13 February 2008

Power to the tower

On the Linux front, a co-worker loaned me a Knoppix CD to boot the Linux box from to see if I could see my drives. After fighting with the Windows machine on Tuesday night, I was too tired to try that experiment. Having had some success, I was good with the rest while you're ahead school of computer/network troubleshooting.

Yesterday morning before tearing the Linux system apart for transport to a data recovery lab, I turned the machine on, started to go into setup to allow if to boot from the CD when I made an interesting discovery -- the drive had no LED. Hmm, closer inspection showed me that none of the drives in the hard drive tower showed an illuminated LED.

No, this was not a "but lady you have to plug it in" moment. Instead, it was a hmm, I wonder if I dropped a power supply moment. Mind you, dropping a power supply doesn't eliminate the possibility of data corruption and the need for data recovery but it was worth a shot.

Having done through a similar joy with the processor tower some years back, I took a photo of a couple of key wiring connections before tearing the old power supply out of the box.

So instead of making a data recovery lab run on my way to work, I went to Frye's and found a power supply or two that, while not perfect -- I don't after all need to power a mother board in the drive tower -- could be pressed into service.

I came home with a power supply and a router. I did look longingly at a couple of chassis but decided to keep it simple.

Power supplies come out easier than they go in but neither is a simple matter. Reconnecting the SCSI cable to the bottom drive was enough to make me cry, but I got everything sorted, reconnected the two towers and gave it power.

I cannot tell you just how happy I was to see LILO instead of LI and a hang.

Linux is a very patient OS, and apparently it boots from one of the drives in the drive tower and not from the drives in the processor tower. It was just waiting, patiently waiting, and not timing out.

But here's the key -- it booted, it loaded the OS, and it was halfway home.

The biggest problem with getting the Linux box back on the the internet was remembering which Ethernet port was eth0 and which was eth1 and that took a few resets.

I also had to do a few resets of the cable modem and speak to it sternly.

Getting the WIndows machine back to network normal was tougher and still not 100%

I returned the Knoppix CD to my co-worker with gratitude. It didn't work as planned but the loan of the CD did have a good result.

I'm thinking that some of the money I didn't spend on data recovery should finally go toward a newer machine to replace the Linux system. But I've the luxury of time to do my research and get it configured before I put it into production.


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