Hardware Rollercoaster

The past few days have been a rollercoaster ride of hardware gains and losses. The first involved my web server. On wednesday I decided to upgrade the operating system on the box to the newly released CentOS 5, which supports Xen natively. I brought in a seperate machine to handle the Xen environments so I could perform the upgrade at my own pace. I was successful in getting everything moved over, and the OS upgrade went flawlessly. The issues arose when I tried to insert an IDE card to get around a nagging problem with DMA on my hard drives. Well, that didn't go so well. The case in that machine is huge, and the IDE cables just weren't long enough to reach the IDE card. So, I decided to put everything back te way it was and to deal with it. Well, the machine had different plans. When I put everything back together, the machine wouldn't boot. The diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard indicated a problem with the CPUs, and it wouldn't boot. It remains in that state.

I was pretty despondent over the breakdown, but I decided not to let the hardware I had go to waste. I looked on eBay, and found a server of similar vintage and capability, in 2U rack mount form. It has dual Pentium III 1.4GHz processors, a gigabyte of RAM, and six 18.2GB SCSI drives. It has the same RAID card that my existing server has, so I'll be able to make a nice somewhat-large RAID5 array. I'll have the two 18.2GB drives from my dead server as spares, and the 2GB of RAM from the original server will combine nicely with the 1GB of RAM from the new server. This gem came pretty cheap too… I won it for the paltry sum of $162.50. It should be here monday. Yay for me!

Not too long before I won the auction, I got a call from Circuit City saying that my receiver was ready for pickup. Since they actually ordered parts to fix it, I had confidence that it would finally be fixed. It was. Finally. Everything's hooked back up again, and I'm pretty happy. It's nice to have everything back the way it was.

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