Monday, June 26, 2006

...And We're Back!

This past Thursday, moderately severe thunderstorms swept through much of the region, including here in Michigan. The power flickered on and off at least twice during the storm. My home web server machine was on at the time, but it seemed to weather the storm okay.

Until Friday, that is. Melissa went to use the machine, and although it appeared to be on (power light on the case on, internal fan audibly running), the monitor was showing its "no signal" graphic.

Power was definitely on to both the monitor and CPU, and the video cable was snugly connected. At first I suspected that the video card was fried, but when I tried rebooting the machine, there was no beep from the speaker, and Windows never seemed to boot as I couldn't contact the machine over the network in any way (via ping, http, or Terminal Services). I concluded that the motherboard had been damaged by the storm -- if the problem was with another component, I would expect to at least hear a series of error beeps after the machine powered on.

Fortunately, I was able to disconnect the hard drive and set it up as a slave on my other machine, and get all of the important files transferred onto the machine's primary hard drive. (I also had the important files backed up on an external USB drive, but this saved me the trouble of doing a restore.)

I've set up my remaining machine as the new web server. So, all you legions of fans (read: the 8 or 10 unique visitors a month that I get coming in mostly from Yahoo! Search to look at my old Warcraft III maps page...) can celebrate -- the site is up and running again.

I also needed to re-register ASP.NET with IIS, set up MySQL as a WinNT service, and install MyODBC to set up a MySQL DSN to restore functionality of an internal web application that I have running on the server.

Melissa and I have decided to wait for now on getting the old server machine repaired or rebuilt. This seems like a good excuse to upgrade the motherboard and processor, but with our son Elijah (13 months old today!) around these days, we've found that we both want to be using a computer simultaneously far more seldom than we used to. And if we wait, when we do get a new motherboard and processor later, we'll be able to get more power for the money. Possibly we'll rebuild the server machine with Vista sometime after it is released.

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