Rebuilding servers is such fun.

Once again, another fun warning: this is probably going to be a long, technical, and likely not-very-interesting post if you’re not into computers and whatnot. If that’s not your thing, go ahead and skip this one. :-)

Anyway, I decided to spend this afternoon rebuilding Frost, the DNS server with the failing hard drive. For lack of an appropriate hard drive, I had planned on actually replacing it with my old Compaq Presario 1247 laptop. (A laptop as a server… imagine that.) However, I had to scrap that plan (or at the very least put it on hold) because I suddenly found that the laptop’s PCMCIA network card was missing. It’s probably at the office… *sigh* Anyway, while I was looking for it in the home office, I found an unused 8.4 GB hard drive sitting in a box. Now I didn’t need to use the laptop as a server… heh. So, this morning, I went ahead and shut Frost down, yanked out the defective hard drive, and put the 8.4 GB drive in its place. Then I switched the machine on, popped the install CD into the CD drive, and was ready to go.

… or so I thought, until I realized that the CD drive was no longer being detected.

At that point I took one of the spare CD-ROM drives we had, and popped it into Frost. This time the drive was recognized, but it wouldn’t recognize the fact that there was a CD in the tray. With no other option short of shutting down a working machine, I popped the 4X CD-ROM drive from Dad’s old Aptiva into Frost. Lo and behold, that worked… but then it turned out my Slackware 10.2 install CD was bad. I had suspected it while trying to load Slackware onto the laptop, but this only served as confirmation. Worse, the drive was old enough where it wouldn’t read any of Dad’s CD-RWs and my black CD-Rs had a lot of difficulty being read. I ended up having to make a run over to Office Depot to pick up a spindle of silver CD-Rs. Once I got back, I burned Slack 10.2 onto a silver CD-R, popped it into Frost, and was FINALLY able to get it up and running.

Of course, with it being a 4X CD-ROM drive, it took quite a while to get the OS installed. Then I had to get the kernel updated (for performance reasons) plus get the latest patches for the system software. I didn’t get finished until about 5 PM, which is about three or so hours longer than I had anticipated. Fortunately the machine is up and running now, and is pretty much in the same state it was before the hard drive had failed. Hopefully I won’t have any more problems out of it, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it just in case.

Now I can just have a beer and relax some. If only I didn’t have to go into work tomorrow and deal with the same kind of thing… heh. Ah, well…