New server online…

I’m very tired atm but here is a brief summery of the headache this was, with a little geek humor added for those who can appreciate it…

I spent 1.5 weeks developing and testing a new linux OS for it, compiled from scratch. Works fine in vmware, and works fine on my i7, lots of testing, so I know it works beautifully.

After testing was completed and I was sure that everything would run smoothly I spent an afternoon tearing apart my old server, cleaning and building the new one.

This is when the true pain started…

Smack in the face #1: Bios revision was F5 – F6 added x6 cpu support. I had to wait overnight, and then ventured out this morning to borrow a single core semperon 140 (am3) to use to flash it. So I get home, swap out cpu’s, flash the bios, swap back and YAY it works now! That’s when I noticed…

Smack in the face #2: New bios revision (F9 now) totally fubared the ability to use a USB keyboard attached to a hub (prior to F7, my keyboard worked fine)… Since my keyboard happens to have a USB hub integrated into it, I was trapped, unable to enter bios setup to select the boot device, which in this case was going to be a small USB stick I had prepared and already attached to the system. So after stewing a bit, I ventured out yet again to a little office supply store across the street. They charged me $20 for what should have been $10 – the most basic and uncomfortable USB keyboard. So I get home, plug in the new keyboard and YAY it works now! That’s when I noticed…

Kick in the balls #1: Motherboard WILL NOT boot from usb stick. Gives an annoying little grumble about it not being a valid boot device, please insert a floppy, yadda yadda… Oh wait a minute, this IS a valid boot device tested on a virtual machine and a physical machine. FFFFUUUUUU computer, FFFFFUUUU whoever wrote this bios rom. So I decide to plug in some optical drives I had in the closet, and burn an ISOLINUX cd that will chainboot usb devices on pretty much any system (tested the iso in vmware, works lovely)… First disk burned made a coaster out of a DVD-RW. Second burn completed successfully, but whats this… Stuck at loading the preboot bin after ISOLINUX loaded…. FFFFFFUUUUUUU

So finally I surrendered and just burned my entire OS to the optical disk, and it booted…

So this is running for now, I wanted to get the site back up to avoid anymore downtime… I may exchange this motherboard for one that actually supports booting from a USB stick like it should. I will be fine tuning things over the next few days, but I will try to keep the downtime to a minimum…