I hate computers

Yesterday I finally got around to buying a second hard drive for my file server. I had been meaning to get one forever so I could finish encoding my CD collection to MP3. As I’m installing my new 80 GB drive I decide to swap around some other hardware, another thing I’ve been meaning to do. So the CD burner and the video, sound, and SCSI cards come out of my old desktop machine and go into the file server, while the server’s old video card goes into the desktop. Then, power on.

Except that now it won’t boot. It posts ok, but hangs before even starting to load the OS. I check the jumpers on the new drive (jumpers? what year is this?), they’re fine. I take out the new hardware and put the original video card back in and it still won’t boot. WTF? The hardware is now exactly like it was before. I decide to eliminate the only thing left that might possibly be interfering, the KVM switch (although I can get into the BIOS setup, so the keyboard is working fine). It works. Please note that this machine has been working fine on this KVM switch for like three months, ever since I bought it.

So out comes the old video card and in goes all the new stuff again. This time it boots fine and everything seems ok until I log in and notice I have no network connection. Uh oh, what now? Upon checking the network card, I see the light is off. I remember this NIC acting a little flaky once before, not working and then working again upon rebooting. So I reboot. It works, but this time I get a steady stream of errors to the console before I can even log in. Reboot again, no NIC. I swap in an extra one I had around, but of course it doesn’t work, as I don’t have the right driver loaded. Swap the old one in and reboot one more time and it seems to work. Good for now, but I obviously need a new one.

Now that it’s up and running again I’m able to partition, format, and mount the new drive. After adding it to /etc/fstab I reboot again to make sure it automounts ok, holding my breath. This time the network card comes up ok and the new drive is mounted and available. All is good.

A couple hours ago I went to get something off my home directory on the file server and, much to my surprise, it wasn’t there (the file server, not my home directory, thankfully). What is it now? I go into the other room to check the NIC and notice that the entire machine is off. The cats, I think. One of the cats must have stepped on the switch on the power strip. It wouldn’t be the first time, which is why I usually flip the surge protector it over so they can’t. I must have forgotten to do that yesterday when I was messing around back there. I look at it and see that it’s upside down and still on. Everything else plugged in to it still works. The power supply? I’ve never had one fail while it’s on before. I replace it with an extra one I had and things are now back to normal, except that I still need to replace that network card.

Did I mention that I hate computers?