Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Saturday, January 31


Stupid Apache

If you're going to die with a fatal error, at least print out the damn error message!!

Nearly six hours of downtime over a problem I could have fixed in thirty seconds if it had just told me what was wrong. frown

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Sunday, January 25


Western Digital, You Dickheads!

Okay, it's not as bad as Seagate's brick-in-a-box trick, but it's plenty annoying.

Western Digital have three lines of desktop drives: Black, the performance model; Blue, the everday model; and Green, the low-power model.

The Green range run at 5400RPM.

Western Digital not only do not advertise this fact, they go to great lengths to hide it.  The speed of the Green range of drives is not stated anywhere on their website.

That leads to retailers assuming that the drives are, in fact, 7200RPM.

That leads to people buying them as replacements for actual 7200RPM drives, installing them, building them into RAID arrays, and then having to manually unpick their whole filesystem/logical volume/volume group/physical volume/RAID volume structure so that the 5400RPM drive isn't mirrored with the 7200RPM drive for the database partition.

I sent them a nastygram, you bet.

And another thing:  It's 2008.  Sun had a graphical tool to manage all that crap in 1998.  Why doesn't Linux?  (Update: Maybe YAST can do it.  If I can just get YAST to work...)

That said, all the RAID/LVM stuff is at least robust.  I pulled it apart and put it back together using the command line tools, and it all worked.  Didn't need to change mdadm.conf or fstab at all.  Mind you, that's because I got it right, but if you get it right it works.  Unlike certain things I could mention...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:28 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, January 20


The Mysterious Ticking Noise

No, it's not a pipe bomb, it's my two brand new 1.5TB Seagate drives waiting to go off.

Thanks a bunch, Seagate.  That's two critical firmware bugs in your leading product in the space of two months.

I've just ordered two 1TB Western Digital drives and a dual-bay external case.  There's a firmware upgrade coming from Seagate, but I don't trust that not to make things worse, so I'm going to back everything up first.

Update: I was planning to order one more of the 1.5TB drives.  That would have been a lot  cheaper (two 1TB drives plus the external case is about the same price as two 1.5TB drives) and would have given me enough room to back everything up, and it's pretty unlikely that more than one of the Seagates would have bricked themselves at once.  Probably.  Eh.  Oh well.  All the extra hours I'm spending at my day job that have been keeping me from have at least been paying me reasonably well, so I can afford it.

Update: My drives might not be affected.  The great majority of reported failures so far have been on the SD15 firmware, and my two drives are SD17 and SD19.  Found an online database tracking 80-odd failures, and none of them were on those revisions.  So I might have just spent a few hundred dollars for...  Well, for a nice 2TB USB/eSATA external drive.

Update: The Windows Search service really slows things down when you're trying to do backups.  And it's a stubborn little bugger.  I stopped it, and performance improved for a while, and then things got slower and slower and maybe my drive was on the way out but no!  Windows Search had started itself up again.

So I broke its legs.

Update: My shiny new 1TB drives are Caviar Green models - which the online store didn't say - which are 5400RPM - which Western Digital doesn't say.  Shades of 1992.  On the other hand, they use just 2.8W when idle, which is perfect for an external drive case.

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