Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a storage server running opensolaris. But lately its been acting up - it hangs at random times due to some SCSI/ATA related error messages. I've tried to fix it without any progress, so I'm giving up now. The machine keeps hanging every 30 minutes or 1 hr ...sometimes after 4 hrs. Its very unpredictable.

So I've decided to just reformat the storage server and start from scratch...maybe I'll just not use solaris and install something else, since the errors are related to solaris running on ATA HDD or something.

Question - Before I reformat it, I want to back up some of the important data on it. Like it has a VM with 200 GB disk files, it has a whole bunch of ISOs stored on it etc etc. I'm using a simple scp to copy the files over to a different machine. My issue is that, because the machine hangs....sometimes my file copy is incomplete and I have to start all over again. Lets say I'm trying to copy a 200GB file which takes like 4 hrs....IF the machine hangs before the whole file i copied over...I have to recopy the file from scratch.

Is there a solution to copy the files over such that if the machine hangs or network goes down..the copying can resume from where it left off? - like if 50 GB of a 200GB file was copied and machine time, it'll just continue to copy rest of the amount, instead of starting all over again.

Thanks Amit

share|improve this question
If you really are copying 50G or 200G files, I would be tempted to find a way to convert the copy into a disk-to-disk copy using cp or dd. – Mei Jan 13 '11 at 23:16
up vote 3 down vote accepted

scp won't support it, but rsync does!

rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh user@host:remote_file local_file

Hope you're able to salvage the files!

share|improve this answer
+1 for the rsync solution to enable partial backups. You can always try putting the disk in another machine to see if that improves your ability to recover data, too. – Phil Hollenback Jan 13 '11 at 22:52
Note that rsync is efficient, NOT fast. But with the support for partial copies it is probably the way to go. – Mei Jan 13 '11 at 23:18
Thanks for the info. That helped a lot. – Amit A Phatarphekar Jan 14 '11 at 20:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.