August 15, 2009

We are not retreating

We are advancing in another direction.
--Douglas MacArthur

Sometimes I just can't win. Last weekend I built a server, a home file server. I was sooo excited about this. I should have known something would go wrong.

Sat., Aug 1: My new case arrives!!! It's a plain case from Newegg. This is a file server, not a gaming rig.

Wed., Aug 5: My 1 GB memory stick arrives. Finally, I have everything I need to rebuild my old computer into a file server.

Thursday, Aug. 6: I install the motherboard, the memory and the 200 GB hard drive into the case. On it goes....
"Secondary IDE Channel no 80 conductor cable installed"

Hmm...I wasn't expecting this...Google the error message on the laptop. Oh....the BIOS is looking for a floppy drive. I decided not to install one (who uses them anymore, anyway?), so into the BIOS to check all the settings.

Man, it's been a long time since I did all this.

Friday, Aug. 7: (this is really just a continuation of Thursday night). Hmm....I have Unbuntu running, but it says that it doesn't recognize my hard drive. This hard drive is brand new.....what's the problem?

Two hours, a glass of wine, and a longing glance at the vodka later....

Oh, I don't have any power going to the Hard drive....duh. Hook up power. Install Unbuntu. Go to sleep.

Late Afternoon: Hm....where the GUI? I suck at command line. Install GNOME. No GUI? Do some internet research. Crappers. I should have installed Unbuntu Desktop, not Unbuntu Server....

Wipe drives. Download Windows Home Server and burn to disc. Open Vodka.

Sunday, Aug. 9: Install WHS. This is great. . .wait, this is a stripped down version of Windows Server 2003! I feel somewhat cheated, but let's see how this works.

Late Sunday: In order to connect my 500 GB drive (the one with all my music and pictures, which is the entire reason I want a home server), I have to format the drive. . .which defeats the purpose of connecting it. Instead, I move all the music and pics to the 200 GB drive, then format the drive.

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Well, everything has been moved. Now for the moment of truth. Format 500 GB drive (it needed a cleanup so, why not) then connect it. Presto! 700 GB of space in my new server! Now, how in the hell do I activate this???

Wed. Aug. 12: How do I activate this?

Thursday, Aug 13: How do I activate this?

Later that day: Huge Rainstorm today. Knocked all the power out at my house. I know this because the microwave clock was blinking and wrong. Hmm...server has been knocked out. Will power on later...(need to buy battery backup for it)

Friday, Aug. 14: Turn computer back on. Greeted by
"Secondary IDE Channel no 80 conductor cable installed"

Crap. Reset the BIOS. Move battery backup to top of purchase list. Log into server.

"The Evaluation Period for this copy of Windows has ended. Windows cannot start. To continue using Windows, please purchase and install a retail copy of the product.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I've barely had this installed for a week. I'm supposed to be able to evaluate it for 120 days. It's barely been 120 hours!

Search Google again. Finally figure out how to register and get a product key. Then jet over to the Windows Forums (amazing how easy this stuff is to find when I'm in a blind panic) and get some help. Olaf tells me to do a server reinstall, not a new install, because a new install will wipe out everything on the drive. Message received. Reboot from CD, server reinstall . . .

At the moment, I'm back in business, but I'll tell you this now, I'm installing Unbuntu tonight and creating a dual boot system. I'm not going through that drama again.

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