So, what started as take a week to set up a new nagios server at work ended up taking almost a month...because there were many days where I'd only have an hour or less to put some time into the side task. The other stumbling block was I had decided that the new nagios server configuration files would get managed under subversion, instead of RCS as it had been done in the previous two incarnations. New SA's don't seem to understand RCS and that the file is read-only for a reason...and its not to make them use
:w! ... which lately has resulted in a the sudden reappearance of monitors of systems that had been shutdown long ago.
Though now that I think of it, there used to be the documented procedure for editing zone files (back when it was done directly on the master nameserver and version controlled by RCS.) Which as I recall was to perform an
rcsdiff, and then use the appropriate workflow to edit the zone file.
% rcsdiff zonefile if differences % rcs -l zonefile % ci -l zonefile make rude comment that somebody made edits % vi zonefile % ci -u zonefile else % co -l zonefile % vi zonefile % ci -u zonefile fi
But, when I took over managing DNS servers, I switched to having cfengine manage them and the zone files now live under
masterfiles, so version control is now done using subversion. Had started butchering the DNS section in the wiki, probably should see about writing something up on all the not so simple things I've done to DNS since taking it over...like split, stealth, sed processing of master zone for different views, DNSSEC, the incomplete work to allow outside secondary to take over as master should we ever get a DR site, and other gotchas, like consistent naming of slave zone files now that they are binary.
Additionally work on the nagios at work was hampered by the fact that for Solaris and legacy provisioning is CF2, and the new chef based provisioning is still a work in progress...where I haven't had time to get into any of it yet. So, I had to recreate my CF3 promises for nagios in CF2.
But Friday before last weekend it finally reached the point where it was ready to go live. Though I've been rolling in other wishlist items and smashing bugs in its configuration, and still need to decide what the actual procedure will be for delegating sections of nagios to other groups.
One of the things I had done with new nagios at work, was set up PNP4Nagios...as I had done at home. And, while looking to see if I needed to apply performance tweaks to the work nagios, all the pointers were to have mrtg or cacti collect and plot data from nagiostats. Well, a new work cacti is probably not going to happen anytime soon, and the old cacti(s) are struggling to monitor what they have now (I spent some time a while back trying to tune one them...but its probably partly being hampered by the fact that its mysql can use double the memory that is allocated to the VM. though reducing it from running 2 spine's of 200 threads each...on the 2 CPU VM to a single spine with fewer threads has helped. Something like the boost plugin would probably help in this case, but the version of cacti is pre-PIA. But, it could be a long time before it get's replaced (not sure if upgrade is possible....) Our old cacti is running on a Dell poweredge server that has been out of service over 6 years... with the cacti instance over 8 years old (Jul 8, 2005)....and the OS is RHEL3.
Anyways, it occurs to me that there should be a way to get PNP4Nagios to generate the graphs, and I search around and find check_nagiostats. Though no template for it. Oh, there's a template nagiostats.php, if I create a link for check_nagiostats.php it should get me 'better' graphs. Which is what I have CF2 do at work.
So, recently there was a 'long' 4th of July weekend....on account that I opted to take Friday (the 5th) off as well.
I kind of thought I would tackle a bunch of different projects this weekend, though I've pretty much shelved the idea of re-IP'ng my home network. Perhaps something to do when I get my configuration management better fleshed out.
What I decided was that it looks like its just one last thing on one of the two Ubuntu servers that I'm retiring. So, I figured I'd quickly move that and then go onto the next thing. In the end, I didn't get it completed until Monday night.
For background, some years back...after my return to IRC, I had initially gone with Chatzilla (being that Firefox was my standard browser), which later moved to xulrunner and Chatzilla so it was independent of my browser. Though it was kind of annoying having it running at work and at home, and somewhat confusing for co-workers that ran text based IRC clients in screen somewhere and ssh'd in, etc. Most people that did this, were doing irssi.
So, I initially built it from source and was running on my old RedHat 7.3 server, and that was usable. Later when I setup an Ubuntu box to replace that server (the hardware had previously been SuSE....acting as an internal router for ivs status tracking....) It evolved, in that I would start screen detached from rc.local....which was important since the system would see patches on a regular basis, requiring reboots....which is kind of a reason for switching to FreeBSD.
Over time, I would make little tweaks here and there, to this irssi setup. Like twirssi, doing ssl, and later bitlbee to integrate Facebook chat (came across some stuff that I should add now...)
And, incorporating other tweaks I come across online when there's some problem that becomes sufficient bothersome that I want to address. The one problem I haven't haven't been able to solve is keeping server/system messages confined to the one window. Namely keeping system CRAP going to the system window, and allow channel CRAP to show up in the channel windows....but instead I'll get system CRAP in whatever channel window is active. Which is annoying because its usually the work channel. Where it be just signal and no noise.
I had started to move things more than a month ago, in that I built irssi and bitlbee (including the cfengine3 promise for it...not really much config wise for cfengine to manage for irssi...though I envisioned promising that its running all the time, though irssi has generally been stable everywhere else that I've run it.
But, the I got distracted by other cfengine3 work. Even though things started to get pressing when twirssi stopped working, due to API 1.0 going away...so I had to update Net::Twitter and twirssi. Updating twirssi wasn't that hard to do, but Net::Twitter was a problem, so I opted to remove it and its dependencies and then installing it and its dependencies using CPAN.
I also made note to install
net/p5-Net-Twitter from ports on dbox.
twirssi seems to be having other issues, which I had intended to investigate...perhaps after I move... But, that was like a month ago....
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This is an update to the "ddclient & squid" here
Ran into a new problem recently....though the need for SSL in squid on ubuntu is deprecated, by the fact that I'm slowly replacing this server with a FreeBSD server.
As a result, I don't pay attention to this ubuntu server as much as I used to, so I've configured unattended-upgrade. It was installed, but it didn't seem to do anything in that on other servers I'd log in to find that there are lots (40+) of patches available and more than half that are security. Since I came across how to configure it to do more than just security patches, including send me email and on some systems automatically reboot when necessary. (should've thought to see how unattended-upgrade is configured and doing such things in the Ubuntu AMI I have in AWS)
Since I got unattended-upgrade configured on this old server (32-bit Ubuntu Server, which I've heard they have a 12.04LTS download for??? They had said they dropped 32-bit server support, so there was version with 10.04LTS. So I couldn't upgrade and now I'm way past EOL, which is causing problems...probably need to hunt down the landscape and ubuntuone services and nuke them, instead of letting them degrade my server for being EOL.) I've also had to update packages on here from outside sources to keep things running, so guess I should work harder on abandoning this server.... Where it'll likely get reborn as [yet ]a[nother] FreeBSD server....along with the server that I think I have all the parts collected for it, but just need to sit down and put it together. It started as a mostly function pulled 1U server, in need of ... well either new fans or a new case.... I opted for the new case route. It also needed drives and memory. But, as a result of the new case route...aside from case/powersupply...it meant I would need to get heatsinks...since the passive ones based on the 1U case channeling air flow....would be hard to recreate in the tower case I went with. Its a huge tower case, given that its an E-ATX motherboard...yet it isn't a full tower (like the formerly windows machine called TARDIS...someday I'll work its regeneration....need money to buy all the bits and pieces that'll make that up, which I haven't fully worked out what those will be....or where it'll go since my dual 23" widescreen FreeBSD desktop has consumed all of the desk that it would've shared....and not really keen on the idea of a KVM for this situation. )
Anyways...every day I get an email from unattended-upgrade for this system.... with:
Unattended upgrade returned: True Packages that are upgraded: squid-common Packages with upgradable origin but kept back: squid squid-cgi Package installation log: Unattended-upgrades log: Initial blacklisted packages: Starting unattended upgrades script Allowed origins are: ["['Ubuntu', 'heron-security']", "['Ubuntu', 'heron-updates']"] package 'squid' upgradable but fails to be marked for upgrade (E:Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.) Packages that are upgraded: squid-common Writing dpkg log to '/var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades-dpkg_2013-07-06_08:05:42.056193.log' All upgrades installed
This is because of that quirk where even though I rebuilt my version with SSL, and kept it the same version...it wants to install its version to replace mine (of the same version). Which is why I did the hold thing.
I could do the alternative of add a string to make my version advance from current....though I suppose I won't unhold...so that unattended-upgrade won't upgrade should such a thing appear (unlikely since both the OS and squid are ancient...and there'll be no more updates.) But, the intent is to hopefully silence unattended-upgrade in this matter.
Though kind of surprised its still doing something....hmmm, guess there was a new security patch to squid 2.7 back on January 29, 2013....that I've been missing (suppose its already downloaded the update in its 'cache'....or the backend is still there, its just not getting updates beyond what's there....whatever, I think I'm down to one more service to move off....)
So, doing cacti on cbox doesn't seem to be working long term... but, the moment is being prepared for....I starting to assemble the pieces to build a new machine to do this and handle some other tasks that I've been looking for a place for.
Back to cfengine, I added a promise for dnetc (distributed.net)....and then a promise to finally configure CUPS on the two servers. And, then I turned to nagios.
I spent a couple evenings creating the initial configuration of nagios, working in design changes that I wanted to make and initial monitoring of localhost (dbox). Though it wasn't straight forward....there were differences here and there....mostly in FreeBSD layout, paths, and some of the commands taking different options. But, eventually I got everything running. My old check_dyndns worked once, but then stopped working.... problem was that it did 'stat -c "%Y" ..." which doesn't work on FreeBSD, 'stat -f "%m" ...' was the adjustment for that. All, while all the checks_* seem to be there, command definitions was lacking....but I guess having command definitions for everything is part of the debian/ubuntu packaging. There were other frills that came with that, that I don't mind not having...
I did run into check_ntp being deprecated....with check_ntp_time and check_ntp_peer being the tests to use....separating and making more clear on whether you're comparing time between servers using ntp or checking the state of the ntp server...
It did show some interesting oddities in holding NTP time on my home network.... I know that I should have 3 or more ntp servers, but it seems that I'm often landing in the state where I only have 2....with lots of delay, resulting in pretty good swings of jitter....almost makes me wonder if this something I could graph in cacti....
Wonder if I can find a cheap NTP appliance somewhere....
The last stumbling block was check_dhcp. Which seems to be broken on FreeBSD. All, the discussion on it seemed to point to firewalls, but no firewalls and it still didn't work....tcpdump on both places, and its saying it sending stuff, but no packets appearing on the network. But, I can see the other DHCP traffic on the network.
I remove that check and call it a night. I mull some possible work arounds....first one I tried was setting up linux compability and try running the check_dhcp from my working (ubuntu) nagios. Well, it didn't work...it couldn't find an interface. Oh well, guess there's the ugly way....use nrpe to invoke it. Though that didn't work right away.....probably because while I had created new nrpe configs for all my servers in cfengine, I haven't put any of my ubuntu servers under cfengine yet. Most of the other promises haven't been implemented for ubuntu yet. It was pretty simple to include nrpe.cfg for everything.... in fact it condensed to only 3 files.... a freebsd version, an ubuntu version and a host specific version for orac. Well, not right away...that happened more recently...while I was going through and updating the nrpe.cfg's by hand on the ubuntu servers. Was when I noticed that some of the files were only different in comments....so I made further simplifications in cfengine...which'll propagate out eventually....
Long term, I'll probably just have to track down some alternate implementation of check_dhcp....
I then add cbox to monitoring...and then looked to see about monitoring things that are on cbox/dbox...so I found checks for freeradius, cups, squid, along with improvements to checks on ntp. The check_squid was tricky....I got it working by hand, after making the suggested change for the default Cache type parsing, which turned out to be changes for squid3 vs. squid2 (but box is still running squid 2.7 - since I had re-built it by hand with SSL support, and blocked ubuntu from updating it. Orac wasn't blocked so it eventually turned into squid3.
it worked by hand, but wouldn't work under nagios...turned out that the embedded perl wasn't liking it. I was going to disable embedded perl for it, when I took a look at seeing what it was complaining about. And, did some reading on embedded perl.... the gist was "use strict", "perl -w" and "perl -c" as starting points. perl -w was find, but perl -c had one problem....which I fixed. But, no go. And, then noticed the line "# todo : use strict", guess I'll have to deal with that.
And, making that all happy, got it working.
The only other quirk was the memory check wouldn't work on FreeBSD, I guess there's no mallinfo() available for that. So, no running that test on those servers....plus no Cache test on box. But, it still left enough variety of tests that worked on all. And, it wasn't so much that I wanted to get all the information, but I choose to define all the different tests with ports set into the test....so running the check would also test that all my squid ports worked. There's actually only two that matter, but I have all my squid's configured the same, listening on 5 or 7 ports....depending on whether I have SSL enabled. Though I pretty much only need two now. I'm not doing transparent proxying and I don't need the SSL now that I've split box into dbox/cbox....the SSL was so ddclient could work on box and update dyndns via proxy to DSL....
Next up is adding zen to nagios, and coming with with more tests of things that are specific to zen, but covered or not covered in the old nagios.
Though as I worked along...there were things I couldn't find monitors for...though I realized that I could have cfengine promise that those services were running. Plus cfengine was also taking care of other things. So, I should probably work on writing some promises for zen. So, I can have promises to make sure things are started up again after a port is updated or that php/extensions.ini is reordered, etc.
But, I'll probably continue adding everything else to nagios first.
The home server migration that I wrote about on April 7th, hit a delay .... I started working on migrating cacti and nagios.
I probably should've started with nagios, since I don't think that would've taken as long as cacti has.
I had already been monitoring the new servers using my old cacti installation. I had pretty much decided that moving the old installation to the new servers wasn't going to straightforward.... partly because of versions, and no easy intermediary. But, I wasn't too worried about the historical data in my old cacti....
I figured that once I got things up and running, I'd just export the templates and import them into my new system and I'd be done.
But, then I hit a hitch....the squid templates I had weren't working on the new system....all I could find were old results about issues with doing SNMP to ports other than 161, and possibly due to newer versions of net-snmp....though that later turned out to be a wild goose.
Anyways...the work around was to use the proxy option in net-snmp. Though I recall having tried net-snmp before discovering bsnmpd on FreeBSD, but I gave it a shot.
Before I got to testing the proxy...I soon saw that it wasn't giving the same information as bsnmpd...specifically, for the HOST-RESOURCES-MIB and parts of UCB-SNMP-MIB. So, I decided that I could proxy net-snmp to bsnmpd and get those. But, that didn't work.....after some reading the answer was I needed to either map bsnmpd in somewhere else or exclude those areas from net-snmp.
Well, during the build of net-snmp, it did make reference to being able to set some variables in make.conf -- such as NET_SNMP_WITH_MIB_MODULE_LIST and NET_SNMP_WITHOUT_MIB_MODULE_LIST. And, by default NET_SNMP_WITH_MIB_MODULE_LIST contained "host disman/event-mib smux mibII/mta_sendmail mitII/tcpTable ucd-snmp/diskio sctp-mib if-mib"
So, I tried setting NET_SNMP_WITH_MIB_MODULE_LIST without host and ucb-snmp/diskio and tried to exclude the rest of ucb-snmp in NET_SNMP_WITHOUT_MIB_MODULE_LIST. Which got me a strange error about host being in both lists.
I delved into the Makefile, and found while the other settable NET_SNMP parameters were done as '?=' in the Makefile, the NET_SNMP_WITH_MODULE_LIST was done as '+='...with conditionals that '+=' the last two modules.
OSVERSION >= 700028 adds 'sctp-mib' and the port option MFD_REWRITES adds 'if-mib'....I had started looking at what the fix might be, but decided that all I needed to do was remove all these lines...since I'm going to have my own definition in my /etc/make.conf file.
Trying to exclude all of ucd-snmp wouldn't make things work....but I did an snmpwalk comparing bsnmpd and net-snmp, and decided that the two areas that were lacking were ucd-snmp/diskio and ucd-snmp/disk_hw. So, I recreated the 'original' NET_SNMP_WITH_MODULE_LIST in /etc/make.conf, without 'host' and 'ucd-snmp/diskio' and put 'ucd-snmp/disk_hw' in NET_SNMP_WITHOUT_MODULE_LIST. The build grumbled, but finished.
I that worked.....all my ucd/snmp host graphs were working on m new cacti server in the same detail that I was getting before (IE: the CPU Utilization gave traces for each of the 8 vCPUs...instead of just one.... I could see all the ZFS filesystems, not just the the single zroot.
So, I went back to looking at getting squid graphs to work....that didn't work.
My 10.04LTS servers are nearing the end of the line, but the move to get them upgraded is starting to get close....
At first I was waiting for the 12.04.1LTS update to appear, so that I might try upgrading them to Precise. But, then it struck me that it struck me that it might be time to replace one of the servers with new hardware.
The boxes had been servers for many years now, but in 10.04 they dropped support for 32-bit hardware as servers....which means one of my servers, and the more important one...is nearing EOL.
So, back in August....I came across a Shuttle XS36V open box on newegg.com....so I ordered one, along with an 8GB SODIMM memory set (a pair of 4GB)....the computers support a maximum of 4GB, but in my mind I was thinking that if this worked, I might get another to make a pair.
But, then it sat around as I go on to other projects....I had figured on using one of the 120GB SSDs that I had acquired earlier....
Realized what was strange about these boxes was they had serial ports, so I started thinking about network serial and setting these boxes up headless. Since I had done a server at work for serial with FreeBSD, I got to thinking that I would do the same with this. Plus I was really finding to be much more predictable/stable than Ubuntu....something that's good in a server.
I started revising the plans as I went....ended up deciding that I would have one that is default cable and one that is default dsl, and running the usual core...one would be master DNS, and the other one be the primary slave....just as one would be primary DHCP and the other secondary....both would do freeradius. Both would NTP servers. Both would do mail, though zen is my main mail system. They would have both apache and nginx on them...apache to run local web services....and nginx doing reverse proxy to the other web apps on my home network (kind of important since current cable router is a step back with it only supporting 16 port forwards....though I have a replacement that I'll get to setting up some day...)
Then while I was poking around on newegg.com, spotted that there was another open box Shuttle XS36V....so now I had two boxes. I had picked up once Cyclades ACS1 earlier on ebay, so I got a second....a 'new' one for about the same price. Just needed to find time. Perhaps after FreeBSD 9.1 drops.
Well, it dropped....but I still wasn't ready...now I needed some SSD drives for the machines. So, I used the $30 in RewardZone for the new TV I had gotten in September, and picked up a pair for 128GB SanDisk Extremes. And, then I started setting up the ACS1s....hmmm, wonder if I have any serial cables. Okay, I'll buy some of those first.... I end up ordering from TigerDirect, as they have a better price on RJ45 to DB9 adapters....not that I need them for the actual ACS1 to Shuttle XS36v connection...that's just a 9F to 9F null modem cable.
So, after my Windows 7 machine at work ate itself after a Windows Update. I decided to turn it into an Ubuntu 12.04 system.
But, so much for becoming Windows free. I was informed that I need a Windows machine to run vCenter on, because the shared Windows 2003 server that we had been using is going away.
So, I setup Windows 7 in VirtualBox...pretty simple. But, soon I was getting ext4 messages complaining about unaligned access for a certain inode. The VDI for the Windows 7 install.
I searched around on VDI and 4K alignment, and eventually found this:
Though reading further it seems to suggest that newer versions of VirtualBox get the alignment right for you....and 4.1.24 is much newer than 3.0.12 in the original post. (had opted for 4.1.24, since 4.2.6 is not recommended for BOINC Test4Theory....but 4.2.8 is out now, and it is recommended....so it'll be time to go and update all my machines, I guess. The only systems with 4.2.6 were FreeBSD, because the 4.1.24 will cause the 9.1 kernel to panic on VM exit. though don't know if 4.1.24 was bad in ports or not, had been 4.1.22 before upgrading to 9.1 -- but had to recompile the kernel modules after the upgrade so had first tried 4.1.24....)
So, I went through the HOW-TO to create an new emtpy VDI...and found that it is already 4K aligned. So, why was the VDI created through the 'New Wizard' in VirtualBox Manager not?
Anyways...I then booted gparted and copied my partitions over to the new VDI....and then had to boot the Win7 installer to fix the startup to get it to boot, and no more complaining.
Guess I'll have to remember to create VDI before creating the new VM in the future? Wonder if there are issues in other disk image formats. Wonder if ZFS would complain that my VDI isn't aligned? Wonder how to check? Though the other formats I use are either VHD or VMDK. VHD because that's what Microsoft Windows Image Backup creates, and I'm using the last one of Zen to try to recover files from.... VMDK is after an import/export of a VM or for raw zvol accesses. So, guess those aren't areas of concern for me right now.
Over the last year, I started buying SSD drives. It used to be that they seemed pretty expensive, and of questionable performance and reliability. But, all things have improved over the years. And, when 120GB drives dropped under $1/GB (initially after rebates, later before rebate [if any]). I didn't have an immediate need for an SSD drive at the time, but I envisioned replacing the drive in my (u) laptop. And, perhaps my (w) laptop....beyond that I wasn't sure.
3/05/12 - Patriot Pyro 120GB - $159.99-$40 rebate = 119.99 3/20/12 - OCZ Agility 3 120GB - $139.99-$30 rebate = 109.99 4/27/12 - Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB - $ 99.99 5/16/12 - OCZ Solid 3 60GB - $ 74.99-$20 rebate = 54.99 8/10/12 - Sandisk 128GB - $ 79.99 11/21/12 - Kingston HyperX 2K 240GB - $149.99 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB - $ 89.99-$15 reward = 74.99 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB - $ 89.99-$15 reward = 74.99
But, during this time...I had the lhaven misstep Where I had picked up the 60GB drive for that, but ended up using the Mushkin 120GB drive instead. The OCZ Agility 3 120GB had gone in as OS drive for my Xen Cloud Experiment. And, stayed when I went on to making it FreeBSD. Cut up initially as 64k boot, 32GB swap, 16GB L2ARC for the mirrored 1.5TB drives to help with dedup...and the rest...63GB root zpool.
Somehow the Patriot got misplaced for a while, so it got overlooked during the chaos.
After a 'break'. I picked up the Sandisk 128GB drive. Thinking that it might be a better choice to use to finally replace the (u) laptop harddrive. Though I waited until after the NN conference in October to do it, but before I went to LISA in December. Though I didn't finally upgrade the the OS to 12.04 (from 10.04) until just last week. I had thought about doing a clean install to 64-bit....since there were some issues since I upgraded the memory to 8GB. But, changing the hibernate method seemed to have solved the issue....so decided to leave it 32-bit. Though my (w) laptop is 64-bit...though it only has 4GB. Not sure if I'll upgrade it to 8GB. Or when I'll upgrade its harddrive to SSD.
Things have been kind of tight since...on the 128GB Sandisk drive. partly because swap got a bit bigger...had suspected that 8GB swap was iffy for hibernation....so had bumped that up. Plus the original harddrive was 160GB. But, the lion share of space consumption is my Windows XP VM. But, it get's the job done.
Meanwhile...around this time I got the idea that instead of making the risky upgrade of my two Ubuntu servers from 10.04 to 12.04, that I would set up two new FreeBSD servers and migrate the essential services over before deciding the future of those systems. So, I acquired a pair of Shuttle XS36V's...4GB of memory for each...and then eventually the plan was to acquire a pair of SSDs for them. Which I finally did last week as a pair of SanDisk Extreme 120GB drives. (with the help of $30 from Best Buy Reward Zone....and this purchase should get me a $5 reward zone soon.) And, these will probably get installed as FreeBSD 9.1.
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This was originally going to be a very long post, but I kept putting this off ... and now I just feel that something needs to be said.
The story starts with waking up on February 15th, to find zen was dead. It had self updated overnight, and now it was unbootable, and the start repair couldn't get me back. Apparently, the problem had started long ago with all the previous times where Windows 7 would lock up...usually under intense disk activity...and the afterwards, the intel matrix raid would require re-initialization of my 1.5TB RAID 1 array.
Apparently, it was slowly corrupting my drive....because trying to restore from WindowsImageBackup was also a failure. Since this happened the day before Gallifrey One, I had to wait until I got back to do some more serious attempts to recovery, during which I ordered a full copy of Windows 7 Professional, hoping that a repair install might be an option. It isn't because the repair option can only be invoked inside a running Windows 7 system .... in need of repair. Not by booting the disk. ARGH!
At least I should have the data in BackupPC to restore from.....though hopefully before the bit rot of its ext4 filesystem makes it go away. Plus I had hoped to get some configuration going where I could mount the RR62x RAID 5 array, and get at the Oops!Backup store.
So, the plan now was to wait until Ubuntu 12.04LTS to land and then maybe some configuration of running Windows 7 in VirtualBox and recovering into that, etc.
My first TiVo Premiere (activated July 12, 2010) started having weird problems a the last couple of months. After much pain, and troubleshooting with TiVo support. It was determined that my drive was failing, so freed up a bunch of space on zen, installed pyTiVo and started downloading as much as I could from the TiVo Premiere....I downloaded almost 1TB of shows. Had to reboot the TiVo now and then when it got confused again. Not entirely sure what I downloaded will be right. Since it was losing the links between metadata and shows, sometimes it would play the wrong show briefly before throwing an error...other times it would error out straight. Rebooting would fix it sometimes.... So, don't know if the downloading was affected.
So, now that I have everything that I could get...I swapped the drive (It was on my shopping list to get a WD3200AVVS eventually...though went with a Weaknees ready to go one instead. To start fresh. I had done a TiVo HD in the past with ddrescue to a WD1600AVVS via buy.com (where I have an extra for when my second TiVo HD needs it...seems odd that its my first TiVo HD that's going again though), which preserved its pairing with the My DVR Expander and all my shows...though that TiVo started having issues again in August, so the plan is to free up its My DVR Expander to put on my TiVo Premiere Elite...and then perhaps at some much more future date, swap the drive for a bigger Weaknees replacement drive.) and started things back up. Yay...its a blank TiVo Premiere. I used online TiVo Season Pass Manager to copy my season passes back onto my TiVo. It was slightly confused, because it still knew of the Season Passes that were there before....at first. I had cleared out all the season passes on the failing TiVo HD months ago, so it was where I had made a copy of all the season passes that I wanted to recover. It also took a while for my CableCard to work again....it was saying everything needed activation. So, 10 - HSN wasn't what I saw during guided setup...but I knew that it would be. Wish it would pick a channel that's more definitive....like a 2xxx channel. Since, I remove all the channels less than 2000 later in setup. I've been fully HDTV for some time now. Though seemed odd that cablecard comes into play for getting analog channels (unless things have changed, and there are digital streams of the analog channels now.)
So, I put those back....and over night it picked up 3 shows that had repeated recently....though it didn't need to, because the active shows have been recording on other TiVo's....and I had watched 2 of the shows it rerecorded already. Haven't caught up on the other show yet, so at least that one show I won't have to transfer back.
I checked through my channels..and I was able to get almost all my channels...though the activation screen would pop up on the occasional channel here and there....mostly ones I could probably live without, though it would be a nuisance.... Come to think of it...this is not the first time that this TiVo had done this. So, I call Cox and go through the pairing process again, and that fixes it. Strange that the channels I tried that were affected were, 2002 (The Weather Channel), 2101 (Hub HD), 2200 (Epix HD), and 10 (HSN).
So, I thought about starting the process of transferring back...but found that I couldn't list my shows on my TiVo Premiere. I guess I never tried it before.... I can browse the shows on my other installation of pyTiVo (ubuntu 10.04LTS). Also can't browser from my TiVo Premiere Elite. Wonder if there's some quirk with FreeBSD? I used the ports tivodecode? The newer python? But, then I find that I can browse from my TiVo HD.
I check the versions....the ubuntu version was originally much older (like a year or two) than the FreeBSD install. But, I had updated the ubuntu install...it was was 6 days newer than the FreeBSD one now. So I update the FreeBSD install....so now its newer than my ubuntu install. Only 4 files changed, though looking at the change logs on the files. There were changes that fell into the 6 day window. But, it still doesn't work.
I try debug, but can't seem to get that figured out. After much googling and head scratching...and looking at the code of where its throwing the exception. I see its looking at the .tivo file....hmmm, wonder if it might have an issues with the 0 length ones. Move those out of the way....and yup, its working now. Strange that the TiVo HD could tolerate them, but the Premiere couldn't....or something?
So, now that I've moved out the bad shows....I got to thinking how will I recover those. I'm searching around the internet, on what to do....when it occurs to me to check Amazon. Hmmm, yes...I can buy the missing episodes that way.... Hmmm, in some cases I can buy the whole season for a reasonable price. Wonder if I shouldn't do that for some of the shows, rather than deal with the pain of transferring them back. Plus watching will go faster with not having to skip old commercials (since I'm over a year behind on my TV watching in some cases....the commercials are really strange). Plus who knows what other bad episodes I'll run into when I do start catching up....along with episodes that got clipped or preempted, but I didn't know....etc.
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