Keeping ZFS info after reinstall.

Hey all,

I've recently been getting a lot of kernel panics on my FreeBSD-7.0 box. I'm not sure what is going on but I'm not even sure how to begin to fix it so I was thinking about just reloading the box and starting over. Only problem is I have a ~2TB zpool running across 4 Hard drives + 1 partition. Can I safely reinstall FreeBSD without destroying the info held in the zpool (granted I won't touch the physical state of the drives or their partition layout)? Or do I need to backup everything on to a offline disk (which is hard as the box can't keep up long enough to get the stuff off) and then reload? Obviously the second is preferred but hard with the panics.


All relevant information is on those disks+partition, so as long as you don't touch them it should be fine. I've only tested this by booting two different versions of FreeBSD from two separate disks, and they both used a zpool on a third disk - a slightly simpler scenario, but the same general idea.

Oh, and please run a memtest86+ or something before you do anything - just in case. :)
Ok! I loaded into safe mode and have been copying over the files via USB (Yuck....) to an external hard drive just in case. I'll run that memtest too before wiping it out.

Thanks all! Kernel panics are no fun.
Found out it was a bad ram stick...saved myself a lot of work. my root partition did get corrupted though. Reinstalled the base system without formatting over it, working fine and all my settings are still there :D
swills said:
I think you'll need to zfs export then zfs import them.
You don't really have to, you could just go "zpool import -f". But it is much better if you go through the step of exporting it beforehand. The only hiccup is that it'll say that it's presently in use by a different system, hence the -f.