal.

Try $ UCX SHOW INT - you may be shown an IP address of that node.

Then try DOS> TELNET ip-adress from a PC connected to the same network. If you get a Username prompt, login. If you can do this, then you can also capture the output and post it here.

Volker.
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

which terminal emulator are you using or is this a vt terminal directly attached to the system ? if it's a term emulator just cut and paste them into a txt file on your pc. if you are on a vt do :-

$ ucx sh inter
$ ucx sh serv
$ ucx sh route

this should give you the ip address(es) on the system and which ip sewrvices are up currently
and where they route through. hopefully ftp is enabled and you can use that to lift the files
off the system , if telnet is enabled and you
have access to the network it is on i would suggest using a terminal emulator such as putty where you can scroll up the input/cut and paste out etc.

hope this helps

Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Re: Data recovery help

Wow, you guys are fast. Here is the session log from the requested commands. Looks like I may be in WAY over my head (as if I didn't already know that!)

Appreciate any additional assistance. I figured the records would be specific to the application, and there is still a conversion process, but I just have to physically get them off of the platters and the system to a PC to see if they can be converted at that point.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

Use of the PC is absolutely and completely the wrong approach.

If you follow that approach, not only will you be fighting with the application data formats, but you'll also be fighting with file-format differences, and potentially also with floating-point or platform-specific data formats. This is an OpenVMS project, if you're on a budget.

If you stay on OpenVMS, you'll (only) be fighting with the data formats and the application; with reverse engineering with the existing tools and applications. Staying native is infinitely easier.
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

by jukebox you meant a disk array yes. can you do a 'dir sys$system:hsz*.exe'

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

There's no Jukebox listed in that log file.

That looks like a fairly normal AlphaServer DS20e box, with storage on an HSZ80 series controller, a CD, and a DLT tape drive. There are a few other widgets there.

I see a bunch of SCSI buses, which implies the jukebox widget might be a SCSI widget, and might not be powered up, might be disconnected, or might have otherwise failed.

What's the name, part number and/or model number of the jukebox?
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

At some point you will need to bring in outside help so do start arguing for the money now. Either your management convince the auditors that they don't need to recover those records or they find the money.

The results of
$ PRODUCT SHOW HISTORY
would be interesting
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

do :-

$ sh dev g

would be the controller for some of the smaller
tz type libraries.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Data recovery help

Carlotta,

I will agree with Hoff, staying native on OpenVMS is the only way to proceed. Switching to a *IX or Windows platform will only increase the complexity of the task, in myriad ways.

Without examining the files in detail, it is a VERY STRONG presumption that the records are merely there for the taking. I have seen many applications where the "records" are segmented into several related files (serving purposes similar to tables in a RDBMS). Putting things back together will require a bit more work.

I agree with those who suggest "retain expertise". There are a multitude of ways to get into very deep water. If the firm truly needs to retain these records, then expertise is highly recommended. It will be far difficult, neigh impossible to recover the information without a knowledge of OpenVMS and how the information could reasonably be stored. Having resurrected and reverse engineered extinct systems, even with that knowledge, it can be a challenge.

Of course, the obligatory disclosure that we provide services in this area, as does Hoff and others.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

it's not just the software, all your disks show 300 errors - possibly disk controller related. so your hardware may need some tlc too !

Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Re: Data recovery help

Ok, you've convinced me that this is going to require help. I'm going to stop here, and go beg my management for money to get this done right if they need those records. I do thank you for all of your input, but I'm way over my head with this one!
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

carlotta,

good luck, it's the sensible thing to do.

EdgarZamora
Trusted Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

Hello Carlotta. I've worked with jukeboxes on OpenVMS fairly recently. If they're the standard HP-branded jukeboxes, and if they are powered up and connected to the system you will see them when you do a SHOW DEVICE OD after you login. Can you attach that listing?

If they are there and they are mounted, they will most likely be on a normal OpenVMS filesystem format and would be accessible easily.
Edwin Gersbach_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

While the 'virtual' devices show up as OD... the actual drives show up as OM...

Edwin
EdgarZamora
Trusted Contributor

Re: Data recovery help

You are correct Edwin. The user is very new to OpenVMS. She will be using the OD devices to "access" the platters she needs, not the OM devices.
Carlotta McCormick
Occasional Advisor

Re: Data recovery help

Management has agreed to procure outside sources to assist in this data recovery effort. Thank you for all of your time and expertise!