Now, getting the old Hiper out of the Sonata was turned more difficult than I expected, as the CPU cooler was in teh way of getting the PSU out. I tried any trick I could think of, but in the end, I had to remove the CPU cooler. That finished, I could now replace the PSU with the new (and cheap 500W noname). That done, I now had to replace the CPU cooler. Without looking (big mistake) I just placed the CPU cooler on the CPU and fastened it (with screws, this was an AMD 754 socket CPU).
Booting time. Nothing happened, indications of CPU problems, and nothing comes up on the screen. "Maybe something went amiss when I mounted the CPU cooler" I think. So I remove the CPU cooler, and now I see what I had missed last time: The CPU is fixed to the CPU cooler with thermal grease, and when I remounted the CPU cooler last, I just pushed the whole thing, CPU and all, onto the socket. Needless to say, CPU pins were bent and it was a mess. I tried to fix it, but gave up.
So, here is the fun part then. This was an old mobo and CPU anyway, so I decided for a major upgrade. I went out and got myself a new Asus mobo and a Quad-core AMD Phenom and 4 new fresh gigs of RAM. Oh, how sweet it is!
So, I came home, changed the Mobo and all that, and remounted the disks and what have you. This was a DeLuxe Mobo with all bells and whistles. Once HW is up again, I try booting. This puppy is running Fedora 6 right now (I know that is a bit old, but it has worked so far).
When booting Linux now, grub gives me errors on missing partitions (LogVol etc. yes, I am using LVM), a missing target to copy to etc. Yes, I sort-of understand what is happening, the LVM is dead, and as I have LVM on my boot partition, booting fails. But why?
Linux, in the shape of Grub, gives me all sorts of errors, that would make many users scared stiff ("kernel panic" for example). I am sort of used to this though, and although not being a Linux guru, I can usually figure things out, given time.
In this case, Grub had all sorts of problems with disk partitions, LVM, "/dev no such file" etc. I started Googling on one of my other machines. At first I found nothing. But then I added "motherboard" to my search. Frankly, although it was the Mobo that was changed, I wasn't expecting this to be the issue, and Grub said nothing of the kind, rather Grub had problems with disks and LVM and stuff.
But actually, this WAS the problem. This is how it works: When you install Fedora (I don't know if other Linux distros do this, but if they do, this is stupid) it collects a list of drivers needed to boot the system and makes those drivers, and only those, available at boot-time. Someone it trying to be economical here or something. In this case, the SATA device was different, as I had a new mobo. Once I had booted into rescue mode, fixed up grub.conf and rebooted, things were OK. What annoys me here though are three things:
- Why can't Grub give me an error message on a missing driver for booting? Hey, it KNOW this is needed, right. So why can't it tell me that, instead of letting the boot process spew out numerous weirdo messages, that has very little do do with the real problem? The reason is started booting at all I guess is because it handles the MBR as IDE.
- Why doesn't Fedora (or any other Linux distro, I don't know), add a few more than just the basic SATA driver. In this case, the new Mobo used AHCI, which is used all over the place these days. The old one had a VIA SATA-I interface.
- Now, why can't Grub be smart enough to allow itself to test for drivers, and allow me to modify it? Just give me a warning at boot time if a required driver is missing, and allow me to load another one? Or even allow me to ask Grub to test another one? As for myself, I do not mind booting in rescue mode and editing a file with vi and then issue a bunch of weirdo commands, but I don't think the general population would buy into this.
Linux is cool, and my box is running fine now, faster than ever. But this took a fair while to figure out. For a while, I contemplated upgrading to Fedora 10, so I downloaded a Fedora 10 live CD. I booted into this, and tried to make up upgrade my Fedora 6 installation. It refused to do do. It didn't like my partitions, and it insisted on having to reformat my partitions if I installed on them, despite these being perfectly normal ext3 on LVM2. I could mount the partitions, in the usual manner from the commandline, but the installer didn't like it. I don't know why.
And it might be Fedora that is the problem here. I wouldn't be surprised, actually. The reason I have Fedora on this box is that I try to have a few different Linuxes running, and I already have SuSE, Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu installed on other machines.
Packing up the screwdrivers, soldering irons, wrenches and other HW stuff to get back to proper software engineering again