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New computer migration process

12/28/10

  09:28:57 am, by The Dreamer   , 3041 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Home, Safety & Security, Storage, Healthcare

New computer migration process

I was applying another set when I went to shower, and then forgot about it when I headed off to work. So, Zen was shutdown all day. It still had yet more patches to install when I started it back up later last night. Speaking of 'backup', I got to thinking about how I was going to do backups of Zen. During the morning patching, I had tried to see if I could get smbclient to see the C$ share, before launching into figuring out how to add it to backuppc. But, I couldn't....and it seems that's there's just no easy way to do it. I did the various control panel, local/group policy and registry hacks that I found online...but then I read that something had changed that made samba not work, and that a patch to samba was needed. Since I'm running 10.04 LTS (upgraded from 8.04LTS) on my server, its not likely I'll see this new version anytime soon. And, not really interested in self-built packages....though I did rebuild squid on my other server, because I wanted SSL....forget if I still need it or if I ever found a different way to that problem.

As I was walking to work, thinking about this problem...I decided that perhaps I should look at getting an external drive to do local backups of Zen. I used to do this on TARDIS, until the most recent failure of the external drive....started out with a bunch of Maxtor OneTouch drives, then regular attached made into external drives, to an Iomega UltraMax 1TB Firewire drive. I had gotten a newer version of this (physically smaller) for Gumby. Not sure if I need to get a new one for TARDIS now.... But, I got to thinking that I should get one for Zen. And, I was surprised to see that the HPE-450t came with firewire ports. With the Dell is was an add-on option, that I didn't get for work computer...but had looked at when I was shopping for Zen. It wasn't a deal breaker to not have it, but obviously if the choice was made...I wanted it. Otherwise, it might have been something when I had opened the computer up earlier...to see that there are no regular PCI slots in this new computer.

That would make putting old cards into this new computer much harder....I still have SCSI cards in TARDIS...though up until a couple years ago...I was still depending on tape. Though it was getting long and longer between doing tape backups. It was a DLT7000, and then it was two of them....I had looked into breaking into LTO1, but hadn't gotten past the extra cheap eBay ones might be DOA...to where I had a sufficiently reliable drive that I could trust. (the one I had would lock up now and then, never got a full full done.) Buying a newer tape drive was a consideration, except that a drive of sufficient density to backup TARDIS wasn't sufficiently affordable to make the leap. Especially compared to the price of drives. So, external drives for backups...and later backuppc. I've thought about exclusively backuppc...but a local external drive has things that backuppc does have. Namely with the right software, bare metal Windows restore capability...especially important with the aging Windows boxes, where (as proven now) reinstalling from scratch is very painful. Plus I heard the Windows 7 built-in backup is much better now, and I'd be interested in finding out first hand.

There are two general reasons for backups, failure/loss of hardware or accidental file deletion. Having baremetal restore capability is desirable for the first. Though offset, partly by having redundancy in my setup....Zen is doing RAID1, don't know if its the soft or hard kind...but its where I only see the RAID volume (except for a brief flash during boot.) But, doing backups in general is needed for the second (there are software solutions to help...) But, the backuppc generally takes care of the second. So, wasn't too much in a hurry for getting an external drive for Zen (though I'm sure its 1.3TB available internal storage will fill up quickly....TARDIS had a 400G primary and 500G secondary drive [up from the original 120G drive it had come with, and the 250G drive I had added sometime later]).

In the end, I decided that I might see what a 2TB external drive goes for. I did find a couple for sale under $100, but USB only. But, then I wondered about the more reliable external drive options...and remembered that I have the old TR2UT-B I had original to do Port Multiplier eSATA RAID 1 (before I got the TR5M-B...) ...its empty at the moment, but I had thought about getting a pair of drives and use its built-in RAID feature and USB connection to make a shared drive on my Airport Extreme. I could pair up some drives and use it on Zen. Since the sale price on those 2TB external drives was at or below the price of a single 2TB internal drive....kind of a pricier move. Though I do have a 1.5TB Seagate drive that I've been keeping as a spare, that I could pair up with another one to make this array. So, I went that way. Amazon Prime away.... also got what was in my cart already, another 5-port gigabit switch -- Trendnet, boxy metal of some weight would probably stay on my desk better than the light plastic netgear that keeps falling off my desk (plus I've had to reboot it a couple of times already....had pitched an 8 port for a Trendnet earlier for the same issues). And, a pack of 9V batteries, to restock after using 4 to replace the ones in my smoke detectors.

Though later on I discovered that I'm also in need to restock on AA batteries. 88|

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2 comments

Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

Apparently, the screen issue I saw is a long standing issue between screensavers and explorer. And, the fix is to restart it, of course not all my systray icons come back afterwards. It was just more dramatic this morning at home than what I had seen on work computer.

Though I caught my computer a split second after the screensaver kicked, and that recreated the problem I saw this morning. Quicklaunch gone, blank spots in systray, and gradually more and more problems….

Kill explorer and restart seems to be the only fix.

All I ever use is the blank screensaver that comes with Windows. (set to lock, so to be in compliance with security policy at work.)

Don’t think I could disable it…since its a long idle time to when I have the monitor turn off…and I don’t want it doing that more frequently. But, don’t want to see my desktop for so long when I try to look away from it…or I should be sleeping.

12/28/10 @ 16:29
Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

Just my luck….I wrote about the problem I feared of continuing to use Thunderbird on TARDIS after I had migrated to running on Zen. And, turns out I had the Thunderbird on Sasha (Windows 7 at work) ‘misconfigured’, and emails received during today for an account have disappeared.

Not really a big deal I think the only one of importance was just a notification, didn’t contain anything important.

12/28/10 @ 17:19
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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