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Showing posts from October, 2009

Neat trick when making outside IP changes

The guy I'm working with for our router changes has a neat trick for insurance against a bad IP change.

Run this command prior to making the IP change on your internet-side interface:

reload -n XX (where XX is the amount of time to hold the reload)

Then run your IP change commands.

If you make a mistake, or have bad info, the router reboots itself after XX time, clearing the bad commands!

Clever use of the reload command - there's something you wouldn't learn in school!

Clean-up follow-up

...too many ups...

Did a massive amount of clean-up yesterday, and the office looks great now!

I've ended up moving the monitors further down the desk, and setting the PC up so that it's easy to un-plug/tidy cables. The UPS is now on the desk next to it as well, leaving nothing on the floor. The fourth monitor has also been removed, for now, as it was just used for a second PC.

I'm going to P2V the BSD box, if possible, so that we don't have another PC sitting around NOT running ESX. There will be two spare PCs if we can get the BSD box virtualized.

Tonight I'm going to clean up all the spare parts, organize them, and label the boxes, as well as take a quick inventory so that I can look into getting rid of some of it. Of course I also need to finish up the basement wall...going to be another late night!

Oh yeah...I've now also got to build a shelf for the computers...or pile them all up together.

Update: I've got most of the stuff cleared out of the office now, …

Where to put it all?

I was telling my wife the other day how back in college, or earlier, I would have killed for the setup I'm using now - only now, I'm finding it extremely cumbersome and prone to making my desk very unusable.

The desk measures 6x3' and is crammed to the gills with stuff - NICs, RAM, the odd HSF, headphones, CD spindles, screws & drivers, papers, four monitors, speakers, two 8-port switches, wireless router, two keyboards w. mice, and cables upon cables. No matter how often I clean it off, it gets stacked with stuff again in no time. I think the real issue is that I'm just not organized, and have no place to put things even if I was organized. The other issue is that there's a lot of junk! It spills over onto the floor, under and around the desk (where the two APC 1200VA UPSes live). This drives my wife crazy. Actually...I think all of it drives her crazy. I should do something about that...if for nothing else than to make her life a little more sane!

It doe…

New home server environment

Well, with the days off I took, plus a few extra bits of hardware, things are shaping up nicely.

Hyper-V server
Motherboard: Asus P5E-VM HDMI LGA775
RAM: 2x2GB & 2x1GB Mushkin PC2
CPU: Intel E6400 2.13GHz
Disks: 160GB Seagate SATA for boot, 8x1TB WD Black in RAID5
Cards: Dell-branded LSI 8408 Dual SAS w. SAS-SATA breakout cables, Intel PRO/1000 CT nic

Running 2008 R2 x64 with Hyper-V and the Starwind iSCSI target. The RAID5 array is broken down into three 1.8TB and one 1TB logical disks, the former being used as VMFS iSCSI datastores and the latter using NFS and SMB shares for ISOs, files, etc. The VHDs for the Hyper-V part of the server are also stored on this disk.

The Starwind was super-easy to set up, only hitch I ran into was that I needed to restart the Starwind/iSCSI initiator services to get ESX seeing the LUNs. Performance is 'just fine' so far - nothing empirical to report, yet.

The on-board nic is used for LAN access, while the CT card is used for iSCSI, each on thei…

2008 R2 troubles continued, but solved

Once I got the disk portion working, it failed at the 'Copying files' part, got to between 15 and 40%, then gave an error (0x80070750 - files missing). I burned another DVD at 4x speed, same error. I re-downloaded the ISO, checked the SHA-1 hash, and burned another DVD at 4x speed. Same error. I made one of my USB sticks an install disc ( , an excellent post, btw), and STILL the same error.

At this point I was pretty frustrated. There was no way it was install back to the basics. I pulled all the expansion cards and did more googling. I came up with someone mentioning that over 4GB of RAM caused their Win7 install to fail. Win7 and 2008 R2 are similar, so I pulled 3 of the 6GB RAM I had installed (2x2,2x1). Bingo!! Installed 100% from there.

Pretty dumb problem...especially since it's an x64-only OS.

The hardware I'm using is most l…

Dumb Win7/Server 2008 bug - BIOS settings

I was trying to get a new frankenstein server up and running - boot would be a 320GB SATA drive off an ICH9R chipset, pretty standard stuff. The OS I wanted to install was Server 2008 R2 x64. I kept getting 'setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition' errors at the disk stage of things, even when using the advanced tools to delete/create new partitions. I even tried another SATA disk.

The solution?

Some googling turned up this:

The part of that thread that worked was BIOS settings. I am not joking. I had set the BIOS settings to only boot from the CD-ROM, nothing else. Changing the BIOS settings to have the 320GB disk as primary boot with the CD-ROM as secondary gave no issues at the disk portion of the installation.

Retarded, and made extra frustrating by the long waits caused (presumably) by the LSI SAS RAID card doing s…

More than 6TB for ESX4.0

Note: I was doing some cleanup of old posts, and noticed this was never published. Figured I'd throw the draft up anyways.

A bit of an issue with ESX4.0, but a little intro first.

I'm trying to run ESX vSphere on a home setup. An LSI 8408E (PERC 5i) SAS/SATA card with two SAS-SATA breakout cables connects to 8 WD 1TB 7.2k SATA disks. I also had one drive DOA initially, and have now had it replaced, but I'm still hearing sounds of head access that is too consistent for my liking.

They are configured as RAID5 with four logical disks, because the initial 6.4TB logical disk could not be used by ESX due to the limitation of 2TB per disk. After changing this configuration, ESX locked up at the 'checking filesystems' step of the boot process twice (only a few hard resets and mucking with the BIOS got it to clear finally). Now that I'm finally back into ESX with my new 2TB partitions, I cannot add them as disks in my storage configuration!

I get errors pertaining to …