Categories: "Computer" or "Android" or "Chromebook" or "Hardware" or "Printers" or "Scanner" or "Storage" or "iPad Air 2" or "Networking" or "WiFi" or "Operating Systems" or "FreeBSD" or "Other Linux" or "Ubuntu" or "Windows" or "Software" or "b2evolution" or "BOINC" or "CFEngine" or "Quicken/TurboTax" or "Virtualization" or "VirtualBox"

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05/30/11

  09:48:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 892 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC, Roku XDS, Ubuntu, Other Linux

LHAVEN is dead, long live LHAVEN?

Well, I was getting really annoyed with it complaining and kicking out the replaced disk in LHAVEN. So, I shutdown the system and took out the disk, figuring it should just continue to run fine degraded until I get around to replacing it.

Well, it wouldn't power on after that. I went through everything, no joy. It had done this a while back when I tried adding something to it. It could just be the power supply has flaked out, but I don't have a tester or multimeter handy...so I can't really test it. Could buy a new PS...and I may do that.

But, I kind of suspected the drive issues weren't actually the drive but possibly some deeper hardware problem. So, I had been planning to replace LHAVEN at some point. It has done quite well, being circa 2002. Started out as a 64MB Duron 800MHz machine, eventually peaked at 2GB Athlon XP 3000+. It had replaced a Cyrix PR233 box that had gone up in smoke during a hot summer day in 2002, when the transformer outside blew....the computer survived the brownout and then blackout, but the fans didn't spin back up when power returned...so it burned itself up. Later I found one problem with this new system. It wouldn't resume after losing power. No BIOS setting to alter this behavior and I did try to see if there was alternate BIOS updates for it. It was kind of a painful machine to manage, because for some time kernels didn't have built-in support for all the SIS chipset stuff in it....so an update would roll out, and NIC was usually one of the things to definitely go missing. Which made for fun to rebuild a custom kernel upgrade for it. Eventually it got stable.

But, needing essentials like DNS, DHCP to be available after an extended outage...I moved these to another server (originally an old Pentium 75, which has evolved into what is known as 'box' today). For the longest time it was RedHat 7.2, and then RedHat 7.3 when fedora legacy switched to only supporting 7.3 and 9 releases. It continued after fedoralegacy stopped supporting it, I was building some of the packages for it by hand...like bind (in response to the Kaminsky exploit). There were parts of my network that wouldn't function without LHAVEN...like an old Windows 2000 box that was barely functioning...(old Gumby).

I nearly lost it during the Icepocalyse....but I tracked down motherboard replacement for it from geeks.com. It was a slighty newer mobo, but equivalent chipset. It did have some things the old mobo didn't, like USB 2.0 support (I didn't use USB and still don't), support for 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB...so I upped it for better BOINC'ng. And, faster CPUs....so I upped from 2200 to 3000.

At one time, I had turned it off to do some upgrades...which didn't pan out. Tried to slap a gigabit card into it...didn't work. Wouldn't get along with the on board stuff, and the BIOS didn't have ways to get things out of the way enough. It also never fixed the resume after power loss issue. But, during this process it failed to power on....but after a couple days, it came back and I decided to upgrade its UPS and hopefully it would make one last outage. Well, there were several others since then where it came back afterwards. But, looks like this is the last time for it.

Pages: 1· 2

  12:03:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 1362 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Ubuntu

Freeradius & DHCP Failover

Link: http://deployingradius.com/

So, ever since I looked at adding Mac Address Access Controls to my Airport Extreme...on top of WPA2 Personal, and the fact that my DHCP server only does reserved IPs, security. I used to do Mac Address Access Controls on my previous routers, but it was an easier interface to work with on those. And, I didn't realize how the Time Access worked on the Airport Extreme, the default allow all the time rule at the top tripped me up. So, I thought if I wanted it, I would need a RADIUS server...and I didn't know if I wanted to do that....yet.

But, after I woke one morning and couldn't seem to account for why there seemed to be so much data streaming through my Cox connection...there had been strange spikes in the past, but always figured it was something updating itself while I wasn't home (like iTunes and my podcast subscriptions). But, this one morning...there was no corresponding activity from any of my computers, and I didn't see anything obvious with my TiVos/ReplayTVs. Though I could've just missed it.

So, I fixed the Timed Access control and put my current devices in. With a note that I should really look into installing RADIUS somewhere, so that it would be easier to maintain the list than the airport utility. I would lose being able to find the MAC address of some new wireless device that doesn't have the MAC address stamped on it....for addition to my DHCP server.

Later during the setup in: Another Airport comes to Lunatic Haven I had wiped out the settings....and didn't feel like putting it back in again. Which made it more urgent (in my mind) to get RADIUS working.

So, I went online and searched and searched and searched...on how to do this. I had looked before, and wasn't all that successful. There's no simple how-to apparently. But, I found bits and pieces around, and decided to just go for it.

First, I installed freeradius on my Ubuntu server 'box'.

sudo apt-get install freeradius

It starts right away, now to make it work. And, debug it. Well, most of the examples were for older freeRADIUS versions, so things weren't where it said, or command line switches were different, or it didn't work. I did find some examples of MAC address authorization, but they involved 'Auth-Type := Local' in the /etc/freeradius/users file. But, the clients.conf part seemed right. I strongly considered just doing 'Auth-Type := Accept'...but I wanted to figure this mess out.

client 192.168.1.1 {
        secret = testing123
        shortname = airport
        nastype = other
}

So kept searching and searching....eventually, I found fragments on site called "Deploying RADIUS: Practices and Principles". It confirmed that I was basically on the right track, I just needed to figure out what to put in the users file to make it go from Auth-Reject to Auth-Accept.

Well, the example for MAC Address entry for users I had found was:

001122-334455  Auth-Type := Local,  User-Password == "testing123"

At first I was pointing my Airport Extreme at it and watching the debug output, and watching everything stop working now and then. But, eventually I used 'radtest' to test my freeRADIUS configuration. And, eventually, I found that what I needed was:

001122-334455  Cleartext-Password := "testing123"

And, all was good. I pointed my main Airport Extreme to it, and it everything adjusted and worked. I then pointed the new Airport Extreme at it and things continued to work.

Yay! :cool:

Pages: 1· 2

05/29/11

  10:48:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 930 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Printers

Another Airport comes to Lunatic Haven

That's another Airport Extreme....

The corner where I put TARDIS and my HP Photosmart 8450xi printer have been having switch problems, or at least I that's what I thought. But, I have replaced the only cable to replace, and both switches. But, still the link will drop out of gigabit after a while. And, then it wouldn't go into gigabit at all anymore.

And, then PRTG reports that things over there disappear every night. What's strange is that its always around the same time.

I thought about buying some network testing equipment, and figuring out what it would take to run a new line in place of the existing one (should be easier than what it would take to run one to a new location). Or doing the ugly and stringing wire along the ceiling....

But, things started adding up....and I wondered just how much I needed the speed. Sure gigabit would help TARDIS backup faster, but that's about all over 100Mbps would get me. The printer is only 100Mbps, so no advantage there. And, likely would be the case for any network printer I were to put there. And, likely not much else is going in the corner any time soon that would need gigabit. So, I wondered about revisiting the WDS option using 802.11n now. I had survived for some time with 802.11g WDS both here and in the past.

Looking at WDS options with my Airport Extreme, it pretty much came down to two options....an Airport Express or an Airport Extreme. Express only has a 10/100BaseT port on it and its a big plug type thing, so if I wanted better than 100Mbps, it would have to be an Airport Extreme. I did look at other routers, but hard to tell if it would work or not, and I'd probably want something using OpenWRT or something and things started getting complicated again.

I do someday think I'll get an Airport Express...though it would require that I have Linux solution to manage it, some way to set it up in a turnkey solution....as a travel router.

But, while I was looking at other WiFi router options...I was looking on eBay, so I wondered about an Airport Extreme that way (instead of using my Educational discount on another).

And, I found some pretty reasonable prices for refurbished units, so I went for one.

Pages: 1· 2

  11:43:05 am, by The Dreamer   , 804 words  
Categories: Stuff, Software, Computer, VoIP, BOINC

Death to Skype! Bring me its head!

Link: http://jeff-duntemann.livejournal.com/281642.html

Years ago, I had installed Skype on various computers thinking that I'd jump into the whole using my computer for VoIP calling either as a supplement to doing VoIP using ATA's or successor. It revived buying webcams and/or headsets on my newer computers. I bought a webcam for my dad. But, he never used it.

And, I've never really used any of the many new webcams I keep buying either. But, recently I've met some friends on line that are into chatting online using Skype. I did do it once, and it was a strange experience actually talking to people....rather than the usual type into a window or web form chatting that I'm accustom to for online chat. But, they weren't into the webcam feature of Skype, so I don't know if I'll ever get to use that part for more than just as the microphone. (Which I might not do, since I bought a headset for one of my computers...)

Meanwhile, yesterday on Gumby....the computer I installed Skype and a(n HP) webcam onto, because ole TARDIS wasn't feeling up to getting new hardware (the plastic tab in some of its USB ports have broken off, though the kind of still work sometimes....not as bad as the old Gumby where the front USB ports didn't work at all anymore....And, I was using a PCCard USB adapter to help...)

Anyways, yesterday I recall seeing this EasyBits Games or something dialog come up, when I was checking some stuff on the machine. It had been up for over 16 (reached a max of 16.8 this time, TARDIS is currently at 35.52 days), but it seemed confused. A java app said it was out of memory, though there was plenty on the machine (over 1900MB free)...so I tweaked its JVM settings. Though later I discovered that PRTG had stopped running at some point. Someday I'll install Nagios, or something and replace that aspect of PRTG that I use. I had switched to running it, because bello-monitors-the.net ceased operation a few months back...and I was using it to monitor the performance and availability of this blog. At first PRTG seemed the solution to doing this...but its more annoying than just works, so I'll probably look at some other online service...

Anyways, suddenly with no explanation my screen went dark and the lights went out on Gumby...a moment later it was booting back up. Nothing in the event log to explain why it had gone down. I came back later to see the finished boot, and dismiss the various dialogs that come up during a boot and see why PRTG was complaining about something I was sure I had told it to stop monitoring (LHAVEN....I haven't finished that post yet). That's when I saw the huge gap in data, and it had apparently stopped working sometime yesterday morning (this unexplained reboot was around 5:27pm).

I vaguely recall seeing a strange dialog from Skype in reference to EasyBits Go games, seemed odd that Skype wanted me to install something like this. And, I have Skype in offline state on this computer...since I had upgraded to Zen...and Skype is online there. But, I dismissed it. I wasn't interested in it. But, later I saw that it had installed itself anyways. :##

Then a strange Flash Player install dialog, not the usual one from Adobe that comes up now and then. But, it seemed to do the normal Adobe Flash Player install...the except it was the kind that tried to install crapware with it, that you have to figure out the checkbox to uncheck to not get it before downloading it...while needing to check other boxes for it to proceed.

Guess I should've read it, because it was yet another part of the Crapware infestation that was coming to my computer via Skype/Microsoft.

Did a quick google search this morning, and found out how that its realy crapware, because the uninstall doesn't do anything...have to do more complicated stuff to remove it.

:rs::rs::rs::rs::rs:

Found the steps to eradicate it at: Jeff Duntemann's ContraPositive Diary - EasyBits GO, Skype, and The Crapware Problem

:rs::rs::rs::rs::rs:

Just firing off this quick blog post and then to reboot.... :cool:

Wonder if the Free AVG will catch it later, or if I should install something like Norton Internet Security (I seem to have gotten a 3-seat license, but I'm only using it on one computer at the moment....I do need to upgrade the version of Trend that is running on TARDIS, but getting NIS working and not working on Zen has been quite the hassle...so maybe I'm still looking, at least its SONAR isn't going after BOINC like NAV used to on TARDIS....wouldn't be so bad, if it didn't start doing that just after I extended it for another year.)

Wonder if I shouldn't just remove Skype while I'm at it.... :hmm:

05/08/11

  06:10:13 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1575 words  
Categories: Stuff, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Android, Nintendo 3DS

Woot, I got a Viewsonic gTablet!

Many years ago, I got my first eBook reader device. It was an REB1200 (RCA, Gemstar, TVGuide, something, something something). It seemed like the thing to get. It had color and it could connect to the net without requiring a computer. And, it had a compactflash slot for expansion. And, Barnes & Noble was going to sell content for it.

However, Barnes & Noble never materialized for it, content was expensive...especially magazines. If you buy a magazine subscription online, its cheap...really cheap, and they send you a magazine that you can do just about anything with. But, the eBook version was the raw undiscounted price (like lots of subscriptions will tell you your getting a special deal...instead of somewhere around $120, you're getting a super discount rate of like $12....does anybody actually pay the $120 rate? Apparently they thought DRM laden eBook readers would....)

There was hope though, when Gemstar merged with TV Guide....perhaps they would bring TV Guide to the eBook reader. Sadly they didn't.

Originally there was no way to put personal content on the REB1200, but eventually ways were found and before Gemstar pulled the plug on it....they opened it up. Somewhere after that I sold my REB1200.

More recently, I picked up the Amazon Kindle...I had waited for the 2 to come out, being somewhat more cautious this time around. And, it didn't look like a color version was going to materialize anytime soon. I guess it'll be a while before eInk displays get to good color. The kindle is nice, but its magazine content is just the text content. The pricing at least was reasonable. And, it was possible to put own content onto the Kindle and at it was self contained (not computer dependent), etc. But, I like magazines because they have pictures. Especially important for a gadgetaholic....also the pretty advertising was missed. In some magazines, the advertising is more important than the content....at least in finding out about gadgets.

Meanwhile over at Barnes & Noble, they have the Nook...and they came out with a color version. And, reports are that magazines are real and complete on there.

Though, most Kindles and all the Nooks have one flaw...they are small. It is okay for reading a novel...where it is the right size for that, but not so much for reading magazines. (Also not so good for PDF content, particularly ones that can't be reflowed/reformatted). Kindle does have a DX model, but its pretty expensive, monochrome and still limited to the same kind of content of other Kindles. But, both companies do offer software to access its content on iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android devices. Though I wish I had done more research into those options first....but I had assumed that everything that I could buy for the device was also available through these options, just not as convenient as the purpose built eReader.

Full story »

Pages: 1· 2

04/30/11

  07:44:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1325 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Storage, Roku XDS

Getting local content to show on my Roku XDS

One of the things that helped me rationalize getting the Roku XDS, was the possibility of displaying media content on my HDTV. I used to be able to do this with my Momitsu V880N, but the mmc software doesn't work under Windows 7...and I guess I'm not ready to take the plunge on getting a Blu-Ray player....though it might happen later this year. And, when I do..the one I'm looking at would support DLNA sources on my home network.

Well, then I heard of Gabby, which will expose local content to my Roku...and I could access DLNA sources. And, that worked once. The software is currently beta, largely my experience is that it'll crash, or crash, or spin. Often I'd come home and find tons of error dialogs and its stuck, or it'll have gone away on its own, or my machine will be really slow and I'll find that the process is consuming all my memory (but there's 16G in there) or CPU....or both. But, it did work, so maybe someday it'll be usable.

And, then when it doesn't crash...its hit and miss on whether the selection will play completely or the Gabby software will crash at start or during play. But, I did play a few shows successfully.

But, last weekend, I got a file that I wanted to play on my Roku...and I could not get Gabby to work, even ran it through handbrake, even though it was already a format that would be playable via USB.

I ended up watching the file on my computer....

Pages: 1· 2· 3

04/20/11

  11:35:17 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3081 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Zen is back, with a little help from Acronis True Image Home 2011

.... kind of, though more not.

Three weeks ago today, Zen locked up. And, when it came back...it wasn't all there. It was bad....stuff wouldn't run, missing or corrupt system dlls, etc. Well, I did buy Acronis True Image Home 2011 the weekend before, and I had got nonstop backups going for a few days...and it seemed to show that it had replaced the old backup settings (image back only). And, trying to go into "Backup and Restore" launched Acronis True Image Home....

Guess I will restore the system to a previous time earlier that day. Seems the last time was about 6 hours back (and there were other weird gaps) later I read that non-stop isn't really non-stop...it'll pause if the machine is 'too busy'. Problem is it thinks BOINC is the machine being 'too busy'....didn't figure this out until later.

But, I went for it. After doing the restore, it rebooted...and...poof, I have nothing. Well, it went into HP's recovery partition instead. And, the only option enabled there is to restore the system to factory. After some cursing, I figured I'd go ahead, reinstall Acronis True Image Home and try again with an earlier time. While, that was happening, I had gotten onto another computer to do some surfing to see if there was some alternative way to invoke the restore, having not used the create restore cd option yet.

I found that I could download an iso from acronis, that was the same as what the software would've created and boot with that. So, instead of completing the initial setup screens of the freshing restored to factory...I booted from that. And, then tried looking for an earlier restore time.

Well, that interface is pretty bad. The worst part is that it sorts non-stop backup times alphabetically....so 1:59 is followed by 10:00, and then 11 and 12, before 2:00 shows....and AM & PM, those are at the end of the string...so PM times are interleaved into the AM times. Well, I remembered what time I had restored to previously, so I had a starting time to search for and try to guess backwards to a suitable restore time. There was a huge gap, now it was a busy 'vacation' day. I had a doctor appoint in the morning and then an MRI in the afternoon. The first restore attempt had been to a time shortly after returning from the MRI. The next backup times were for a period after I had returned from the doctor appointment. Might be okay....I would probably lose one Quicken transaction, but I could easily put that back (entering that I had paid co-pay)...I had read emails then as well as after the MRI, but I didn't recall anything too important that I had to get back having come in since my morning email check.

So, off it went....oh the first restore attempt took hours and I had gone to bed hoping to find Zen back in the morning. Now the next day, I was running a bit late for work...but I got it going, with it reformatting and updating partition settings first and I hoped to come home from work and be up and running again.

Well, that's not what I found. I was back at the HP Recovery Partition screen. So, I rebooted from the Acronis recovery disk, and this time I hit the search for backups option to see if it might find anything else. I figured it was worth a shot, while I mulled over the idea of starting over from scratch....at least I had the stuff in backuppc (sort of). Well, it did find something else...it found some image backups...odd. I had played around the option in Acronis True Image Home, but thought I had opted to go with non-stop backups and a fresh start with the external drive.

But, it seemed to be valid images and it was from the night before the crash. So, I used that to restore. I only made one mistake, where I marked the C: drive as active instead of the hidden system partition. Booting a GParted Live CD, I switched things back and that got me going again. Now while I was in the GParted Live CD, I noticed that it saw two internal drives...instead of the Intel Matrix RaidVol. I suppose that means the Intel ICH8R Matrix Raid is actually another FakeRAID, and after some searching around I found it to be true.

Hmmm, wonder if I shouldn't have bothered ordering the system as RAID1 then? Years ago, I had built a PC using FakeRAID...and it was kind of a mess after the motherboard failed (around the time where lots of motherboard makers were having trouble with counterfeit capacitors.) Yet, I'm considering building a machine from scratch again.... :hmm:

Wonder if it being FakeRAID is why after crashes it messes up the RAID, and has to initialize again (was scary seeing that the first time)...and then verify and fix errors.... wonder if this is going to happen every time Windows 7 fails to shutdown safely?

Oh well, try the boot....and success its all working again. I then look at the backup drive to see what I had restored from. Well, before I setup Acronis True Image Home 2011, I had been using Microsoft's image backup option, and scheduled it to run every Tuesday night. And, it usually runs on through to Wednesday night. Though it did seem to not take as much time lately....guess Zen also getting hit by backuppc at night was slowing the image backup down. I had looked at blocking out that night in backuppc, And, at this particular time...there was no hit from backuppc, because I had taken I was in the process of building a new array (I plan to write about that later) I was between backups.

Guess I'll leave Microsoft's image backup going...since it worked. Though it has one annoying negative. It removes the previous backup before creating the new backup, and if something goes wrong...no backups.

Meanwhile, I couldn't get non-stop backup to go again...probably a mismatch in state or something?

I then dig through the non-stop backup and restore a few files that had changed since the image backup.

Pages: 1· 2· 3

04/14/11

  07:57:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 1339 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

Worked on Orac last night

Back on March 28th, when I last wrote about working on Orac, I mentioned that I looked at the harddrive cage to see about the condition of the fan on there....only to find that there was no fan there.

Reviewing the manual on the Gateway website, I found that the cage is used in more than one model...and that some of those models have fans, while evidently mine did not. Browsing the parts list for some of the other Gateway models that used the same drive cage, I found reference to a 60mm x 10mm fan, which I deduced was probably the fan that I would need to get for this location. I did find that from the Gateway manual for my model, that the motherboard did have a front chassis fan connector.

So, after some thought and checking first amazon.com, it struck me that eBay might be the better place to go. So I found a seller on eBay that explicitly said he shipped by USPS and bought one, and from another seller I got fan screws (a bunch of them, because I've needed them in the past before and I'm sure I'll have need for them in the future....as it was I didn't actually need them this time though.)

Because I had recently built my new backuppc pool (should be posting about that adventure some day), I had been waiting for a moment when Orac was idle again and not busy refilling the pool with full backups of everything....It hadn't gotten any fulls of Zen yet, it didn't detect that Zen had gone away to apply the recent Microsoft patches during its recent attempt, so I had to step in and stop it. So that seemed like a good time to take Orac down.

Pages: 1· 2· 3· 4

03/28/11

  01:43:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 837 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Worked on Orac yesterday

Yesterday, I decided that I should poke around Orac in preparation for building that new 5x2TB RAID5 array. My backuppc pool keeps filling up, and deleting old backups isn't freeing up enough space anymore (5x1.5TB RAID6 array.)

At first it was just going to be a simple procedure to add two eSata cables from the computer to the Sans Digital MS2T+B, and then shutdown and move the two 1TB drives in RAID 1 from the bottoms slots of my TR5M-B (upper 3 are unoccupied). But, as I was pushing on the cables the bracket popped in...so I had to open the case to put it back in place.

While I was in, I decided to see what kind of fan is on the drive cage. A couple of weeks earlier, I had gotten a SMART alert of high temperature and cacti showed that there was a rise for a few hours in the late evening. It had been warm that day, warm enough that I touched the AC briefly in the earlier part of the evening. Guess I needed it to stay on the rest of the evening.... But, there was no fan...though there were mount holes for a fan, and there's supposed to be a fan connector on the motherboard for it. Though not all models had one, so evidently not the GT5635E. Though wonder if I should, maybe the addition of the second internal drive makes it desirable (so far I've had to replace the second drive twice....the current one is now a newer generation than the original drives, and runs cooler.)

Since there wasn't a fan, I didn't take the cage out....so I didn't measure what size fan might go in the spot. Though I have a rough guess as what size it is, so perhaps later on I'll pick up a fan to put there. I should probably see about a new rear fan....perhaps a faster one might help.

But, I put things back together and moved the drives, started things back up.

Of course, the first problem is now all my drive letters are different....which messed things up like cacti (hddtemp recording), gkrellm and rc.local (where I changed the i/o schedule for the RAID6 array drives to noop). There was also the complication that the filesystem on the drives I just moved hadn't been fsck'd in over 6 months. So, it needed to fsck them. root also needed be fsck'd. It took a long time to boot, but eventually did. Though the filesystem on the moved RAID1 array hadn't finished checking...had set 'nobootwait' on filesystem. I'll probably remove those now...since they have fixed Bug #563916. But, after fixing rc.local (and before fixing cacti) I rebooted....so it still needed to do the fsck.

Later I still had to reboot again, because two services that reference the filesystem....weren't happy...well, one was really unhappy and the other wasn't reporting valid information for it and needed a restart to make it work (I couldn't probably have fixed the issue without a reboot, but I wanted to make sure it rebooted right after another change I had made. There's still something odd going on, affecting a different RAID1 array....will look into that later (or I could opt to move the filesystem to the RAID6 array)....since it could use a grow.

Full story »

03/27/11

  06:33:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 817 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Networking, BOINC, Storage

worked on lhaven, kind of

It might be time I upgraded/replaced 'lhaven'.

This is the only computer in my home network that is only 10/100BaseT, everything else being gigabit. I did picked up a gigabit NIC, but couldn't get it to work in this computer. Seems to not get along with something integrated hardware-wise.

The other thing is there have been lots of errors coming from ata1.00 for sometime. This is also the remaining computer that uses PATA drives. 'lhaven' has 3 300GB PATA drives in it. The primary master (ST3300622A) and secondary master (6B300R0) were in RAID1 configuration, and the primary slave (WD3000JB) is just a single disk. secondary slave is the CD drive...forget what it is exactly.

It wasn't dire that I replace the failing primary master, though it had failed out once before....system booted off the secondary master and ran degraded. But, I added the disk back in and it quickly got happy again (have internal bitmaps enabled).

I had looked around and there isn't much in PATA drives available these days...and nothing in 300GB. Choices I found were 80, 320 or 500. I suppose I could've gone with a 320...but what I did instead of score a 300GB off of eBay.

Replacing it didn't go though. Failed out the disk, booted up on secondary, and tried to put in new disk. First cloning partition table over to new disk. Wouldn't work...new disk is smaller than the secondary master.

As it turned, out the two primary drives were the same size, but the secondary was slightly bigger. I had partitioned the drive using all the space, though it was never using all of it. Probably should've partitioned it the same size as the primary drives. But, I didn't recall this at midnight...figuring it was would go quick and let it resync while I slept....

So found details on shrinking things so that I could add the new disk. Then things got weird.

grub got messed up, and the new disk wouldn't come back correctly into raid. There seemed to be CHS issues, maybe the BIOS in 'lhaven' is too old for such a new drive (ST3300820A)...had seen messages about it, but was more stumped by why it kept changing the md1 slice from sda2 to sda...leading to nasty things as it tried to rebuild itself.

Also noticed that it did different things if it booted from the primary versus the secondary. Apparently the md0/md1 didn't show up soon enough so it used the partition directly.... and the sda1/sda2 paritions were kind of messed up. In fact the /home filesystem on one got seriously hosed, so I reformatted it. But, when I rebooted later..../home was back and working.

During this process grub got messed up, so I had to download a livecd to reinstall grub. Eventually, it all seemed to mostly be working. Except that I could only boot from the secondary master, it would come up wrong from the primary. And, the errors I was seeing that prompted this were still happening.

So, likely not a drive problem...but something else wrong with 'lhaven'. So, I decided to put the old primary drive back and resync that and put everything mostly back the way it was before.

It wasn't without some challenge...like how to make it not see the secondary master and get confused by it. I tried removing power to it, but computer wouldn't power up. I tried removing just IDE cable from it, BIOS halted because just a secondary slave wasn't kosher. It started things degraded, but used sdc1 as root (instead of md0 which should be sda1, with sdc1 out...zero'd it superblock) it was also weird on vg00. md1 wouldn't activate, but vg00 was using it some how. And, when I did activate it...I couldn't get sdc2 to add to it.

But, eventually it all got back to the way things were before.

So, I guess its time to see about replacing 'lhaven'. Its old enough. Though not sure what, besides case and powersupply are original from the computer I purchased in August 2002.

Hard to say what I'll replace it with though...since not much out there fits into where it is (perhaps its time to get a new KVM), and I'm going to want a pretty souped up system to speed up BOINC work....even though that's pretty much all it does these days. Since, everything is being handled on 'box'/'orac' now. And, the secondary services that do run on 'lhaven' don't call for anything beefy (DNS, NTP)....though I do want to redo my Linux media server setup.

My Momitsu V880N is probably going to get replaced sometime later this year... only had mmc running on 'tardis' and 'lhaven'. mmc doesn't work on vista/Win7, and 'tardis' is off in the corner to die. Could probably get mmc working on some other linux box if I needed, but its probably time to come up with something DLNA.... and have my Roku take over.

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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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