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Recovering User Files on iFolder 3.4 on NSS using Salvage

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Andrew Grant

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Posted: 16 Nov 2007
 

I was confronted by a situation where files had been deleted from a users computer. The user was unaware that something had gone wrong so when iFolder next synchronised, the deleted files were then also removed from the server. For various reasons, backups weren't available.

A pre-requisite to getting deleted iFolder files back is having the data portion of iFolder 3.4 installed on a NSS volume with salvage enabled. The minor hiccup is being able to find the users iFolder directory as part of the path is stored as a hash.

Here are the main steps:

  1. Locate the users iFolder directory on the server using iManager.
  2. Shut down the iFolder service.
  3. Browse to the directory with a machine armed with the Novell client and salvage the files.
  4. Clean up after yourself.
  5. Start the iFolder service.

1. Locate the users iFolder directory on the server

Open iManager and log into iFolder management. In the 'Users' section, browse for the user who is having the problem.

Open the user in question and click on the 'iFolders' tab.

Click on the iFolder where the files were deleted from. In the 'General' tab you will see the path as the server sees it to where the users iFolder is stored. Right click and then Copy this location into the clipboard. Paste this into something like notepad and save it somewhere you can get at it easily.


2. Shut down the iFolder server

Log into your iFolder server using SSH or something similar. Run the /opt/novell/ifolder3/etc/simias-stop command to shut the iFolder service down.

NOTE: Make sure that the iFolder service is off-line. Making changes to the contents of iFolder's data directory while it's operational could result in things ending in tears.


3. Browse to the directory with a machine armed with the Novell client and salvage the files

Using a machine with the Novell Client installed, log in with an account that has read / write permissions to the iFolder data directory. Retrieve the address from where you saved it and paste it into an explorer window. Before pressing <Enter>, you may need to re-write the front part of the address to match how it will be accessed from the network (my change highlighted above). Change the other forward slashes to backslashes and press <Enter>. If all has gone well, you should now be in the iFolder directory where the files were deleted.

At this point you can use Salvage to hunt for the missing file(s) (the file I deleted earlier is visible in the salvage list). Make a note of files that you are restoring and copy then to somewhere outside the iFolder data directory. The salvaged files can then be returned to the user via external means (email / USB thumb drive etc.).

Note: iFolder makes .stmp files during normal operation, these don't contain anything useful to us.


4. Clean up after yourself

Once you have looked for (and hopefully found) what was deleted, remove the restored files so things are as you found them.


5. Start the iFolder server

Caution: Double check - be sure that you left the iFolder data directory as you found it before you bring up the iFolder service.

Log back into your iFolder server using SSH or something similar. Run the /opt/novell/ifolder3/etc/simias-start command to fire the iFolder service back up again.


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