Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Traumas of a new desktop machine

So I've been running happily on an Athlon 64 since my last motherboard died and I upgraded. It was starting to run a bit slow with all the junk that I had on it (SQL Server 2005, MySQL, IIS) and I decided that I'd buy a new server to run bits on and use my desktop machine as a pure desktop machine. I settled on a PowerEdge SC430 from Dell.

So that's due to turn up last Friday and I'm merrily working away on my desktop on Thursday afternoon until boom. It dies. Strip everything out and the motherboard is dead. So I buy a GA-K8NS from Giga-Byte so that I can keep the same memory, case, drives, etc. and only replace the motherboard. I did consider another ABit motherboard but I've had problems with the VIA chipset in the last two and the Giga-Byte has an nForce chipset.

So the new server turns up Friday after I've set off to the airport (I was away in Mallow for the weekend) and then the motherboard turns up Monday before I get back from the airport. Luckily my neighbours received everything so no driving to two different couriers to get the boxes.

So the Dell machine happily accepts Window Server 2003, SQL Server 2005 and Team Foundation Server (an upgrade from SourceSafe) and I move on to the motherboard rebuild.

Aahhh. My existing power supply doesn't have an ATX_12V connector so it won't power the board (yes I probably should have checked before I bought the new motherboard). New power supply required.

So a trip to Maplin for a new power supply and upon installation the board powers up and then switches itself off after about a second. Mmmm. The consensus on various forums is that the power supply may not give enough juice out (17A is not enough for the board on the 12V rail) so another power supply required.

Ordered from yesterday at 1pm and it arrived this morning by 10:30am. Good service.

But still no joy. The motherboard powers up and then powers down after a second. Removing the ATX_12V line and the board stays up but won't boot as there's no power to the CPU.

Another trawl through the forums and it appears that this is probably a CPU fault. So another trip to for a new processor and they don't sell Athlon 64 processors in Socket 754 any more. Neither do Bugger.

So we're now at the stage where I've ordered the "best" Sempron I can get in Socket 754 from and then need to try that. So here's hoping that once that arrives I can get back to doing some real work.

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