Recovery from rm * from the Root (/) Directory in AIX 4.x


About this document
    Related documentation
Summary of the recovery procedure

About this document

This document describes how to recover after running the rm command in the root directory and applies to AIX Versions 4.x.

Related documentation

The product documentation library is also available:

Summary of the recovery procedure

Deleting the files in the root directory will delete the following links:

bin -> /usr/bin
lib -> /usr/lib
u -> /home
unix -> /usr/lib/boot/unix_up
    ( or unix_mp )

In the root directory, removing the bin directory link disables the korn shell needed for login. The recovery will boot in service mode and rebuild the links.

NOTE: The following procedure describes how to boot the machine into maintenance mode, access the rootvg volume group and start a shell prior to mounting the file systems. If the system does not have a key or if additional details are needed, please contact your AIX support center.


  1. Turn the key to the Service position.

  2. With bootable media of the same version and level as the system, boot the system.

    The bootable media can be any one of the following:

    Follow the prompts to the Welcome to Base OS menu.

  3. Choose Start Maintenance Mode for System Recovery (Option 3).

    The next screen prompts the Maintenance menu.

    1. Choose Access a Root Volume Group (Option 1).
    2. Choose 0 continue and Select Volume Group by number.

      At this stage the console should display information about rootvg and also display a menu with two options.

    3. Choose Access this volume group and start a shell before mounting the file systems (Option 2).

    NOTE: If there are errors from the preceding option, do not continue with the rest of this procedure. Correct the problem causing the error. If you need assistance in correcting the problem causing the error, contact one of the following:

    If no errors occur, proceed with the following steps.

  4. Mount the root file system. Enter:
        fsck -y /dev/hd4
    NOTE: When running the preceding command with -y, yes will be answered automatically.
        mount /dev/hd4 /mnt
  5. Rebuild the missing links. Enter:

    cd /mnt
    ln -s /usr/bin bin
    ln -s /usr/lib/boot/unix_up unix   
    OR    ln -s /usr/lib/boot/unix_mp unix
    ln -s /usr/lib lib
    ln -s /home u

  6. Enter:
        cd / 
        umount /dev/hd4 

    Turn the key back to normal mode and reboot.

  7. This should allow the machine to reboot in normal mode so logging in is possible. Depending on what else was in the root directory, files may have to be restored from a backup tape at this point.

[ Doc Ref: 90605221114600     Publish Date: Spt. 29, 2000     4FAX Ref: 6836 ]