Computer issues…

This has not been my week, earlier this week my DSL suddenly dropped out, and a day later it seems it re-emerged on a completely different netblock. That meant I had to update all my dns zones, and some configs. It’s still not all recovered (SIDN) but most of it seemed to work. So yesterday I noticed that my main server was really slow… and then I mean _REALLY_ slow. hdparm -tT reported speeds around 2 and 10 MB… as opposed to 20/100. The system load hadn’t been under 10 for a while too, and that caused lots of problems in the mail-reception and spam-filtering, as these chicken-out when the load is too high. I couldn’t pinpoint the problem as the disks seemed to be working correctly (according to ide-smart, which runs tests daily).

I decided to reboot the system, as it was swapping a lot. After taking more then 10 minutes to shut down it wouldn’t boot again, because the first harddisk. Since this disk only housed my boot-loader I removed it, and booted via a grub-floppy. The system came up again, but still took about 30 minutes to get to the login prompt. Obviously something was still very wrong.

I decided to remove the rack of disks that housed the raid array for the boot and data drives, and place them in a spare system. So I took an old celery 450 I had lying around, ripped out it’s guts (cd, disc and modem) and put in a IDE-controller and USB/Firewire card, re-connected the raid-array, put in the grub-floppy and turned it on.


After frantically pushing the power button for a minute it seemed it was really not my lucky day. Some further frankenstein-like surgery later I deducted that the power-supply of my temporary host system was fried, so some more hacking was required to replace it with the much larger supply from my original server.

Now I’m running on the powersupply and disks of the old system, with the main-board, cpu and memory of the old celery. The system looks like it exploded, parts all over the place, more outside the case then in it (it’s a pizzabox model).

I hope to be able to order some new kit during the next weeks, so I can get a decent server up again. In the meantime i’ll be filtering through the 2000+ mails that the spamfilter hasn’t checked. If you’ve sent me a message over the past 2 weeks and I haven’t responded yet… please re-send it, as it got lost in the spams. 

Update:So about an hour later I start smelling something burning… I take a close look at the franken-puter and see that the power-supply fan has stopped, the power supply is warming up nicely. It seems it’s really not my day, and more surgery is required. I’ve not attached a replacement 12cm fan on the outside of the power-supply. Let’s hope this one lasts for a month or so till I get new gear…

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