Instructions, methods, and tools for system recovery/restoration

Looking around in the Haiku website and these forums, there is not much information about how one best set-up to painlessly recover from a catastrophic system and/or data hiccup

There is some information about package management and how software and system updates are handled ( ). However, it looks like one would have to experiment to figure out how this would work to recover from a failed system drive.

One thing which appears missing is a minimalist system image booting by default into safe mode. There may be circumstances under which the Space Bar is not recognized during the initialization of the boot loader. Also, the applications/tools one would use could be highlighted, along with the necessary instructions, could be quite valuable when it is not possible to access the web from the troublesome system.

Anyways, from what I understand of the package management application is that one just need to bring up the desktop to be able to get the most recent nightly release and the latest versions of whatever applications one desires. Is this correct?

The post (Backup & restore hd with haiku-/beos-partitions) provide hints about fixing up a MBR and other tasks such as upgrading to a larger system drive, It is unclear if similar tools are available for a GPT partitioned disk.

As for data, Lbackup and Simplebackup are mentioned in the post ( Backup Program for Haiku ). Instructions for creating general and specific back-up(s) are provided. However, instructions for restoration from such back-up(s) appear absent. There is also an application called rsync ( Backup app via Rsync ) - and again experimentation appears needed to ensure it will do what is expected when disaster strikes.

The main aim of this post is to capture in one post the existing bits of information about backup approaches and available backup and system recovery tools. It is also to seed a discussion about how to make things easier for an user embarking on a Haiku adventure.


My personal tips:

  1. Make backups. Personally I don’t use the usual backup tools. My music is backed up on my MPD server or my MP3 player (and I own the original CDs for the most part, if I need to recreate it anyways), and my code is backed up in git.
  2. Make backups. Really. Don’t wait until your FS is corrupt and your data is lost before thinking about it.
  3. Use small partitions. I had BFS corruptions happen often, so it is a good idea to split your data into variou partitions, this way, if one crashes, you don’t lose everything.
  4. bfs recover is a great tool to have around when you have an unmountable partition.
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And regularly check the filesystem on them with checkfs -c /NameOfTheVolume (-c is to simulate only. Recommended before doing the real thing, which in some cases can remove data while repairing the fs).
These filesystem corruptions can occur after KDLs and - to me - seem to appear more often if you stress I/O e.g. when compiling stuff. So, I’ve learned to keep the haikuports tree on a separate partition…

It use to be on BeBits and I do not know if it in on BeShare but Rocky_Horror_File_Recovery_Tools used a brute force appoach to recover files from a BFS partition.

Not what I would recommend to get be an entire directory, but if there is a file you know the name of, it could be useful.

PS. BFS_Tools should also help I think.

Has there been any discussion about porting TestDisk and/or PhotoRec to Haiku? These are two applications which I have used in the past, from Windows, to recover photographs and videos from memory cards mishandled due to poorly understood camera firmware.

The Rocky Horror Tools set has a program for recover photos from a SD card. That I why I first started to write it. The photo recovery in fact did work fine.