Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Posts Tagged ‘upgrade’

Upgrading old servers …

Posted by graycat on 5 May 2009

sometimes it’s just not worth it.

I’ve been lucky this weekend and whilst it was a three day one (bank holiday Monday!) I’ve spent about 30hrs working in various offices. Oh yeah, check out my rock n roll lifestyle! Bet you’re jealous, huh?

Ahem.

Anyway, twelve of those lovely hours were spent on Monday trying to upgrade a server (I’ve just found out it’s over 7 years old now.). Funnily enough, it was a bit of a struggle.

6hrs were spent just getting to the hardware to talk properly. I did indeed rock a little happy dance when I finally managed to get it booting from the CD. Yes, it was that bad.

2hrs were spent trying to get into the BIOS as some previous owner / admin / clown had put a password on it and not written it down.

4hrs were spent trying to get Windows to install. Only for it to fail on restart with hard drive issues.

So the primary file server for an office is down and i’m 3hrs into the next day and guess what – yep, still no further forward.

Why can’t people accurately document things?! I mean seriously, if you’ve built something a particular way for a reason – put down why. For example, there’s a NAS box server here where the OS drive is D and not C. Why? Because it had a raid card failure and the new one swapped the drive letters about. Well actually it destroyed the OS partition and left the data one and at that contained a nice high fraction of a terabyte of data, it was decided to leave it that way round. Yes, it’s annoying but not as much as spending the whole weekend breaking it down and rebuilding it then watchingabout 0.9Tb replicate from a really slow site. All of this is noted in the documentation though so “the next guy” can look at it and see why.

The box I’ve been dealing with this weekend is another thing entirely. Not only was it built “wrong” using the OS to do the RAID for all of the drives but there’s no documentation as to what it is or where the drivers are. Fortuanately we managed to liberate a few of them but we’re still playing “guess the part” with some bits.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that upgrading a seven year old file server has probably cost us more in down time and my overtime (as if I get paid that any more!) then buying a brand new one! So i’m just going to leave you with this thought: “sometimes the most expensive route is cheaper in the end”

Oh, and don’t even ask what the server is coz we don’t know!!

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