Last Night/This Morning's Upgrade

august 9, 2005

I knew that it would take some time to do the upgrade last night, but I guess it took a little longer than I thought. Here is what happened. Yesterday morning, I was looking at the daily logwatch report (like usual when I wake up) and spotted some errors that were of concern -- basically, during the snapshot, the main drive experienced some seek errors and stuff: Aug 7 03:01:03 hda: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error } Aug 7 03:01:03 hda: dma_intr: error=0x01 { AddrMarkNotFound }, BAsect=22896627, high=1, low=6119411, sector=22896287 I looked around online and most people seemed to think that those errors are early indications of drive failure. So, on the way to work, I stopped by Fry's to pick up a replacement drive. I did not want to get another Maxtor because the one I was replacing was a Maxtor and it did not seem to last long -- hdparm told me that the drive had about four years of usage on it. Not too bad, but still not that great either. I ended up picking up a Hitachi 7K250 (160GB) PATA drive for around $100, which wasn't too bad. Yea, I could have gone higher, but sheesh 160GB is a lot of storage and I am not using more than 10GB on the drive currently (though, I guess I'll start putting up more pictures and make use of the space soon). I had downloaded the ISOs for Fedora Core 4 a few weeks back. I was planning on upgrading the system to FC4 (from FC3), but did not have a plan for doing so. With a new drive and snapshots going, it was pretty easy to get the system redone. What bugged me most before I started doing snapshots was that if I had to do an upgrade, I would have to do a tape backup of the system and that would take half-and-hour to finish. With the snapshots, I just ran a quick make_snapshot and that updated the second drive with all changed files and I was done with backups. I burned the ISOs to CDs (four ISO images) on my Powerbook G4 and went ahead and verified the images after burn (nice feature of Toast). I then used a scrap computer that I got at the hardware giveaway at work to test the images to see that they were good burns (a nice feature of Fedora Core's install is the ability to verify the media). When that was done, I took down ultramookie, replaced the drive and started the FC4 install (sorry Mike, I am still more comfy with Linux than with FreeBSD). That went by pretty quick. When that was finished, I moved the directories from /home back into place and then got into the part that took most of the time: Figuring out which conf files to move over to /etc and what directories to move over to /var. The easy stuff was the major stuff (conf files for exim, apache, etc). Getting mysql back was easy as pie, all I had to do was restore the /var/lib/mysql directory. At my previous job, I used to do dumps of the database, but I don't do that anymore since this seems to be a pretty easy way to do things. I almost forgot to move the /etc/aliases file back over, until I saw bounces in the exim logs. I made a backup of the last hourly snapshot that I made before the drive replacement, just in case I forgot to move something and the new snapshots didn't have it. But, I think as it stands, all conf files are back in place and services are working. (Fingers crossed) I had to get some extra RPMs for different tasks I had running on the machine also (like ifgraph, health monitoring, athcool, etc). After that, I ran a yum update and got the system up-to-date. I turned on all necessary services -- and turned off all non-essential services. The box seems OK at this point and it only took me five hours to get back to normal! Yikes! The Hitachi drive is a 7200rpm drive that is surprisingly quiet. I remember back in the day when I got a Quantum Atlas 6GB 7200rpm SCSI drive -- that thing sounded like a jet engine all the time. The Hitachi barely makes any noise, I cannot tell that it is running since the fan noise from the CPU and case fans are louder. The second Maxtor that I have in the system still makes a lot of clacking noises, but it is still pretty quiet also (though it runs at 5400rpm). I don't really see much difference in performance between the 5400rpm and 7200rpm drives though, I doubt I will with what I am using the drives for. I plan on using the old scrap machine (Pentium III 550MHz) with the dying drive as a FreeBSD playground.