[Blogs] Beelzeblog - Some good, Some other.

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CT Droid

CT Bot
So after my delight at suddenly discovering my motherboard DID have SATA on it, I came upon a darker revelation too. The board has bloated cap syndrome. :( I'm going to still use it for now, but I'm also going to actually try to replace the bad capacitor as soon as I get a replacement. I may end up ruining the whole board, but hey, then I can get a new one. Win win!! :)

Still, I'd rather that the board was defect free and I could just go on my merry way instead of expecting the cap to Vesuvius all over my board at any moment. *shrug* Such is life.

Other than that, it took most of a day to do, but I finally put together the WHS machine. I basically took 2 PC's in 2 rack mount cases, and swapped almost all the components from 1 case to the other and vice versa. That went relatively smoothly. In the WHS case I ended up with a 80 GB system disk, a 160 GB and a 50 GB IDE disks, and the 500 GB SATA disk. I also still have the 500 GB external sata disk I bought earlier, and I think I'll use that as removeable storage (WHS asks you when you connect a new HD if the drive is meant to stay , or meant to be removeable). I think that means WHS will use the removeable disk as an offline storage for various data...I dunno, I'll have to play with that and see.

Once I got all the drives in there and everything hooked up, I used my kill-a-watt just to see how bad this was gonna be. It seemed to hover around 130 watts, which isn't as bad as I thought it'd be. That's about $8 a month. With our bill over $200 regularly in winter, that's hardly much of a dent. And we're getting really pretty serious about going geothermal next year, so that will easily have the largest impact on our electrical costs.

Overall, I'm still GLAD I have WHS...it is comforting to know stuff is being backed up regularly, and is easily accessible. Simple stuff like our Microsoft Money files, I had always set it to save a backup to my PC, but that wasn't always on, so it wasn't always backing up properly. Now we'll have something on all the time that's always accessible from any PC. Of course, I could have accomplished the same thing by just throwing in a 1 TB drive into the kitchen PC, since that's always on....but the full backing up of all the PC's is what I really like.

I realized today how useful this will really be. It seems usually once a year it's time to clean up the PC's we use on a daily basis with a full reformat and reinstall. And of course, the first step before doing that is to save all the important stuff somewhere so you don't lose it. Well, what happens is over the course of time, you end up with tons of "Robs HD backup" directories all over the place, because you don't want to delete it until you're sure you've gotten everything out of it of value...and there's always the possibility you didn't copy something off the hard drive you should have.

Now, I just simply do a backup of my entire PC in WHS, do a reformat and reinstall, and then I can open the backup from WHS at my leisure and copy the files back into my Documents and other places. It's just a nice peace of mind, and facilitates some of my PC habits.

Installing CQC on the WHS machine has also so far gone good. CQC itself installed, but the comm ports is a different issue. I have a Syba 4-port RS232 expansion card in the machine, and I installed the drivers for it (the dir name seemed to indicate it was for Server 2003) with no issues...but so far, none of my drivers will talk through the ports, so they seem to be whacked somehow. I then also installed the drivers for the Quatech IP-RS232 device I have, and those ports all came up in the Hardware manager with the yellow icons next to them. I then tried to "Update" the drivers and pointed them to the driver files again, and they seemed to fix themselves. So, those seem to work ok...it's just the Syba card I can't seem to get working. That would be unfortunate, since it's 4 ports that are "native" to the machine, and I've had issues with the Quatech in regards to timing and latency with some of my CQC drivers, so I really don't want to have to solely use those.

I'll play with it a little more tonight and hopefully get those Syba ports working.

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