Server Maintenance

On the 31st of January was a maintenance day for my server. It started as a check to make sure that the non restarting after a sudden one second power lose issue was due to faulty PSU… I just confirmed my suspicions. With the test PSU the issue was gone and the computer was powering up properly afterwards. The 435Watt PSU installed on the server was on it since 2004, the year the system was build. Yesterday I got a replacement psu. An 80+ certified CoolerMaster GX Series 550Watt PSU, and I am gonna replace it as soon as I get back.

I also cleaned lot’s of dust and replaced the thermal paste on the CPU for the first time since I built it. I also found out that finally the fan used for cooling the northbridge was dead. Now I have to search for a round 40mm replacement cooler, though I find it hard to find a replacement here in Greece. Also at some point I will have to also replace the computer chassis with a newer one with better airflow since the system is up 24/7.

So after the cleanup and the reassembling I connect the computer to power and ethernet and I wait for it to boot and to access it via SSH, but nothing happens so I actually plug a monitor and a keyboard and I reboot the system, only yo find out that it is stuck at the GRUB loader waiting for keyboard input for reason unknown. It was the first time I had this issue.

While checking the bootloader I also found out that I had some GB of space allocated to a Windows XP installation that was not needed anymore actually since the machine works as a ubuntu based server. So while deleting the NTFS windows partition I also accidentally destroyed the ext2 formatted /boot partition need to boot my LVM setup.

So after searching for a while for ways to rebuild my setup by creating manually the /boot I found nothing helpful (well maybe I didn’t search enough). However while panicking somehow I decided to re-install Ubuntu 10.10 Server on the same BTRFS formatted LVM volumes without actually formatting the partitions, in order to keep my data intact.

However everything installed in system paths was replaced, so I actually lost all my configuration files, along with the web root, including everything stored in my Database (MySQL). The only things saved where those saved under the /home path. Hopefully my Subversion repositories where stored there, so I was actually able to keep them intact.

On thing I have to admit is that it was actually really easier to setup everything from scratch since I already knew where to search for the features I wanted to implement.

Now I am planning to make a tutorial at some point showing the steps to setup everything, but this has to wait till after my exam period is over.

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