Thursday 29 January 2015

Power Issues

I've been having significant issues with my system over recent months with hard drive stability. I've been getting regular red ball disks in UnRaid, specific SATA ports have become apparently unusable, not recognising drives attached, multiple errors arising when the do work.

I had thought it was a failing motherboard but as a last resort before replacing it, I went online to check with gigabyte to see if there was a test I could run.

They suggested bios rests, disk and cable swaps etc. all of which I’d done in any case. The final suggestion as PSU replacement - it could be a failing power supply.

My system has a Corsair RM750 installed which powers a variety of devices including 6 internal drives, 6x fans via a fan controller, misc. On my way home from work, I picked up a cheap and cheerful CX650 and dropped it in.

I was seeing the same issues, but in testing and swapping drives around, I noticed that some SATA ports would work with some drives and not with others.

This led me to think there may be differing power requirements for these drives and if the PSU was on the limit, a particular drive might be tipping it over.

The PSU is modular and I was running power from 3 or the available 4 peripheral power sockets on the unit. I thought I’d try adding the 4th line in and powering some of the drives from that. Et Voila! Everything started working on all ports.

I had obviously misunderstood how the PSU output it’s power and had thought all PSU outputs were the same. Apparently, there’s some kind of split going on and by using all 4 outputs, I’ve better tapped the power availability.

Who knew. MediaServer8 is singing again.

Building Xen 4.4.1 on NetRunner Rolling (Manjaro)

This is a post I've had in draft as I progressed through setting hop Xen in Netrunner. I managed to get it all built and running but at the end ran into a network issue in VMs that I didn't have time to solve. I'm publishing anyway for future reference and maybe it will be useful to someone. I'll update or link through to any follow-ups I do.

To jump straight to the steps and skip my invariable ramblings, click here.

MediaServer8 has been offline for about a week now as I work on something of a radical shift: a long-term stalwart of the set up is under consideration for the chop. unRAID might go.

My whole-house integrated media server has been based on unRAID for some time now, with version 6 (still in beta) providing a virtualisation platform on which I've built a TV Server and several virtual HTPCs with passthrough GPUs.

This is a great setup as it consolidates multiple machines into one, reducing running costs and space usage while in theory being easy to maintain.