A Tale of Two Utilities…

It’s OK, we will leave Dickens out of this one…

A prospect asks if Wind River Platform for Network Equipment – Linux Edition is going to work on his CentOS 4.4 system. Officially we support RHEL WS 3 U5, RHEL WS 4 U2 and SUSE 9.3 and 10. …so let’s see!

The CentOS site claims "CentOS 4.4 is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.  CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible."

Sounds very encouraging. I am off to get CentOS CD images. No great big DVD ISO to be found so I am faced with downloading four separate images. This could take forever with the web browser and leave me with partially downloaded images if any of the download fails. Worse yet, aggrivating Internet Explorer only wants to download up to three files at a time.

Enter GetRight Download Manager. Back in the day, download managers were all the rage when all we had was dialup. GetRight has done a fine job of keeping up with technology. I found that it could easily manage downloading all four files, split each download up to five times for parallel downloads and even search for the fastest download site FOR EACH FILE on it’s own! So cool. It soaked my cable modem and I had trouble free downloads of the images in no time!

On to the installation… CentOS looks oh so much like RedHat WS 4. No problems there. I am installing in a partition on my daughter’s game machine. This is the same machine I used to play with HDTune and the RAID controller last year.

I fat-fingered the install. At one point the installer is setting up the partition table. I wasn’t paying attention and selected the option to delete the partition table on /dev/hde. This worked out to be just one of the drives in my RAID. YIKES!

I am only as smart as GOOGLE… I enter "recover partition table" and get lots of help. The first few commercial tools, http://www.partition-recovery.com/ and Partition Table Doctor offer demos that show they can find my partition table! Hurray!

A little further along I find TestDisk 6.5:
It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting your Partition Table).

Sounds like just the ticket! I downloaded the Windows version, ran the program, accepted all the defaults and a reboot later had my RAID back! Slick.

The rest of the CentOS evaluation was much less traumatic. Everything just worked. They are using the same 2.6.9 kernel and RPMs as RHEL WS 4 so that really wasn’t much of a surprise.

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