Flawless system changeover

The excellent part of having identical (or near identical) hardware is when something cops a nice drink of Sprite, you can simply swap the components over, and power it up and your good to go again.

You can’t generally do that when swapping between say an Intel 865PE chipset, and an Intel P35 chipset, simply because Windows will vomit so badly, you’ll be mopping the floors of the mess for weeks or even months after.

Once its tried to change over as a result of detecting a hardware change (ie change in Chipset) windows will literally end up in a blue screen crash fest.

Luckily for me I don’t get caught up in that trap either.

I generally take the working windows drive out, and any drives containing important data. Get the system running on a new HDD. Insert the old HDD afterwards, and then copy data freely about until you have the desired effect.

Next, if there is no room (or it seems wasteful), you generally take the drive out and that’s it really.

Unless of course, you come to the situation I now have.
We have in the server:
2 x 80GB drives – bought em years ago, off eBay.
1 x 160GB SATA drive.
1 x 250GB SATA drive.
1 x 320GB IDE drive.
1 x 120GB IDE drive.

The 320GB was out of my partners system, which we bought because she had a failed 120GB years back, and I still haven’t got around to doing the head swapover on that drive. We’d love to recover the data though.

Anyway, the 320GB is an IDE drive, and her system is SATA (which I planned for, I purchased a 250GB SATA to replace it).

So, now out of the above list, it’s pretty obvious I am in a position to perhaps do a merge of some of those drives onto the 320GB IDE, and therefore realise some power savings (costs more to have 3 drives running than just one bigger drive).

The problem of course, comes down to adjusting the server, and the network to suit the modified conditions. For example, the second 80GB drive serves as my internal updating server (BIG PLUS, seriously, if you upgrade machines, or change machines, and still use XP for some machines, that’s a BIG saving, it updates them without the need to go online and fetch updates, therefore saving your net connection).

So, to get rid of two or three drives (and make room so I can put the 250GB that was in it, back in it), I have to take all the data off the update services drive, dump it in a temporary folder, do the same for the 120GB drive, which has all the installers for all my applications and one of my longer running clients data on it, and that brings it to 200GB, leaving 120GB of room, so maybe consider taking out the 160GB SATA, though I am not in a hurry to do that drive just yet.

The server here has access to around 1010GB of data, of that, it’s used much less than half.

Might be time to rip some drives out and chuck em on eBay! The problem of course is trying to manage the data movement without upsetting things too much, and getting the drive letters back in the right place. Nothing too bad.

In other news, I went online to Jaycar just recently and decided I might just see how much juice some of the house sucks down the power lines, at least we can then decide where we want to apply even more downward pressure on our power consumption.

They only cost $39.95, and from what I have heard are pretty good devices, measuring power intake and reporting on usage statistics, in fact, I heard you can even calculate the bill for that particular power point.

Seriously though, I support timed based billing and not the use of Off Peak metering, since you aren’t allowed to have power points designated as Off Peak (obviously due to the problems associated with the supply nature).

Some of the meters available can even determine Time Of Use, which is a great feature, so that they can hopefully start time of use billing. Burn the power at 6pm and pay the standard rates, burn it at 1am and give a cheaper rate (since the network is cheapest in the earlier hours of the morning).

Anyway, the new system for my partner is also up and running nice and smoothly, still in that process known as “Software Installation” – where you repeatedly find programs you are missing and reinstall them, and to cap that off you have the settings to adjust, such as wallpaper, screen savers, and program specific settings (IE Home Page, etc).

All a royal pain, and its probably why many would instead setup an Active Directory server so that profiles are portable! Makes sense. But then, the data is on the server and not the workstation, so that raises more issues.

It was actually a smooth day with the transfer, and my little one was a perfect assistant to the task, helping wherever he could (you’d be amazed at just how smart a young child can be!!!).

I also got another practice driving test in today, and it was better considerably, with just 2 fail items (so a 50% improvement). The drive itself was smooth, and the only real issues focused on those pesky things they call reverse parallel parks, and my way of taking turns (too fast, so I’m crossing white lines). All seems likely however that we can improve again to top that and come out with a great score equal to a pass and no fails.

Interesting, I’ve avoided the Telstra supplied Broadband Services suck issue for a bit now. Maybe because they are priced to suck, and that’s already a well known fact? Maybe we are just tired of Telstra’s greed, yet also tired of searching for an alternative solution..


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