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TechRepublic: When Linux panics: Managing an OS emergency

Apr 27, 2000, 23:53 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Wallen)

"Yes, even with a workhorse like Linux, a user can suffer from the ultimate misfortune of a system failure or file-system crash. When you're working in a Windows environment, there are various tools for recovery (such as defrag, scandisk, disk doctors, and recovery programs). What about Linux? What can a user do when a bad crash brings a system (and its user) to its knees? In this Daily Drill Down, I'll explain how you can create a boot floppy (post-install) and use fsck, and I'll list the files and directories that you should back up in case your Linux computer ever goes down (and you don't have access to a CD burner or a large tape drive that could back up your entire system)."

"During the install process, most distributions ask users if they want to create a boot floppy. I'll say this only once: It's critical that you create a boot floppy! Creating a boot floppy will save you hours of frustration and the pain of having to reinstall your OS. If you have opted to skip this step in the install, however, don't fret. You still can create a Linux boot floppy post-installation."

"fsck is a Linux utility that you can use to check and repair the ext2 file system. There are many situations that could force you to invoke fsck. Such problems include an unclean shutdown of the system (like a power failure) or a system crash."

"Not everyone has access to a tape drive, a CD burner, or a second hard drive and can back up an entire file system. In the event of a major crash (one that renders a system inoperable), the ability to reinstall the OS and plug in critical configuration files would be the next best thing."

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