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#21 GregShaw

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 2250 PM

Other than reorganizing computers a bit, I've had things on hold over the holiday. I did swap my old Mac Mini 2.4 gHz core 2 duo with Mac OS 10.7 server with my newer I5 1.8 gHz running 10.14, the old one can't run current Chrome and is getting pretty slow for anything. I don't need the server OS version anymore and the old 5 tb USB drives it has are problematical.

 

Going though my stash I found my old Dell Poweredge 2650 3U server sitting unused. It has ESXI on it but only 18 gb of SAS drives so not a whole lot of use. Checking Amazon I can pick up new 4 tb drives for $109 with Dell hot swap sleds. I'm going to pickup 5x new 4 tb drives soon then load FreeNAS up on it. That will give me a 16 tb ZFS Raid 5, I can then consolidate my Raspberry PI OpenMediaVault Plex/NAS and the old Apple Server from the Mini into a more reliable and faster single server. I would much rather have Enterprise class drives in the server than a dozen external USB and Firewire drives sitting around. Since my gateway/router has 10/100 Ethernet I've just been running a series of 5 port 10/100 Netgear switches to serve my 3 network clusters; bedroom, den, living room. Got an 8 port 10/100/1000 switch for xmas, and have 3x 5 port 10/100/1000 switches arriving sunday to replace the 10/100 switches. The Dell server has 2x gigaports, so I'll aggregate them in FreeNAS, then all my new machines have gigaports so I should be able to have enough bandwidth on the server to handle multiple file copies/plex streams.


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#22 GregShaw

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 2349 PM

Worked on network on and off the last couple of days. Have setup 5 port gigaswitches in living room, master bedroom and guest bedroom. 8 port gigaswitch in laundry room / comm closet as backbone so each room can communicate with others at gigabit speeds, I should have got a 24 port as I'm out of ports on it already. My condo has 28 pulls, about 1/2 are completed wall jacks and punchdown block in closet. Got 20 more wall ports on order, and my punch down tool, crimper and toner are waiting for them to show up. Another 8 port gigaswitch arriving tomorrow to go in my den, there are 5 computers a FireTV, DirecTV tuner and a smart BluRay player that all need connections. The DirecTV is going away this weekend, and I can run an old 10/100 switch to several devices with no loss of speed, but the den is my workroom for old computers so gigabit maybe useful for some of them.

 

I did work on the Dell 2650, but it won't post, just powers on for a few secs then shuts down. I may build a new server with parts from Ali Express rather than mess around with the Dell. I did work on making a FreeNAS USB drive, it makes my old Win 7 machine blue screen whenever I try installing the ISO image with rufus, tried on 3 different USB drives and it blue screens during install everytime, and blue screens if the USB is inserted during boot, or try to access it after windows loads. Going to try making boot drive from Mint laptop instead to see how it works.


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#23 GregShaw

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 0921 AM

Didn't remember, but the main switch in my den is already a 5 port gigaswitch. Discovered that when checking out task mangler on my Win 7 gaming machine. Still going to replace that with the 8 port and put the old 5 port in my comm closet for now.

 

Dell 2650 did eventually boot, but the ESXI installation won't load, its a decade old and hasn't been used in years. I have a Mint live USB to try booting it from and see if it can mount the drive so I can pull the VMs off it. That's next thing to try.


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#24 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 1241 PM

I've enjoyed reading all this.

There is a certain level of greatness to old computers.

I dug some out and tinkered on New Year's day.  I got an old Dell working with XP and installed Tie Fighter Collector's Edition CD.  Stuck at sound card issues for now but the game works.

I know I can play it on DosBox but it just inst the same.

I have some pretty nice joysticks from before the era of USB,  if I can find the time...


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#25 GregShaw

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 0022 AM

I did get the final 8 port gigaswitch today. Happy with my network, every Gb capable device can reach every other Gb device over Gb. Still few 10/100 or even 10-base T devices, but they are all segmented off on their own 10/100 switches.

 

Also got my Raspberry Pi 3b with OpenMediaVault running after a few weeks off due to shuffling everything around. Its on a Gb segment, but the Raspberry Pi 3b can't really manage to do 100 Mb due to the design, sharing multiple devices on the same USB 2 controller. I thought about migrating OMV to my Pi 4, but I'll just go to the Dell 2650 instead.

 

Speaking of the Dell, I did get it to boot up into ESXI finally, but it wasn't reachable on my network. It had a hard coded IP address that happened to duplicate a DHCP reservation I had made for the Raspberry Pi 3. Once I got that resolved the Dell is now pingable, so tomorrow I can try pulling the VMs off it finally. The Dell won't boot off a USB drive, so I will have to leave one of the two SAS drives in it to install FreeNAS rather than use the recommended method using a 16+ Gb USB drive. I'll break the mirror and put in 4x 6 Tb SAS, giving me 18 Tb of available space for a NAS. Now I need to burn the FreeNAS iso to a cd in order to boot off it and install FreeNAS.


Edited by GregShaw, 04 January 2020 - 0025 AM.

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#26 GregShaw

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 2008 PM

Been messing around with the Dell 2650 the last couple of days. I already mentioned it won't boot off a usb drive. So I burned an ISO of FreeNAS 11.2 to a CDR, it will boot off the CDR, but won't install. From looking up the error, it looks like it won't work on a 32 bit machine. This is a corporate Xeon machine that I can't believe isn't 64 bit capable. The BIOS has no options for addressing mode, I'm not willing to buy RAM tp upgrade on the off chance it will get it to run 64 bit. I was planning on upgrading, but not worth if no guarantee it will work.

 

I've also tried boot off a Mint or Ubuntu DVD, but it won't boot even to run an install. I burnt a FreeNAS 9.2 cd to try a 32 bit version, but I just boots to a blank screen. Basically giving up on the Dell for now. I can stick with OMV on the Raspberry Pi, or might go the Ali Express route to build a new machine.

 

Popped the side off my Vista Core2 duo machine, to start restoring it. The tangle of cables discouraged working on it for now, will try the older Athlon machine instead. Mid to late 2000s case design did not make for good cable management compared to modern stuff, and modern modular power supplies are much friendlier.

 

(corrected to note that iso was burnt to cdr, not a dvd)


Edited by GregShaw, 08 January 2020 - 1459 PM.

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#27 GregShaw

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 2159 PM

One issue solved, should have been obvious, but the 2650 only has a cd-rom, not a DVD. Trying to find cd-rom sized Linux ISO in 2020 isn't easy. Finally found a xubuntu mini-iso and have it burned to a cd-rom. It is installing on the Dell right now. NO pretty interface to manage it, but I should be able to get it running as a SAMBA server at least.


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#28 TTK Ciar

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 1626 PM

Out of curiosity, which gigabit ethernet switch are you using?

I've been using a few Netgear ProSAFE GS108 at home with no trouble, but when I brought one to work it kept stop working at random.  Took it back home and it works fine again.  I have no idea what is so special about the office network that would cause that.

 

Anyway, I'm looking to try a different model at the office, and would love to know what you're using so I can get one.


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#29 GregShaw

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 1851 PM

3x GS-205 (5 port), 1 x GS-208 (8 port), 1x GS-308 (8 port) only difference I can see between the 208 and 308 is the color. They have been working fine, but I haven't done anything to stress them. 


Edited by GregShaw, 07 January 2020 - 1926 PM.

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#30 GregShaw

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 2013 PM

Only possibility that I can think of is Spanning Tree. Corporate and Business class equipment is designed to deal with that without allowing a rogue machine puking the whole network. Prosumer class equipment like the Netgear switches probably can't deal with it effectively.


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#31 Ivanhoe

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 2253 PM

Took a quick look at the data sheet, doesn't mention STP, though it supports both jumbo frames and QoS. How many small businesses are using jumbo frames?


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#32 GregShaw

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 0721 AM

Yeah, I checked out the Netgear tech forums, and their un-managed switches do not support STP. How many prosumer users are going to need that? Most are not going to be setting up redundant links but just a straight down architecture.


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#33 TTK Ciar

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 1412 PM

A lot of people have reported similar problems, and they all disagree about the root cause.

The only common factor afaict is that the GS105 or GS108 is plugged into another consumer-grade downstream switch, but doing so does not guarantee the problem will occur.

The discussion here prompted me to search for discussions of GS108 freezes which mention GS308, and at least two people have reported that upgrading to the GS308 caused the freezes to stop.  The GS308 is nearly as cheap as the GS108, so I've ordered one and will give it a whirl at the office.

Thanks for pointing me at the GS308 :-) here goes hoping


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#34 Murph

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 0654 AM

How is it going?


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#35 TTK Ciar

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 2045 PM

"I'm a loser" about sums it up.

The GS308 is still in its box, sitting next to the GS108 still in use.  It's been well-behaved lately so I haven't bothered to swap it out, and it probably won't happen until this weekend.


Edited by TTK Ciar, 16 January 2020 - 2046 PM.

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#36 GregShaw

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 2002 PM

Haven't updated for a while, on hold for a bit. The Dell 2650 does seem to be 32 bit only, I may eventually look into upgrading to a 64 bit Xeon, but the power draw is excessive as is.

 

Been pricing out some other options on Ali Express, can get a chinese made x79 motherboard for approx $70, an 8 core-16 thread 2.6 gHz Xeon 2689 for about $70, 32 or even 64 gb or ECC DDR 3 for < $100, a 650 watt Corsair or EVGA powersupply for about $50-60, a 6 port PCIE / Sata card for $40 and an open air 10 drive case for another $40, finally a cheap $20 display card. Most expensive part of the whole thing will be 5x 4 tB hd for about $60-70 each. All told will put me around $700 for a pretty impressive FreeNas machine. Hopefully starting a new job a week from Monday, then I can start picking up the pieces each paycheck.


Edited by GregShaw, 01 February 2020 - 2006 PM.

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#37 Ivanhoe

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 1122 AM

Hammer time; https://www.theregis.../01/31/on_call/


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#38 Murph

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 1504 PM

Cool, keep us posted.


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#39 GregShaw

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 1446 PM

No word yet on job front, so will have to keep new server on hold for a while. I did however receive a soldering gun set for my bday last month. Need to dig around in boxes in garage to find my 20 yr old Mac IIci, Macs of that era have caps that go bad with age, usually rupturing and leaking on the motherboard. The leaking electrolyte causes corrosion and degrade traces.

 

There are premade kits of modern caps specifically made for Mac IIci/cx. Need to remove the motherboard, clean it with isopropyl alcohol and replace whatever failed caps there are. Hopefully the traces aren't too bad.

 

Got my old Core2 duo 2.4 gHz machine sitting on floor in front of me. Going to start pulling the cable mess and remove the old drives. If the old drives aren't working I'll go with the adaptor and 64 mb sd card, then try Linux although I may need to upgrade the RAM.


Edited by GregShaw, 09 February 2020 - 1448 PM.

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