Server upgrade

Tongue Out

Well, I’m afraid to say that this blog entry isn’t directly about Mythtv.  This one is about the new hardware I just added into my server.  So here’s the baseline, pre-upgrade:

  • Biostar 6100-based motherboard,
  • AMD 3800+ X2 CPU
  • 1 or 2 GB of RAM (I forget how much)
  • 1x 8GB Western Digital IDE hard drive
  • 4x 400GB Samsung SATA hard drives
  • Seasonic 430W PSU
  • Antec P180 case

The reason for the upgrade?  I ran out of hard drive space of course.  1.6TB just doesn’t cut it anymore!   So, by way of a recent shellshocker at Newegg, I purchased a 1.5TB Western Digital Green Power hard drive.  However, because I had already fully populated the available SATA ports on the motherboard I was forced to add a SATA controller.  On a whim I purchased a Vantec 4+1 SATA II 300 & PATA controller.  It includes 2x internal SATA ports, 2x eSATA ports and one IDE port but theoretically only Windows support.  Well, after a few minutes of fiddling I am happy to say that the new controller and hard drive started right up with no fiddling on my part (other than formatting the new hard drive).

The problem that I ran into was that one of my Samsung hard drives didn’t want to start back up after I added the new hard drive.

It had nothing to do with the new hard drive, I tried removing
that and it still didn’t work.  Well, after a couple of tries I was
able to get it started again.  So I figure that I’d better back up the
data as quickly as possible in case it happens again and I can’t get it
working.  So I get ready to copy when numbers start jumping into my
head…  I have 1.6GB of data to back up and 1.5TB of space to back it
up onto…  Hmmm… That’s not gonna work.  Well, Newegg comes to the
rescue again.  Just today I find that the same 1.5TB Western Digital
hard drives are on sale, and on top of that Newegg had a promo code for
10% off all hard drives!  I the end it turned out to be the same price
as the shellshocker.  Not bad at all.  So in a couple of days I’ll
start the backup process for real so that I don’t have to go through
this again.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get by for a while with 4.6TB of
space.  Only time will tell.

While I’m here though, I just thought I’d throw out some power
numbers that rather surprised me.  This was the first time I’ve tested
how much power my server was sucking.  With all of my current drives
installed there was a spike at powerup reaching about 225W and then
settled in at around 130W in average use.  As a point of comparison I
also ran the same tests without the Samsung drives installed.  At
powerup the system spiked at around 125W and settled in at 110W. 
Apparently those Samsung drives spike a little at power up.  It looks
like in everyday use they each draw about 5W.  I am sad to say that I
did not take power measurements before and after I added the new drive,
however I will try to do that when I add the new drive to the mix.

Hope someone out there found that somewhat exciting.  Feel free to
drop me a note.  Now I’ll go back to testing Mythtv distros.  Cya!