A peek into NetWare's file system structure and some useful tips.

Well, today I "received" another dead NetWare server (again).
As usual, from the mirror pair, one of the harddisk was broken, and the partition on the second one (as it turned out later) was in "syncing" state.
In practice, this means, that when you try to mount the volumes, you receive a "There are no accessible drives with NetWare partitions".
Meanwhile you have on "official" way to recover such volume (or at least from a partition which is in "Out-Of-Sync" state), after reading Novell's TID describing this procedure, you will realize why I rather like to edit the disk directly.

On this colorful table, you will find a lot of information, for example on the MIRROR table too. (The table also available as an excel file with working functions.)
The mirror statuses - highlighted with yellow - can have the following values:
  00 - In sync
  01 - Out of sync
  02 - Syncing

You simply have to change the "bad" values (01 or 02) to 00 - on all the four copies of the mirror table - and there you go.
You should only do this when you have only one mirror pair running of the mirrored pairs and be careful, not to change anything else, but do the changes on all the four partition entries. If you have more than one partition on one disk (allowed from NetWare version 5 I guess), and your volume is spanning through on these partitions [not a good idea], you have to change all of the partition's mirror tables to reflect a "good" mirror status.

The table can help you to change the volume name with a disk editor too.
You can edit the volume table entries, and change the volume names according to your wish.
In some of the NetWare's you can't change the volume name with install, so this can be a solution. Of course this won't change anything in the NDS, that would be an other task for you to accomplish.
I usually name "secondary" SYS volume to SY2 or something, therefore I don't have to bother changing the length field, eg.:
[03]SY2 --> [03]SYS instead of
[06]NEWSYS --> [03]SYS

The above information is mostly for information only and purely unofficial. If you don't know what diskeditor or hex numbers or partitions are, don't know how to MAKE A FULL DISK COPY BEFORE YOU TOUCH THE DISK, or just generally find the above information more exciting than helpful, or you in a hurry, or it's just full moon, you might easily damage your remaining data by doing something bad to it.
So kids, don't try this at home - or make a backup, before you do so.

Comments, suggestion, flame, praise to: maques AT huweb DOT hu

v1.00 - 2003.12.15 First version
v1.01 - 2010.10.27 Fixed Novell broken [moved] link