Server maintenance notes

By aaron.axvig, 23 April, 2007

Today I did some server maintenance.  That would be the reason you noticed the blog was down for 45 minutes or so.  (Who am I kidding, like anyone actually visits.)  The main idea was to add some RAM, but I also removed a HDD from one machine.

I have two servers, one of which runs the web stuff (all ASP.NET) and one which stores backups and other "files."  It also runs runs SQL Server.  This file/database server used to get really hot, since it was stuffed with 5 HDDs at one point.  I have since added a fan to blow across most of the HDDs and things have improved a lot.  It runs on a 1.2GHz Athlon and now has 384MB RAM.

The web server (and domain controller, and mail server, and anything else I throw at it I guess) is a 1.1GHz Celeron with 640MB RAM.  When I opened the case up on this beast to add some RAM, I noticed that this was now the hotter of the two computers.  In fact, nearly everything was so hot I could hardly hold my hands tight up against the parts (chassis, power supply, HDD, you name it).  This computer used to run fairly cool, so something was obviously up.

I added the RAM, fired the box back up, and promptly noticed that the power supply fan wasn't spinning.  There is no other fan in there other than the CPU fan (still chugging along), so there was little-to-none airflow through the case.  Amazingly it had been stuggling along for probably a month or two like this, in a very warm closet even!

I thought maybe the fan was just jammed and tried rotating it with a key, but it is very sluggish.  I imagine the bearing dried out and failed.  So now I have the computer up and running again, but this time with the case cover off.  I must say though, what a tough little machine.

The moral of the story: If the blog goes down again, you know what happened...

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