MonthAugust 2007

More new furniture!

So… I’m in the process of trying to reorganize my life – belongings, direction, everything. I managed to clean up all the clutter on my desk last week, and yesterday, I picked up a used Ikea TV stand that would also hold all my media electronics. It looks purdy… have a look for yourself.

Now I have a place to put all my equipment, movies, games, and accessories, and it all looks nice and clean. 🙂

A new addition to the family…

No… it’s not a baby. I’m 22, and about to start my masters. I don’t plan on having a child for another couple of years, at least.

Anyways……… the new addition is a new file server. I’ve been eyeing the parts for this system for a good while now, and finally got the main core of the system. Here are the specs so far:

Motherboard – Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H
CPU – Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160
RAM – 2GB (2x 1GB) OCZ Gold DDR2-800
OS Drive – Western Digital WD2500KS 250GB

It’s basic, but it’s a platform for a much larger beast…. the 3ware 9650SE-8LPML. I’ve already got four 500GB drives, and ultimately, they’ll be put in that system in RAID5, giving me a healthy 1.5TB of storage space. Yes… I know. I’m crazy.

Then again – the 3ware card has a lot of advantages over other RAID solutions. One of the key ones for me is array expansion. One day, if the 1.5TB fills up (and it probably will), I can simply add another drive and expand the array to 2TB without losing any data.

All of my computers have names from Star Wars, so I’m giving the new system the name of Coruscant. I find it fitting, considering that it was the center for pretty much everything in the galaxy. 😉

106C… oy…

So… I had a slightly hairy run-in with my workstation last night. Let me start by saying that whoever designed the heatsink retention for S370 and SocketA should be smacked over the head at least twice. If you look at the CPU socket in this picture, you’ll see three tabs on each side. The heatsink is held in place by a metal shim that’s clipped onto those tabs. The main problem is that those little tabs have a tendency to snap off at the most inconvenient times, leaving you with a system that can’t have a heatsink. If the tab breaks off cleanly, you have a chance of gluing it back on with some epoxy or the like.

So this happened to me – the tab on both of the sockets of my workstation, Lusankya. I figured that I could epoxy them back on and bend the metal clip to reduce the pressure a bit, since the CPU’s have an integrated heat spreader, leaving plenty of contact area. I got the system up and running again and all seemed fine and dandy. I use SpeedFan on my systems to monitor temperatures and voltages and such. SpeedFan lets you configure events based on this temperature being too high, or that voltage too low, or whatever else you can think of. I have a rule set that if the CPU temperature goes above 60C, the system will start to beep.

So last night, I’m watching TV, and I hear the system start beeping away. I’m thinking… what’s going on. I open up SpeedFan and lo and behold, CPU2 is running at 106C!!! I slam the power switch on the PSU to shut off the system, and then open it up. Sure enough, that broken clip broke off again, and the heatsink had slid most of the way off. I removed the CPU and heatsink and as much as I needed too, and set about mixing my epoxy again. After leaving the epoxy to set overnight and all of today, I carefully reattached the heatsink and tried to start up the system. Ok… clear BIOS, set the CPU speed again… starting Windows…

BSOD!!!! Aww crap. The computer restarts right away, so I don’t get a chance to see what it says, but after a few more BSOD’s and restarts, I finally read it: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME. In otherwords, my system partition/drive is screwed. Probably happened when I shut off the system. Crap.

Well – it’s incentive for me to transfer two 80GB drives and a Silicon Image SATA RAID card into this system and run the boot drive off RAID0. After a bit of fiddling around with the SIL3512 drivers, I finally got Windows to install. Let me just say – the difference is highly noticable. 🙂

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