Koozali.org formerly Contribs.org

Migrate directly from 7.6 to 9.0 or go through SME 8.0 first?

Okay, I have a machine running the ancient SME 7.6, and want to migrate my mails over to SME 9.0, and I'm (trying to) make a backup of my mails to a thumbdrive on the existing machine.  I set the backup to point to the thumbdrive, and set the machine to do scheduled backups, but subsequently when I go to Verify workstation backup, it tells me There is no backup set on configured workstation shared folder. Verify your configuration settings.  When I go to Configure workstation backup, it shows I still have the thumbdrive set, and still shows the scheduled time, and I can even change the scheduled time for the backup.  On Configure Workstation Backup pane, I see:

This panel displays the present workstation backup configuration. You can change it in this panel and the next one.

Backup is Enabled.
Backup is made on local USB disk
Destination backup share folder is media/NO_NAME
Number of rotating backup sets is 1
Number of daily backups contained in each set is 1
Compression level (0-9) of backup is 6
Daily backup occurs at 6:00
Each daily backup session is cleanly timed out after 8 hours.
Full backup sessions (new backup set) are allowed everyday


I'm not completely sure if the machine is just telling me it has it configured, but isn't actually doing the daily backups, or if the verify function is simply confused, and the machine is doing the daily backups.  Also, is it normal for it to call the thumbdrive NO_NAME?  (The only other selectable device was the CD rom drive.)  The thumbdrive is a 128gig capacity made by SanDisk.  (Could the machine be getting tripped up because its such a large-capacity thumbdrive?)

In any event, the old server is getting flaky, and periodically it stops responding to the email program, and sometimes stops collecting new emails from my webspace provider, and I have to send it a Reboot or maybe a Reconfigure, and it often shows lots of disk activity for no apparent reason, even when not responding to the email program and is in one of its periods of not collecting new mails.  Its possible the hard drive is ready to fail.

I mainly want to get the mail backed up and then set up a new machine, but I don't know if I need to go through SME 8 before moving to SME 9, or if I can skip 8 and import my SME 7.6 mail backup directly to 9.  But I also need to find out if the 7.6 machine is actually backing my mails up, I thought about detaching the thumbdrive and plugging it into my Windows 10 machine to see if there are files on it, but when I mentioned it on a chatroom I'm in, someone there said I should NEVER attach a drive with (backup?) files from a Linux machine onto a Windows machine unless I want to lose those files or see them get corrupted.  Bearing in mind, this thumbdrive is still set to the original formatting it arrived with, all I did was take it out of the blister-pack and plug it into the SME server machine's USB port, and then set SME to point to that drive for the backups.  Someone else I mentioned this to, who's worked with Linux alongside Windows, was telling me I shouldn't worry about Linux-saved files on the thumbdrive getting damaged by Windows, and that he's got a dual boot machine with Windows and Linux drives on it, and has accessed the Linux files from Windows without incident all the time, but I still wonder.

Anyway, I guess the main questions I have here are:

How do I make sure I'm successfully backing up my email to the thumbdrive?

Can I restore 7.6 email backups (and the included, multiple mailbox settings and credentials) straight onto an SME 9 box, or do I need to go through SME 8 first? 

If I can't install 7.6 backups straight to SME 9, can I install SME 8 onto the existing SME 7.6 box and it retain the old email boxes, and their settings and credentials, and then I do a mail backup from that to a thumbdrive, before migrating THOSE over to an SME 9 box?

Offline Jean-Philippe Pialasse

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Re: Migrate directly from 7.6 to 9.0 or go through SME 8.0 first?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 12:41:59 PM »
first SME is EOL in 3 months. Just wait for SME 10 to be at least RC in the next 2 months

Second thumbdrive is usually not a good idea with backups and i kind of remember that with sme backup it sometime is not able to finish backup. Use a powered drive please.

Of course i would advise to make tests on a test system but migrating to last version should do. Just not tried in our test, bit migrate scripts are mostly just added.

Re: Migrate directly from 7.6 to 9.0 or go through SME 8.0 first?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2020, 10:22:25 AM »
first SME is EOL in 3 months. Just wait for SME 10 to be at least RC in the next 2 months

Second thumbdrive is usually not a good idea with backups and i kind of remember that with sme backup it sometime is not able to finish backup. Use a powered drive please.

Of course i would advise to make tests on a test system but migrating to last version should do. Just not tried in our test, bit migrate scripts are mostly just added.

Thing is, if I do install SME Server 8 over the existing Server 7.6, will the emails still be there and readable under SME Server 8?

edit: Incidentally, I have been having a LOT of problems with the old system.  For one thing, periodically it stops responding to the email programs.  I wind up rebooting the machine from the SME Server web-interface, and maybe it goes back to responding to the email programs.  The machine will also periodically stop collecting emails from my webspace provider's mail service.  I can go to there and check, and it might have a day's worth of them accumulated that it hasn't collected.  I can then reboot the machine and maybe it will start collecting the mails again, a few hours after the reboot.  I don't know if something is going wrong with the drive, or the machine, or if some program simply crashes every now and then.  It used to do this lunacy only every now and then, say, once every couple of months or something.  Now it seems to be doing this a LOT.  Like every DAY.

And then there are times when it stops responding to the web-interface altogether, either.  I simply get a cannot-be-reached when I go to the web interface.  I then have to go to the keyboard interface (via the KVM switch) log in from there and invoke Init 6 from there to reboot.

I'm purely speculating here, but it's possible the drive might be failing.  The machine reboots fine, from the monitor screen (via KVM switch) I can watch it go through the process of booting, with a flurry of doing this.... [OK] doing this next thing... [OK] and so on, with everything showing [OK] all the way up to presenting the login prompt.  Trouble is, even after a reboot, today, I can't seem to get it to let me read new mails.  Sometimes I have to initiate several consecutive reboots before it finally goes back to letting me pull up new mails.

I've also tried initiating a Reconfigure from the Reboot Or Shutdown pane of the web interface.  My understanding is that a Reconfigure is a more sophisticated, more comprehensive sort of reboot where, if the machine was left in an unknown state -- say, because a lightning storm shut off the power to the machine, so it didn't do a proper shutdown -- the Reconfigure, so I understood, is what you're supposed to do so it analyzes what didn't get shut down properly last time, or whatever, and corrects it, before going back to normal operation.  Today, I've tried initiating a Reconfigure two or three times.  I was expecting it to then restart the machine within a few moments, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything of the sort.  It just keeps doing lots of disk activity, but never actually reboots.  Eventually I give up and issue a regular Reboot from either the web interface or from the command line (that is, from keyboard via the KVM switch after logging in there as Root) and can then watch it go through the normal reboot process all the way back to the Login prompt.  But then I find I still can't pull up my emails.

Have I misunderstood what a Reconfigure command actually is?

In any event, my other issue is.... this is an OLD machine.  It's using PATA.  I have a new drive, ready for use with whatever newer machine I might use once I've gone to SME 9 or 10, but the new drives are all SATA, which the old machine can't read.  (I could buy a PATA-to-SATA adaptor, but I'm told those are unreliable sometimes.)  I COULD image the old drive onto a SATA, but then I'd have to either use an adaptor, on the old machine, or go to the newer machine earlier than I had intended.

The point I'm making is, I'm not sure I can wait the couple of months for version 10 of SME to get to RC status before migrating to a newer-than-7.6 version and/or to a new machine.

I also have NO way of knowing what might actually be going wrong under the hood of the current machine, all I know is it just stops responding sometimes.  And then eventually, after much cajoling, and rebooting, and hurling space-opera cusswords at it... it eventually goes back to responding to the email programs and to collecting the mails from my webspace provider, for a day or so.  This is driving me batty.

I'm also operating under the theory that maybe some of the programs on my machine got corrupted somewhere along the line, but that updating to version 8 for the time being (before then preparing to move to 9 or later on another machine), the fact that it's a fresh install of all the (newer-then-7.6) system, maybe everything will settle down and just flipping WORK for a good while instead of flaking out on an increasing regularity.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 11:52:21 AM by NomadOfNorad »

Offline janet

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Re: Migrate directly from 7.6 to 9.0 or go through SME 8.0 first?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2020, 03:37:52 PM »
NomadOfNorad

One issue at a time....

The USB drive is probably FAT, you need to format it to ext3, then the backup may work & finish.
Let us know the outcome.
If that works continue on...

Before running the backup disconnect the SME server machine from the Internet, so there is no mail downloading activity etc, & let the server quieten down in activity.
You can retrieve/download any outstanding mail on the new server.

My suggestion would be to build your new SME 9.x server on the new hardware by installing the OS from CD first, & then use the restore from USB disk via the method of copying the backup file to the hard drive of the server.
See this Howto.
https://wiki.contribs.org/Backup_server_config#Command_line_manual_Restore_from_USB_drive_or_memory_stick

Doing things this way will in effect let you do a trial run (which you should do anyway for such a big change in versions), if it works OK, then you can switch over to using the new hardware & restored server.

If things do not work right eg no restore & so on, then you can revert back to using the sme7.6 server temporarily until you/we resolve your problems.

You will need to reinstall any Contribs you currently use, so check they are available for SME9.x.
If not available then be prepared to do without them.

All data & server config etc should be transferred in the backup & restore processes, including data for compatible contribs.

Please search before asking, an answer may already exist.
The Search & other links to useful information are at top of Forum.

Offline ReetP

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Re: Migrate directly from 7.6 to 9.0 or go through SME 8.0 first?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 06:49:40 PM »
Personally I'd suspect your machine is not long for this world.

I would:

From your comments, stop writing lengthy posts, and start using the time to start your migration now...... 7.x is dead. No one is going to help you fix it.

Disconnect the server from the world.

Take a full backup urgently. Probably two.

Shut the server down and keep the PATA drive as another backup but don't use it.

Fire up your new machine (and preferably with 2 drives in a mirror, and note comments elsewhere here on the problems with using desktop drives over 1Tb in RAID) install v9 and restore.

I'd get a move on in your shoes.

You can fix other issues like mail once you've upgraded.
...
1. Read the Manual
2. Read the Wiki
3. Don't ask for support on Unsupported versions
4. I have a job, wife, and kids and do this in my spare time. If you want something fixed, please help.

Bugs are easier than you think: http://wiki.contribs.org/Bugzilla_Help

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