As one of the disks in our home server broke before x-mas, I had to shut down and open up the home server to swap the drive. Now that I had it open anyway, I thought it would make sense to upgrade the hardware at the same time. Just swap in new MB, CPU, memory and the replacement HDD and start it up again… Bzzzt. Boy, I was wrong. But well, more on that story later on, now I have got it up’ n’running again.
Here is the server in the old setup:
The old machine was AMD K6 450MHz class veteran, and even while it had almost 400M of memory, it’s IO bandwidth just couldn’t keep up with the four 7200RPM IDE drives in two physical (four logical) controllers. So I gathered stuff I had lying around; obsolete Duron and Athlon XP 2000+ processors given by friends, DIMM module that didn’t work reliably at DDR400 anymore and Chaintech Socket-A MB from online auctioning servive.
To swap the MB I had to rip out almost all the guts, and as I didn’t want to do it multiple times, I first built the new system in a classic ghetto way:
After lot of hassle, tuning with Ubuntu Live CD (very nice tool also for configuring hard drives..) and trial with another Socket-A MB from another friend I ended up packing all the data to the two Seagate drives, 120G and 160G in size.
It was time for these old workhorses to retire:
They all all Deskstars, 20G, 30G and 40G in size. The bottommost (40G) is the only one that’s broken for sure; the two others are just suspicious and slow enough so that I decided the additional 50G of disk space just isn’t worth all the troubleshooting. 24/7 server use is tough job for such old beasts, after all.
With them I could also swap out this nice piece of hardware:
It’s four device Ultra ATA 133 controller I had used to have dedicated lane for each of the four drives. Now that I have only two disks, two IDE connectors on the MB are enough.
The server is also *a lot* quieter now; I almost feel like keeping it in our study for easier tuning ;-). I need still to swap the CPU fan to some thermally controlled model and maybe do some tricks to the PSU fan, but the HDDs are now well below the ambient noise.