Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Network Rescue

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Read an interesting post on Slashdot today…

There was an entry about a “Software Survival Kit” on Slashdot that got me thinking. What should go into that kind of thing? Some of the more useful suggestions I saw, and thought of myself, were: a DOS boot disk with CD-ROM support, hard drive repair utilities, a CD-ROM of documentation, and a CD-ROM of drivers. But, of course, a lot of that is subjective and depends on what OS might be encountered. For Windows systems, not only would I have a boot disk, but I’d suggest having a copy of the OS CD-ROM and the latest patches on a second CD-ROM.
For networks, though, it gets a little more complicated. Since I’m a CNE, I’ll use Novell as an example. The latest patches, uncompressed, take up most of a CD-ROM, but are worth having. Also, making a copy of the install and documentation CDs is a good idea, too. (I remember lugging all 50+ floppies to remote sites before it was all on a CD! Yikes!) I also recommend Server Magic for Netware. Also, I recommend the Netware Server Tools, which is free and downloadable from Novell’s website. This one NLM (Netware Loadable Module) gives a server admin all the most necessary command-line tools to work with a Netware server. And, it makes your server feel almost like a UNIX server. Very, very cool. I can’t vouch for how well it works on Netware 6, but it’s great on everything else.

One of the more interesting suggestions was to use F.I.R.E. (Forensic and Incident Response Environment), which, I have to admit, is a new utility for me. The website describes it as a bootable and free recovery and investigation tool. Sounds interesting, so I’ll have to check it out.

The important thing, I think, is to figure this all out long before the recovery toolbox is needed. By the time there’s an emergency, it’s too late. Of course, I’ve been saying for a long time that no one in IT plans well enough. But, what do I know? I’m just a tech.

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