Server Downsize: Part II

2012-01-08 23:29:14

I have now transfered my second server into a small form factor case. The web server now resides in a cube taking up about one fourth of the space that the old tower did. I must say, I like it. My next move will be to downsize my desktop case into a small box. Then, I’ll have just scads of room. Of course, it wasn’t all easy this time.

Last time, I had trouble finding Windows 2003 drivers for all of the hardware devices so I decided to take that box and use it for the Linux web server as there was more support for the chipset in Linux. First, I got a different Shuttle case for the Windows box and swapped the innerds [that’s how we say it in Texas, you know] into it. Once it came up, all was wonderful – all devices were identified and drivers found. That done, I then moved the Linux box parts into the previous case, which sports an nVidia chipset. Linux loves these. On install and boot-up, Linux discovered the changes and all went wonderfully… until: Bam. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t load the site from my laptop. I wondered what was happening, so I switched my KVM over to my Linux box only to find strange error codes on screen. I restarted and the machine promptly decided to turn itself off.

After trying to figure out what the cryptic messages on screen meant, I walked over to the machine and noticed that it was quite warm. I thought that maybe something wasn’t configured right or my hard drive was just about to spin itself off it’s spindle. Upon opening the case, I began to disassemble everything. The poor little box was way overheated and I didn’t know why. It didn’t do this last time. So, I though that maybe I should re-seat everything and apply new thermal grease to the CPU heat sink. As I was removing the CPU fan I noticed a very strange thing: the fan WASN’T PLUGGED IN! Doh!

The fan is plugged in and all is cool now. It just goes to show: even people who do this a lot sometimes forget the simple things.

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