Solaris SVM: stuck in pre-maintenance mode: resolution · 21 April 2008, 18:24

Well, the Sun techs just recommended we restore from backups or upgrade our distribution .. great, thanks for the in-depth technical insight … so one system we did restore from backups.

A coworker of mine who is quite brilliant with bare metal troubleshooting was able to get the first system back online by doing the following:

rm -rf /mnt/dev/*

cp -Rp /dev/* /mnt/dev/
cp /etc/path_to_inst /mnt/etc/path_to_inst

He then unmounted the drive, moved it back to the original system, and voila, we could get into single user (maintenance) mode with

boot -m milestone=none

Turned out that the HBA card coincidentally (no joke) went bad during or after being removed. Replacing the HBA card fixed that issue .. and let us boot single user, great!

So, I then re-initialized the meta device database, restored all mirrors and submirrors and rebooted .. and … whoops, kernel starts complaining about /etc/system being full of junk and the system doesn’t boot.

A boot from CD-ROM showed that now both root partitions on both disks were full of what appeared to be random garbage (2 MB worth!)

The Sun tech wrote back about a day or two after this failed and proceeded to in essence ‘scold’ us for trying to copy devices from one system to another .. well, at least that got the system boot single user! She then asked again about restoring at which point I told her to just close the ticket as we were making more progress on our own than we did with her (she is resonsible as well for the ‘9MB zip file’ quote under the Humor section of my blog).

End result – we had to restore both systems and have no idea why breaking the mirror on these systems wasn’t something we could recover from the way we are supposed to be able to do with SVM.

Disappointing, especially since our tier 4 (Sun) was not able to help us get through this without restoring, in fact, they started suggesting restoring after 1 call to their tier 2 people. So much for paying for support contracts and expecting expertise :(.

— Max Schubert



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