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Need a utility to map a UFS drive in Windows box


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#1 Cat

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:46 AM

Apologies first: I originally posted this in info-LabVIEW about a month ago. Unfortunately no one could come up with a solution there (Uwe and Bruce, if you're here, thanks again for trying!). Hopefully the wider audience here might include someone who has experience with this.

________________

Short story:

I need some way to map a UFS Solaris drive (ie, assign a drive letter to it) while it is in a Windows XP box.

Long story:

I have finally convinced The Powers That Be to get rid of our very small SCSI drives on our Solaris 10 boxes and replace them with SATA drives. Due to the small size of the SCSI drives, we have to offload data to tapes, and often generate upwards of a hundred tapes on a test. The SCSI tape drives are very problematic, very expensive, and random access does not exist. My thought was that if we went to Tbyte SATA drives, we could replace those tapes with 30 disks. Much cheaper, much more reliable, and separate runs of data are easily accessible.

But...

All that data needs to be read, processed, and transferred to a Windows-based storage system. In other words, I will pull those UFS format disks out of the Solaris box and put them into my multi-bay disk drive Windows box. At that point I need to be able to access the files, via an assigned drive letter to the UFS disk, as if it were a Windows disk. Of course, I will be doing all of this in LabVIEW (just to keep this post slightly on topic :-)

I (and a couple cow-orkers) have done a pretty extensive search on the web. I have downloaded and installed several utilities, hoping they would work, to no avail. They either only work with Linux-flavored disks, or they allow the user to copy UFS format files to a Windows box using their own interface -- not a true map to Windows; no drive letter assigned. Copying the files this way would be a last choice solution, as it takes about 3 hours to perform this operation on a full Tbyte disk. And then another 3 hours to read the copied data, process it and copy it back to disk. This will double the overall processing time. And I will have 30 disks to do this on...

Our fallback is to put a bunch of the disks in some multi-bay Solaris box, run Samba on it, and map the drive on a Windows box that way. But now it requires 2 machines to do this instead of 1. And as we need multiple test setups, this could be cost-prohibitive.

Any solutions, suggestions, thoughts, words of sympathy, snorts of laughter, etc?

____________________

Follow-up: The boss chose the (short-term) cheaper, longer way -- copy the files using an app that can read UFS and write NTFS, and then (using LabVIEW) read/process/write the data. The data processing lab is entirely Windows-based, and I think they're scared of having a Solaris box in the same room...

I purchased UFS Explorer, which at first looked like a nice little package. Unfortunately the translation is taking much longer than I expected. It runs at around 25MB/s. At that rate, what I thought would only take 3 hours, takes 9 hours to translate a 1TB drive, and that's not including processing time. I'm not sure why this is, since just FTPing a full drive drive across the network would only take 4 hours. I've got an email into their tech support to see if it normal to go that slow, but I'm not holding much hope out for a faster solution.


So I'm still stuck with my original 2 solutions, neither of which are very good. Any one out there have a better idea? Something that would let me read a UFS file formated disk in a Windows box, so I can then process the data, and write NTFS, without having to go thru an intermediary write/read NTFS step?

Cat



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#2 PaulG.

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:20 PM

Sounds like LV is the least of your concerns. Have you looked for any Unix forums? That might be a lot of work since I'm assuming there are hundreds of them out there. Or even someone at Solaris?

I had an issue about a year ago that was a real show stopper and thought it was LV related. Even after the despair of virtually no hits after I tried Googleing my problem I managed to find a forum on the web site of the company that made the particular piece of hardware I was having trouble with. Part of the job of one of the company engineers was to monitor their forums and grant assistance where necessary. He helped me out in a very big way in a very short time.

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#3 Cat

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:44 AM

You might get lucky on a Unix forum and run into someone who has done what you are trying to do a dozen times and walk you through it.

You'd think, wouldn't you?? I can't be the first person to want to read a Solaris formatted disk in a Windows machine.

I tried some UNIX forums, and the reply was generally, "This is a windoze problem. Go ask them." The response from the Windows forums was, "who wants to read a Solaris disk?" Of course, there are so many forums out there, I probably just didn't hit the right ones. I'll keep trying. This can't be all that difficult.

In the meantime, I'm going to look at pushing a 2 machine system again, one Solaris, one Windows, and use Samba to map to the data. It may be more upfront cost, and one more box to haul around, but there will be a significant time/labor $ savings, not to mention the data will be ready in about 25% of the time. Hopefully that's worth something to somebody.
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#4 PJM_labview

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 06:00 AM

I know nothing about solaris, but I just google "mount UFS windows" and the first hit is a driver that "
FFS File System Driver for Windows enables you to read BSD(FreeBSD,NetBSD, OpenBSD) FFS(UFS) partitions from Windows 2000/XP/2003." [http://ffsdrv.source...creenshots.php]

The second hit is another sourceforge tool that "A tool that allows mounting NTFS partitions read-only under Solaris aswell as a tool that allows reading Solaris partitions from Windows(mounting Solaris partitions read-only under Windows is planned for thefuture.)" [http://sourceforge.n...nt-ntfs/files/]

This must not be what you are looking for, that was too simple. But just in case...

PJM

#5 Cat

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:38 AM

I know nothing about solaris, but I just google "mount UFS windows" and the first hit is a driver that "
FFS File System Driver for Windows enables you to read BSD(FreeBSD,NetBSD, OpenBSD) FFS(UFS) partitions from Windows 2000/XP/2003." [http://ffsdrv.source...creenshots.php]

The second hit is another sourceforge tool that "A tool that allows mounting NTFS partitions read-only under Solaris aswell as a tool that allows reading Solaris partitions from Windows(mounting Solaris partitions read-only under Windows is planned for thefuture.)" [http://sourceforge.n...nt-ntfs/files/]

Yes, I've looked at both of those. The first (IIRC) was for linux, not solaris, and the second was one of those that will copy a file from the disk, but doesn't actually map a drive letter to the disk. I've tried several things from SourceForge, and they all fell into one of those 2 categories.

But thanks for looking!
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#6 Phillip Brooks

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:24 AM

You'd think, wouldn't you?? I can't be the first person to want to read a Solaris formatted disk in a Windows machine.

I tried some UNIX forums, and the reply was generally, "This is a windoze problem. Go ask them." The response from the Windows forums was, "who wants to read a Solaris disk?" Of course, there are so many forums out there, I probably just didn't hit the right ones. I'll keep trying. This can't be all that difficult.

In the meantime, I'm going to look at pushing a 2 machine system again, one Solaris, one Windows, and use Samba to map to the data. It may be more upfront cost, and one more box to haul around, but there will be a significant time/labor $ savings, not to mention the data will be ready in about 25% of the time. Hopefully that's worth something to somebody.


You might look at running something called Services for Unix on your Windows XP box. This will allow your Windows system to act as an NFS server. I remember getting one of the Services for Unix CDs from Microsoft years ago, and found it amazing. The stuff actually worked, was not too bad to install and was FREE!! This could be loaded on your LabVIEW station and eliminate the extra PC.

A check of the Wikipedia entry indicates that SFU has morphed somewhat and may not be free anymore, but if you have an XP Professional based PC, you should be able to download (see here) and install SFU 3.5 distribution. The wiki says it will be available until 2009, so I'm gonna download it and save it away on my portable drive. :thumbup1:

The other place to ask this type of question might be ServerFault.com; the sister site of Stack Overflow (I mentioned in another post).

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#7 Cat

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:00 PM

You might look at running something called Services for Unix on your Windows XP box.
This will allow your Windows system to act as an NFS server.
[...]
The other place to ask this type of question might be ServerFault.com; the sister site of Stack Overflow (I mentioned in another post).

So close, so close and yet...

(From what I can tell after installing it and getting it up and running) SFU will allow a Windows box to map to drives on a Solaris box without having to install something like Samba on the Solaris side. Still can't read a Solaris drive sitting in a Windows box. (But this might be useful on an entirely different project)

I'm going to check out stackoverflow.com and serverfault.com next.

Thanks!
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#8 Phillip Brooks

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:50 PM

So close, so close and yet...

(From what I can tell after installing it and getting it up and running) SFU will allow a Windows box to map to drives on a Solaris box without having to install something like Samba on the Solaris side. Still can't read a Solaris drive sitting in a Windows box. (But this might be useful on an entirely different project)

I'm going to check out stackoverflow.com and serverfault.com next.

Thanks!


I don't think you are going to have much luck mounting a UFS filesystem under Windows. You might look at formatting and mounting the external drives as FAT32 (pcfs), but there will be size limitations on the partition sizes.

IA: How to Mount a PCFS (DOS) File System From a Hard Disk

When Googling, use pcfs with Solaris, not FAT32, you'll get better results :P

Good luck!

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#9 Cat

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:19 PM

I don't think you are going to have much luck mounting a UFS filesystem under Windows. You might look at formatting and mounting the external drives as FAT32 (pcfs), but there will be size limitations on the partition sizes.

I've posted to serverfault.com. Hopefully someone there will have an answer.

You mean use pcfs and not ufs format for the Solaris disks? And then theoretically there shouldn't be a problem reading the disk in either a Solaris or a Windows box? Hmm, that's an interesting concept. I've just made my Unix guy happy by giving him this as his Science Project of the Day. Posted Image
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#10 Phillip Brooks

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:38 PM

You mean use pcfs and not ufs format for the Solaris disks? And then theoretically there shouldn't be a problem reading the disk in either a Solaris or a Windows box?


:thumbup1:

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#11 OrOvadia

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

I've posted to serverfault.com. Hopefully someone there will have an answer.

You mean use pcfs and not ufs format for the Solaris disks? And then theoretically there shouldn't be a problem reading the disk in either a Solaris or a Windows box? Hmm, that's an interesting concept. I've just made my Unix guy happy by giving him this as his Science Project of the Day. Posted Image




Hi,

i have the same issue as you have,
it's almost a year late,
but maybe you find any solution for the problem? how did you solve it finally?

Thanks,
Or.

#12 ShaunR

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 08:14 PM

Is the issue here that you are trying to do a two stage process in 1 go? i.e read from a Solaris drive, process the data and save it to NTFS? The 25MB/s might just be the limitation of the solaris drive (ATA 33 perchance?) and you might not be able to overcome that.

What about slapping a brand new 1TB NTFS formatted SATAII drive (they are cheap after all) in the windows box alongside the UFS drive. Start a flavour of linux (such as Debian) in a virtual machine or as a live CD. Install this Linux-NTFS in the virtual machine or live CD and just copy everything to the new drive. Throw away the old drive or take it home to build you own solaris system :P

Then run your software on the data, NTFS to NTFS.

Probably missing something as per usual :P

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#13 Cat

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 03:43 PM

Is the issue here that you are trying to do a two stage process in 1 go? i.e read from a Solaris drive, process the data and save it to NTFS?

That was the hope...

The 25MB/s might just be the limitation of the solaris drive (ATA 33 perchance?) and you might not be able to overcome that.

All drives (whether NTFS or UFS) are the WD Caviar Black SATA 3Gb/s. I've transferred data from drive to drive on this system at upwards of 80MB/s.

The answer I got back from tech support at UFS Explorer was something along the lines that 25MB/s was as fast as USB drive could go. I reminded them this was a strictly SATA system, and not limited by USB, so any other ideas? I never heard back...

What about slapping a brand new 1TB NTFS formatted SATAII drive (they are cheap after all) in the windows box alongside the UFS drive. Start a flavour of linux (such as Debian) in a virtual machine or as a live CD. Install this Linux-NTFS in the virtual machine or live CD and just copy everything to the new drive. Throw away the old drive or take it home to build you own solaris system Posted Image

Then run your software on the data, NTFS to NTFS.

This is still 2-step, right? Translate data from UFS drive to NTFS drive and then process data? And this assumes a Linux utility that reads Solaris 8 and 10 UFS disks on the Linux box. But I guess it would save hopefully save me some time in the UFS to NTFS transfer stage. What I really need is LV for Linux, and then some way to run the data extraction at the some time. Maybe...

Ok, but back to the Real World. I am unfortunately working with quite a few restraints. I'm not the person who will be transferring the scads of data (thank goodness -- there was 86 TB of data from the last test). It has to run off of someone else's PC. Or actually several other PCs.

At this point I've installed UFS Explorer on all those PCs. I've installed my LV app to extract data from the files. The user sticks the UFS disk in a disk tray, runs UFS Explorer on the files to be processed to transfer them to a Windows/NTFS disk then runs my app on the Windows/NTFS files to extract the data.

I also tried the UFS Explorer tech support again to see if there's someway to run it (or any other product they might have) from the command line. Then I could set up a GUI that would make it at least look like 1 step to the User, even tho it wouldn't speed it up any. No response...

Probably missing something as per usual Posted Image

No, I'm very appreciative of any stabs anyone wants to take at this. Thanks!
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