Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Not As Simple As It Looked

The upgrade to the studio computer is not going quite as swimmingly as the upgrade to my personal desktop upstairs. At all.

Installing the new memory was pretty simple. I pulled the two sticks of old RAM, plugged in the four sticks of new RAM, and that was enough to max out the computer's memory. The SSD was another story altogether.

I bought a Corsair adapter to mount the SSD in so that I could slide it into a 3.5 inch drive bay. The adapter will hold two SSDs, although it only came with enough screws for one. I only had one SSD, so that was ok. It also didn't come with a cable, but the *wrong* adapter that I had bought (which would have fit a laptop drive) had the right cable, so that worked out ok.

And then I discovered that I couldn't find the mounting screws to put a drive into the 3.5 inch drive bay. This is an Antec Silent series case and it uses an odd screw that passes through a rubber grommet to reduce drive vibration noise, which is a great idea if you can actually find where you put the screws nine years later. I couldn't.

There were also some additional drive mounting flanges that I might have used that were in the case, but the screw holes didn't match up with the Corsair adapter. I was getting pretty disgusted by this when I finally realized that the Corsair adapter would fit perfectly into the mount for a 3.5 inch floppy drive. Success!

Of course, then I had to wire the thing. And while getting power to the drive was pretty simple, getting the SATA cable into the adapter on the edge of the motherboard was really, really difficult, because it was just at the edge of the drive bays. I eventually managed to get the cable routed in a way that I could plug it in and declared victory.

It was time to power things up.

Horrible noises ensued. I moved the various cables that were hitting the CPU heatsink fan. There was less noise, but there were still periodic bad sounds.

Worse, the RAID array was showing as "degraded". This was because I had unplugged one of the hard drives while trying to get the new SSD plugged in and had forgotten to plug it back in before powering up. Ick. The DVD drive was also making some funky noises, I finally discovered. I just yanked the power from it with the computer running, because I figured it was unlikely to make things worse. (Which it didn't.)

Ok, power everything down. Plug the other hard drive back in. Check the cables around the CPU heatsink fan, making sure that the heatsink isn't eating its own power cable. Power it all up.

Except that now the RAID array needs to rebuild itself. And it turns out that the disk cloning utility is going to fail to operate until that RAID array is rebuilt. At least, that's my assumption, because there is now plenty of space on the new SSD to copy everything that is on the existing hard drives, since I spent about half an hour deleting all sorts of old installers of ginormous size.

The machine was behaving erratically. I finally decided to reboot it to check how the RAID rebuild was coming.

And that was when I discovered that the CPU was badly overheated, because the BIOS stopped the boot sequence to tell me so. Well, that would explain the erratic behavior.

Most likely, I had cracked the nine-year-old thermal paste on the stock Intel heatsink when I was messing around in that neighborhood. Well, the heatsink is probably fine, but new thermal paste is definitely in order.

Of course, I don't have any.

So tomorrow, I will head off to Micro Center to pick up a fresh tube of thermal paste. Then I'll come home, clean off the CPU and heatsink, put the new paste on, and fire up the machine so that it can finish rebuilding the RAID array.

And then I'll try cloning the disk again. With any luck, I will still be on the third day of this particular upgrade.

Tags: computers, dodeka, filk, home, musings, tech

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