Old crap strikes again

One of the power supply fans on my ancient Compaq DL320 server is starting to become noisy. First, I can’t complain…this server is really old. I acquired it when my previous employer did a big server upgrade for another company. This thing came back on the stack. It was all bashed up, had been left out in the rain…and it was better than the existing failsure.net server, of course. So I scavenged a faster processor and some more RAM out of some other machines, cleaned it up, and it worked just fine. I don’t think it will ever get into a rack again, though. I traded a 386 I had lying around for it. With the upgrade program Sun has, they don’t really care what it is that comes back.

Anyway, noisy fan. I open the case with the machine still running and use my finger to stop one of the fans to isolate which one is making the noise. Well, that caused the machine to shut off. Hmm. I let it go and it came back to life, and I had found the noisy fan as well. So there is my big problem: when this fan does finally seize up, I’ll need to replace it or the machine won’t start. Possibly I can go inside the power supply and disconnect the thing and it’ll work. I don’t know.

This is a problem because the DL320 is the only machine I have that is still using SCSI drives meaning, naturally, I don’t have any other SCSI controllers. The controller in the 320 sits on the PCI bus with everything else, but it sits on a board with a proprietary connector. The idea was to save space, which makes sense as there isn’t really room for two PCI slots in the case. It’s interchangable with a UDMA-100 IDE controller, but I digress. The point is, if this machine goes down I can’t get at my stuff until I either replace the power supply or fan, or buy a SCSI controller.

It has me wondering what I should do. I can’t really afford to buy anything right now, so I should probably assemble another system and switch to it until I have money for the possibility of replacement parts. Which means a big downgrade, as the DL320 is actually pretty quick…933MHz Pentium III with 2GB RAM.

Ah, the joys of being broke all the time.

May 29, 2009 В· agw В· One Comment
Tags: , ,  В· Posted in: Linux, Technical

One Response

  1. awhitlock.net » Rebuilding failsure.net (again) - June 29, 2009

    […] this post I describe the imminent failure of a power supply fan in my DL320. It did stop spinning, at which […]

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