My remote server file system is read-only & its because my hard disk is broken .I want to take backup for taking any further action.

  1. Is it possible to setup a manual backup for the affected server (as its file system is read only).
  2. If possible then how to perform or add this affected server to my backup server as client.
  3. Or any other possible solution .

NOTE: This remote server is a VM inside an ESXi server.(i.e. ESXi>Affected Server).


If you can pxeboot your VM (this will involve setting up dhcp and tftp if you haven't already done so) then you could boot up a rescue CD image (IMO Clonezilla makes an excellent rescue/backup/recovery CD), and back it up.

PXE boot isn't strictly necessary, either. Since it's a VM, you can easily attach a Rescue CD .iso image to it, boot to that, and backup.

You can also create and attach a new virtual disk or disks to the VM in VMWare, and clone the bad disk(s) directly to the new disk(s). A filesystem level clone (e.g. rsync or cp -af or tar etc) would be best, so you're not cloning any fs corruption too (as you would with a disk-image clone) - but remember to chroot into the cloned fs and install GRUB into the MBR so it can boot. You may also neeed to edit /etc/fstab entries and so on if they use UUIDs rather than /dev/vd?? device names.

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  • btw, if the VM's file system is seriously messed up, you'll be better off just backing up your data and config files and using them to re-build a new VM. Sometimes resurrecting a broken server is far more trouble and time-consuming than starting over from scratch...and you'll have a known-good system rather than one of dubious provenance. – cas Aug 30 '12 at 11:36
  • This server is hosted by a hosting company. I do not have that server. I am accessing it remotely . Should I ask them ? – Subhransu Mishra Aug 30 '12 at 11:38
  • Since you don't control the vmware server, you don't have any choice but to ask the hosting company. They may already have suitable rescue cd images available and maybe help or documentation. – cas Aug 30 '12 at 11:40
  • BTW if this VM is not for a personal or hobby project, I strongly recommend that you hire a professional linux systems administrator to set it up for you and maybe look after it once it has been set up. – cas Aug 30 '12 at 11:42

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