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Recovering Directory Services when the NetWare Server Crashes

(Last modified: 14Feb2003)

This document (10011467) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Recovering Directory Services when the NetWare Server Crashes

Disaster Recovery


Novell NetWare 5.0

Novell NetWare 4.11

Novell NetWare 4.10

Novell Directory Services

Formerly TID # 2950668.


Hard drive that held the master copy of the directory is unrecoverable.

unable to restore the server that crashed.

No backups available.

Directory Services files are missing from the server after upgrade:  SYS:\_NETWARE\0.DSB, 0.DSD, 1.DSD, 2.DSD and 3.DSD.


Server crashed.


If single server:
1. Replace hardware.
2. Reinstall OS.
3. Reinstall Directory Services.
4. Reinstall backup product.
5. Restore Novell Directory Services. (If a previous backup had been made).

If multiple servers exist in the tree:

1) Time Synchronization - Verify that time is synchronized to the network.  If time is not in sync on the servers, changes cannot properly be made to the tree. To verify this: Load DSREPAIR | Time Synchronization.  All servers should say "yes" under is time in sync column.

2) Clean up the replica rings - If a server goes down or is replaced without removing Novell Directory Services, the Partitions it held replicas of will have inconsistent replica rings.  Each server in the replica rings will still think the server should be contacted with updates whenever they occur.  Therefore they will try and contact the failed server and since it is down, this will result in an error.  Also, if the server that failed held the Master replica of any partition , another sever with a read-write of that partition must be selected to become the new master replica.  Each partition must have a master replica.  If you are unsure what replicas the failed server contained, you could check this information in NOVELL DIRECTORY SERVICES Manager. To  verify that each partition has a Master replica: Load DSREPAIR | Advanced options | Replica and Partition operations (select each partition one at a time) | View replica ring.

Verify that a Master replica exists on a good server.  If not, escape back one screen to Replica Options, choose the option to "Designate this server as the new Master replica".  (This can only be done if you are currently on a server that holds a Read/Write replica of the partition.    ** Note:  be aware that you can force  a Subordinate Reference to be the Master replica, but if you do, you will loose all objects in the partition.  

3) Once you have verified that a Master replica exists for each partition, you need to verify that each replica ring is consistent and valid.  Load DSREPAIR -a | Advanced options | Replica and partition operations | (Select each replica one at a time) | View replica ring.    

If the failed server exists in the replica ring, select it, choose the option "remove this server from the replica ring.".  This step will need to be completed for each partition that the
failed server contained a replica of.

4) Clean up the tree

Load NWADMIN and verify that the server and volume objects do not appear for the failed server.  If they do, remove the volume objects by deleting them in NWADMIN.  The server object will need to be deleted from NOVELL DIRECTORY SERVICES Manager or PartMgr (DOS version of NOVELL DIRECTORY SERVICES Manager).

5) Verify servers are synchronized and communicating:

At this point all references to the failed server should be gone.  It is important here to make sure that all servers are synchronizing and communicating properly.

At the server containing the Master of Root's console prompt:

Toggle to the directory services screen and watch the trace.  Verify that there are no errors occurring and that each partition is giving a "all process=yes".

Also load Disrepair and check time synchronization and verify that time is still in sync.

6) Reinstall Directory Service on the new server.  Install this server into it's own tree to patch the server to the latest patches.  

7) After the server is patched to the latest, remove directory services.  Load Install (on 4.x servers) and NWCONFIG (on NW 5 servers) | Directory Options | Remove Directory Services from this server.  Make this server a secondary time provider.  Load SERVMAN (on 4.x server) and Monitor  (on NW 5 servers) | server parameters | time.  Make sure this server is set as secondary in default time server type and timesync type.  Escape 2 xs and save the changes on the NW 4.x servers in autoexec.ncf and timesync.cfg.  At the server console if you do not see that timesync is established unload and load timesync.

8)  Install this server into the production tree.

Load Install (on 4.x servers) and NWCONFIG (on NETWARE 5 servers) | Directory Options | Install Directory Services.  Follow the prompts until Directory Services is installed.  The first server installed into a partition will automatically receive the Master replica, the second and third servers installed into that same partition will receive Read/Write replicas, the fourth and
subsequent servers will not automatically receive a replica.  If you wish for the server to have a replica and it did not receive one automatically:

Highlight the Partition
Right Click and select "Add replica".

9) Restore Trustee Assignments.  

In order for the objects to have their correct trustee assignments back, you will need to restore the trustee rights from your tape backup.  See your backup software for steps on this. See HTTP://WWW.SUPPORT.NOVELL.COM

Note: "For future fault tolerance make sure that if possible you have 3 replicas of every partition. (1 Master, 2 R\W)
Always keep your backup software current.  Keep the database backup up on a regular basis.  In order to restore trustee
assignments you will need to make sure your backup software is SMS compliant.


The Origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information. However, the information provided in this document is for your information only. Novell makes no explicit or implied claims to the validity of this information.
Any trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. Consult your product manuals for complete trademark information.

  • Document ID:
  • 10011467
  • Solution ID: 4.0.1898931.2212941
  • Creation Date: 06Jul1999
  • Modified Date: 14Feb2003
    • NovellEnd of Life


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