Data Centers

Rescue recently deleted files on NetWare systems using Salvage

You don't have to reach for tape backups every time an important file is deleted on your NetWare network. Steven Pittsley's here with the Salvage story.


What utility should you turn to on your NetWare network when the CIO calls at 12:15 P.M. because he accidentally deleted his PowerPoint presentation for the 1:00 P.M. meeting? Salvage. No, I’m not kidding.

Salvage has advantages over tape
Despite the hype of tape backup systems and Storage Area Networks, file restoration from tape backup has limitations. For instance, files are only as recent as the last good backup, and restoration can be cumbersome if you are only restoring a file or two.

Salvage is efficient. Plus, it gives you the capability to restore the last saved version of a deleted file.

When a file is deleted, it is not immediately removed from the system. NetWare saves deleted files in their directory until they are purged or removed on a first-in, first-out basis once the volume runs out of space.

If a directory is deleted, all of the files are stored in the DELETED.SAV directory, located at the root of the Volume. Depending on the size of the directory, restoring an entire directory should probably be completed using the tape backup to ensure that all of the files are restored.

How do I do it?
The user who is salvaging a file must possess Read and File Scan rights to the file, as well as the Create right for the directory. The steps to salvage a file are as follows:
  1. Launch NetWare Administrator.
  2. Select the Volume that the file was stored in.
  3. Drill down through the directory structure until you have highlighted the directory that the file was stored in.
  4. Select Tools.
  5. Select Salvage.
  6. Click the List button to list all of the salvageable files from that directory.
  7. Highlight the file and click the Salvage button. The file should be restored to the directory and taken out of the Salvage window.

While not appropriate for all situations, Salvage is an excellent tool for quick and dirty file restoration. Files can be restored in a matter of minutes, and there are no backup tapes to load. Give Salvage a try the next time you have to restore an important file on your network. The results might surprise you.

Steve Pittsley is a Desktop Analyst for a Milwaukee, WI hospital. He has a loving wife, three wonderful children, and enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.

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