Data Centers

Resizing NetWare partitions using ServerMagic

After you?ve created partitions, it?s a pain to resize them or move them around. Fortunately, you can use ServerMagic 4.0 for NetWare to help you ease the pain on your NetWare servers. Ron Nutter explains in this Daily Drill Down.

How often have you realized that you needed to make the DOS partition in your NetWare server larger? Have you ever needed to make one volume larger using space from another volume that can be made smaller? Depending on how long you have been working with NetWare, you have probably run into one or both of these situations. You know the routine: Reformat the hard drive, re-create the drives the way you need them, restore from tape, and pray that everything works. At least that was the only option until ServerMagic appeared.

ServerMagic from PowerQuest can help you keep from getting into problems like these. In this Daily Drill Down, I will take you through using ServerMagic on a Netware 5.1 server with Service Pack 2A installed.

Author’s note
For the purposes of this Daily Drill Down, we’re going to start with a few assumptions. The DOS partition is the 75-MB default installed by Compaq’s SmartStart-assisted install process. Additionally, we’ll assume a SYS volume size of 6 GB. We’ll walk through the steps of increasing the 75-MB DOS partition to a 600-MB partition.

What is ServerMagic?
If you are familiar with PartitionMagic from PowerQuest, this is the comparable product for NetWare servers. It allows you to resize and move partitions, including NetWare partitions, on your server without having to worry about losing data or reformatting your entire server and installing everything from scratch.

It also provides an excellent disaster recovery tool to allow you to get a server back up and running after a potentially disastrous situation. If you’ve worked with NetWare on a regular basis, you will be very comfortable with the C-worthy style interface that ServerMagic uses. It follows NetWare’s traditional look and feel. There will only be minimal time required to train staff in its use.

You can purchase ServerMagic 4.0 for NetWare at PowerQuest’s Web site. PowerQuest licenses ServerMagic on a single server basis for $495.

Getting ready for installation of ServerMagic
Before dropping in the ServerMagic CD, there are a few housekeeping details you need to go through:
  • Make sure your server has the latest patches installed.
  • Run the Config.nlm to get a snapshot of what is currently loaded on the server, version information, etc.
  • Run Vrepair against all the volumes on the server to make sure that you don’t have any volume-related issues.
  • Make sure you have at least one good backup of the server (preferably two backups) before doing anything that will modify the server, just in case there is a problem.
  • If you don’t already have the server on a UPS, take a few minutes to get it on one now.
  • Make sure that all users are logged off.
  • Depending on what other NLMs you have running on the server, you may need to consider restarting the server with a -na option so that NLMs that are working with files such as a database NLM or a service like BorderManager aren’t trying to work with files while you are resizing the drives on the server.
  • The installation for ServerMagic prefers to use a drive letter to get to the CD-ROM instead of a volume name. Check the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files on the server to make sure that the CD-ROM support is enabled in DOS. This way, you will be able to reference the CD-ROM drive by letter instead of a volume name.

Installing ServerMagic
After you have gone through the preparation steps outlined above, you will be ready to start installing ServerMagic. Down the server and run Server.exe with the -na option so that it doesn’t try to execute the Autoexec.ncf file. Once the server has been restarted, load Nwconfig.nlm.

Highlight the Product Options menu choice and press [Enter]. When the next screen appears, highlight Install A Product Not Listed and press [Enter]. Press [Esc] if the Previously Installed Paths screen appears. Press [F3], type F:\SMAGIC (change F to the drive letter displayed on screen when MSCDEX.EXE loads in autoexec.bat), and press [Enter] to continue.

A warning screen will advise you that you are trying to access a CD-ROM via DOS and that there may be a driver conflict. Highlight the Continue And Access option and press [Enter] to continue.

When the ServerMagic license screen appears, review the license information and press the [Esc] key to continue. When the Available Options screen appears, highlight the Accept License Agreement option and press [Enter]. Once ServerMagic has been installed, you will see a message to that effect at the bottom of the Install Progress screen. Press [Esc] to continue. You will be returned to the server console screen.

Using ServerMagic
At the server console, type SMAGIC and press [Enter]. When the Welcome screen appears, you will be advised that all volumes will need to be dismounted before proceeding. Highlight Yes and press [Enter]. Once all the volumes have been dismounted, you will be at the main menu screen. For the purposes of this Daily Drill Down, we need to increase the size of the DOS partition on the server from its default size of 75 MB to 600 MB. Highlight Select A Drive and press [Enter].

When the Select A Drive screen appears, you should see all the volumes that have been dismounted. Highlight the drive that you want to work with and press [Enter]. In our case, since we want to modify the DOS partition that resides on the drive where SYS is located, we will work with the drive named SYS(0) in the list of available drives. When the next screen appears, you will see a list of partitions on the drive that was selected.

First, let’s move the NetWare partition on the drive to open up space so that we can increase the DOS partition size. From the list of partitions now on the screen, highlight NetWare and press [Enter] to continue.

When the screen refreshes to show Current Selection with NetWare showing as the partition type, highlight Partitions in the main menu screen and press [Enter]. On the Partition Options screen, highlight Resize and press [Enter]. A Resize Partitions Options window will appear. You will have two options on how to resize the NetWare partition: resize starting from the left boundary (or start) of the file or start with the right boundary (or end) of the file.

Since we need to open up more room for the DOS partition, we will go with the option that involves the left boundary or start of the file; highlight that option and press [Enter]. The current size of our NetWare partition is 6 GB. At the top of the Current Selection screen, you will see how much space is currently available on the partition. In our case, we have almost 3 GB of free space, so we have plenty of room so that the DOS partition can be larger.

The screen on the lower portion of your monitor will now ask for the new partition size. Just above that input box will be the valid sizes you can enter, from smallest to largest. Since we want to add 525 MB to the current partition size for DOS, that number will be subtracted from the Current Partition value shown on the screen.

Enter the appropriate value in the New Partition Size screen and press [F10] to continue. A Resize confirmation screen should appear shortly, confirming the partition size you entered. If this is correct, highlight Yes and press [Enter]. Before actually moving the partition, the integrity will be checked. Once this test has been completed, the partition will be resized.

If you have more than one volume defined on the partition, each volume will be dynamically resized as the partition is resized. Just after the partition has been resized, another integrity check will be performed. Once ServerMagic is satisfied that everything is okay, you will get an Operation Completed message.

A word of caution here: You will need to start NetWare one time and let it mount the volume before you try to enlarge the partition after just having performed an operation on the partition. Otherwise, incorrect information about the size of the partition will be displayed on the screen.

Press [Enter] to return to the Partition Operations screen. Press [Esc] to return to the previous screen.

From the main menu screen, highlight Select A Partition and press [Enter]. On the list of partitions, you should now see a partition type of Free Space between the FAT16B (a.k.a., the DOS partition) partition and the NetWare partition that you just reduced the size of. Highlight the FAT16B partition and press [Enter]. The next screen will be the Current Selection screen, which will now show the partition you selected in the previous step. Highlight the Partition Options menu choice and press [Enter] to continue. When the Partition Options screen appears, highlight Resize and press [Enter].

When the Resize Partition screen appears, it will show you the current size of the partition, how much free space there is after the partition, and what the valid partition sizes are. Since we want to increase the size of the DOS partition, we will use the maximum value listed in the Valid Range listing and enter that value into the new partition size input box. After entering that value, press [Enter]. Press [F10] to start the resizing process. The next screen will confirm the settings that you entered. After verifying that those settings are correct, highlight Yes and press [Enter] to start the resizing process. A progress screen will appear informing you of how far along the process is in resizing the DOS partition. During the process, bad sectors will be checked for. Once the process has been completed, an Operation Completed message will appear. Press [Enter] to continue. You will now need to exit ServerMagic. The server will automatically be rebooted so that the changes you made can take effect.

What you have walked through in this Daily Drill Down is only one use of ServerMagic for NetWare. Those who have a standard server setup that they like to use and have most of the same hardware between sites also have the ability to use the Server Image product that ships in the same box as ServerMagic 4.0 for NetWare. This can ease the deployment headaches you have had in the past by allowing you to create compressed images of the DOS and NetWare partitions to just about any type of removable media and take them to a remote site to bring up a server quickly.

This is a product that should be in your bag of tricks. It can be a real lifesaver, saving many hours that would have been spent re-creating a server when you need to change how the partitions are set up or when you need to quickly deploy a replacement server without going through the entire installation process.

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