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Recovering from corrupt system disk?

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The Question is:

VMS Version 5.3
VAXStation 3100 model 30
Mr Wizard,
When I do:
$ dir
the system returns with:
%DCL-W-ACTIMAGE, error activating image DIRECTORY
-CLI-E-IMAGEFNF, image file not found
Obviously, my DIRECTORY command file is missing.  Is it possible to
 restore/recover it with out major surgery?

The Answer is :

  The OpenVMS Wizard recommends performing an immediate standalone
  BACKUP/IMAGE of this system disk.
  This could be a simple missing file, or an incorrectly restored
  system disk (restored /NOIMAGE, and thus the alias entries are
  toast), a failing system disk, or an otherwise corrupted disk.
  Is it possible to recover from an isolated corruption?  Yes.
  Is it possible that the corruption itself is isolated?  Yes.
  Is it possible that the corruption is not isolated and/or that
  you will spend a non-trivial amount of effort tracking and then
  resolving the various individual corruptions?  Yes.
  The OpenVMS Wizard can only assume -- infering more from this
  particular question than probably should be -- you should look
  at recovering this system disk from BACKUP or from OpenVMS and
  layered product distribution kits.

answer written or last revised on ( 30-MAR-2000 )

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