[rescue] reading old unix disks from Linux

Clem cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Apr 26 12:24:51 CDT 2019

Simh and the like are your friends.    I would only use Linux, MacOS or any
other Unix to grab the entire disk image as a raw byte stream.    Then run an
emulated system such as a simh instance of the native machine that created it.
In the case of solaris you ran run Solaris x86 to mount the sparc images.
Similar AIX PS/2 (386) can read the 370 and romp based disk images.    HPUX
might be more difficult but you might ask the HP folks in the simh world -
they have a MPE running but I donbt know about the other OS.

Tru64 can be read on FreeAXP if you donbt gave access to real hw.  I will
say I have moved scsi disks between my FreeBSD/OpenBSD system and my Alpha

Sent from my PDP-7 Running UNIX V0 expect things to be almost but not quite.

> On Apr 26, 2019, at 9:11 AM, Doug McIntyre <merlyn at geeks.org> wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 05:46:57AM -0400, Andrew K. Bressen wrote:
>> I have old SCSI drives I'm trying to read, and I'm running into a number
>> of different issues I'd welcome feedback on.
>> I've got drives from PCs, Macs, Suns, and DEC machines, and I'm using a
>> 32 bit linux box (3.x kernel) to read them all. One thing I'm
>> wondering is if I'd have fewer problems booting off a FreeBSD or NetBSD
>> liveCD.
> Honestly, I'd try to get images of those drives read into some virtual
> format, and run emulators of each of the systems you are trying to
> read from. Even a PC version of Solaris would probably do much better
> reading a SPARC solaris disk than any other OS.
> UFS is not implemented the same. Disk partitioning never was the same.
> Sun did way different than DEC, which was different than AIX, which
> was different than HPUX, even if they all used UFS. None of them
> partitioned the basic disks the same.
>> In a few cases, I've mounted partitions and seen only a lost+found
>> directory that's empty. And dated sometime in the 1990s. But if I
>> run strings(1) on the dd files of the raw partitions, I see tons
>> of stuff there. So, am I seeing the remains of deleted files, or
>> is the UFS driver buggy or having a poor interaction with the kernel's
>> determination of partitions? Is there an undelete tool for antique UFS?
> I'd think that if you did get it to mount to a point where you could
> see /lost+found that you found a combination of the proper settings to
> really read the disk, and most likely the files were "erased", which just
> means that the directory node entry was removed, and the datablocks
> put in the available pool (just like any OS does), while leaving
> the contents of the file still in all its old disk blocks for you to read.
> BSD systems come with 'fsdb' to repair UFS file systems, but it requires
> a knowledge of the way UFS works, and lots of manual fiddling.
> I don't know of any general purpose undelete tools, although I'm sure
> people have proprietary inhouse solutions somewhere (ie. FBI/NSA/Ontrack)
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

More information about the rescue mailing list