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Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 Installation Guide: Solaris Flash Archives (Creation and Installation)
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Document Information


1.  Solaris Flash (Overview)

2.  Solaris Flash (Planning)

3.  Creating Solaris Flash Archives (Tasks)

4.  Installing and Administering Solaris Flash Archives (Tasks)

5.  Creating and Using a Disaster Recovery Image

Recovery Image Procedures

Creating and Saving a FLAR Image

Recovering the System Image From a FLAR Image

Additional Resources

6.  Solaris Flash (Reference)



Recovery Image Procedures

The following procedures provide the simplest instructions for creating a Flash Archive image that can be loaded onto the target system in order to recover from a failed disk drive.

Creating and Saving a FLAR Image

Before You Begin

To perform these procedures, you need access to the following:

  1. Record the partition table of the disk drive that the image is for.

    This step assumes that the replacement disk drive will be the same size and partitioned identically to the original drive.

    Use one of the following two methods to obtain information about the partition table on the disk drive.

    • As superuser (root), use the format command to print the partition table for the drive that the FLAR image will be taken from.
      # format

      The format command provides the names of the partitions.

      1. Select the boot drive from the list.

        The first disk in the list is usually the boot drive.

      2. Use the partition sub-command to access the Partition Menu.
      3. Use the quit sub-command to exit from the Partition Menu.
      4. Use the quit sub-command to exit from the Format application.

        For further information, see the format(1M) man page.

    • As superuser (root), use the prtvtoc command to generate the partition information.
      # prtvtoc /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0

      The prtvtoc command provides the size of the partitions by the number of cylinders for each partition.

    Save the information to a safe location. You will use this information during the restoration of the system image during recovery.

  2. Ensure there is adequate space for the FLAR image where it will be created.

    The FLAR archive will require up to 15 GB of space without compression.

    # df -h /tmp

    Note - If you do not have sufficient space in /tmp, try a different filesystem, such as /export, instead. In which case, use the alternate filesystem, such as /export, instead of /tmp in the following steps.

  3. Shutdown and reboot the system into single-user mode.

    For instructions on shutting down a system, see How to Shut Down a Stand-Alone System in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.

  4. Create the FLAR archive.

    Execute the flarcreate command as shown in the following example.

    In this example, the FLAR image will be stored to a directory under /tmp named FLAR_recovery. The FLAR image will be named newsystem_recovery.flar.

    # mkdir /FLAR_recovery
    # flarcreate -n my_recovery_image -x /FLAR_recovery \

    In this example:

    • -n my_recovery_image implants a name into the FLAR image. The name should be something unique and meaningful to better identify it as the FLAR image for the system.

    • -x /FLAR_recovery causes the /FLAR_recovery directory and its contents to be excluded from the FLAR image, since it will not be needed in the recovery image.

      Note - By default, the flarcreate command ignores items that are located in “swap” partitions.

    • /FLAR_recovery/newsystem_recovery.flar is the path and filename of the FLAR image. The filename should be something unique and meaningful to better identify it as the FLAR image for the system.

  5. Save the FLAR image to a secure off-system location.

    The FLAR image must be saved to a local storage device that is not the boot device, or to a remote location across NFS. The storage device, or remote location, must be accessible to the system at recovery time.

    Copy the new FLAR to a safe location, as in this example.

    # cp /FLAR_recovery/newsystem_recovery.flar \

Recovering the System Image From a FLAR Image

The recovery process begins as a normal installation using whichever install method you choose. Instead of installing from the boot method, the installer is used to install from the FLAR image.

  1. Begin the boot process using one of the following options.
    • Use the initial boot media (installation CD/DVD).
    • Use the netinstall service.
      ok> boot net
  2. Supply the network, date and time, and password information for the system.
  3. When the Specify Media screen appears, select Network File System.
  4. In the Specify Network File System Path screen, provide the path to the off-system location of the FLAR image.

    For example, enter the following path.


    The Flash Archive Summary screen is displayed.

    • If the file information is correct, click Next.
    • If the file information is incorrect, click Deselect All Archives, and you will be able to repeat this step with the correct information.
  5. Specify the FLAR image location.

    From our example, the location would be the following.

  6. At the Disk Selection screen, select the disk where the FLAR image is to be installed.
  7. Choose not to preserve existing data.
  8. At the File System and Disk Layout screen, select Customize to edit the disk slices to input the values of the disk partition table from the original disk.

    The partition table corresponds to each slice on the disk. Partition 0 from the partition table maps to Slice 0 (s0) on the hard drive.

    • The slice sizes can be viewed in Cylinders to better match the output from the partition table. Select Cyl in the Partition form to view the form by cylinders.

    • Do not change the size of Slice 2. It must span the entire disk regardless of the space being allocated.

    • To get the Start and Size values for the Partition form, use the partition information that you recorded earlier when you ran the prtvtoc command. To get the value for Start in the Partition form, divide the First Sector value by the Sectors/Cylinder value , both found in the prtvtoc command output. The Size value in the Partition form is found by dividing the Sector Count by the Sectors/Cylinder value, information also provided by the prtvtoc command output.

    • If the replacement disk has more storage space than the original disk, then it can be partitioned to use the space available. However, at least as much space for each partition must be allocated as was allocated on the original disk.

    After the system reboots, the recovery is now complete.

  9. (Optional) Rebuilding the Device Trees

    The recovery instructions above assume that none of the hardware components have been added, removed or moved between the time that the recovery image was created and the time that a recovery is performed. If, however, a system has been recovered after hardware has been changed, then it is possible that the device trees (/dev and /devices) need to be updated. This update can be done using either a reconfiguration reboot of the system or by using the devfsadm command.

    To rebuild the device trees, as a root-level user, use the devfsadm command as follows.

    # devfsadm -C

Additional Resources