Why I wont fix your computer, part 1

Tue 10 June 2014 by Fred Clift

How not to upgrade a server

I was working at a unix admin at a private university. A research lab wanted an OS upgrade on their lab NFS and web server, which was indirectly my responsibility. User data, webserver, web content, all on an external (scsi) drive. I showed up with install media and popped in the disk, booted, installed to scsi ID 6 - the local default for OS on this class of server. Shortly after first boot I go to mount the filesystems on the external drive, twiddle rc scripts to spin up the web server, mount user directories etc, and there doesn't seem to be anything but the old OS...

Immediate panic - apparently both internal OS drive and external data drive are SCSI Id 6, on controllers 0 and 1. I had just successfully installed hpux 10.10 over the lab's important data. The backup that the grad students had assured me as safely locked away? 1 month old.

So what did I learn? how to apologize, to double check-backups before upgrades, to double-check target drive for installs, to not offer to help!