Well, there's a tale and no mistake.
Early December, it was, when I started getting refusal to boot. Even the
POST wouldn't run until I took out half the RAM. Then, while switching
sticks about to find where the problem was, in my clumsiness I managed to
break one of the DIMM slots. Looked like I had to change the motherboard,
but I wanted advice from the system builder, Armari, so I packed the box up
and sent it off. The news was not good, so as the system was three years
old by then, I decided to cut my losses and have the motherboard replaced.
Oh, and by the way, said Darryll, did I know that one of my SATA disks was
about to fail? I didn't, no. Just disconnect it, I said, and I'll see what
I can get off it when it comes home. Eight months old - I ask you!
The box came back on the 23rd after quite a wait for SuperMicro to get a
board out to Armari. I spent spare time over Christmas trying to get a
system working, and I started an mdraid thread here on 28 December. Thanks
for the suggestions, those who tried to help.
Problems continued to haunt me. I couldn't boot a floppy with Smart Boot
Manager on it, nor any other for that matter; I couldn't find a way to
mount the newly rebuilt md partitions other than from the installation
disk; and I kept getting mysterious oddities all over the place.
Eventually the penny dropped, and I disconnected the allegedly imminently
failing SATA disk. I'd already disabled it in the BIOS, but that left the
electrical connections in place, of course, and I've a nasty feeling that
stray pulses were getting out of the disk and into places they shouldn't. So
I pulled both plugs: power and signal, since when the system has seemed
So, one disk down and no RAID. No problem - just delete the type-fd
partitions off the remaining disk, create new Reiser file-systems and
restore the backup; then worry about what to do about the possibility of
the disk failure's having damaged the configuration. Well, as we all build
from source hereabouts, and the source files are protected with checksums,
all I had to do, I reasoned, was to emerge -e system and then world.
Heigh-ho. After going through etc-update carefully and making sure I hadn't
thrown out any of my settings, I now find a few little quirks. I really
don't want to have install again from scratch, as distinct from recovering
backups (my wife is patient - of course - but I'm sure she doesn't quite
understand how running a computer can possibly take up so much time), but I
can't be confident in the system as it is. Kdm won't start, vmware-server
locks the machine solid, and one or two other things aren't quite right,
such as Smart Boot Manager not booting. To cap it all, today both the
on-board Ethernet ports stopped working and I had to slot in a spare PCI
We do do all this sort of thing for fun, don't we?
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