Sometimes you end up fighting a problem and realize that you have two options. First, you can "give up" and start over (reinstall). Or you can keep trying, knowing you'll eventually come up with a solution and likely learn a lot along the way. The tradeoff, of course, is time. The first may take an hour, while the second can consume much of a day.

I opted for the second yesterday. I didn't get to bed early at all, but I did manage to fix a very odd problem on a server. In the process, I replaced the 2 80GB software RAID-1 disks with 2 120GB disks and undid the raid. I also converted the ext2 root filesystem to ReiserFS, my filesystem of choice.

Along the way, I learned a lot more about partitions, filesystem recovery, initrd/mkinitrd, and various other tidbits. I'm happy I did it. I didn't lose a single bit of data despite one of the disks seeming to be funky.

Later today, I'll haul the server to it's new home in a colocation facility in Santa Clara. (It used to live in Palo Alto, but I had to move it, thus killing the 520+ day uptime.)

Hands-on experience can be one hell of a teacher.

Posted by jzawodn at July 02, 2003 12:04 PM

Reader Comments
# Travis said:

I think you might like this quote that I grabbed from someone's email sig:

Experience is a good school,
but the fees are high - Heinrich Heine

on July 2, 2003 01:00 PM
# Jeremy C. Wright said:

Took them off RAID-1? No need for the redundancy?

on July 2, 2003 01:14 PM
# pe said:

Will you remember what you've learned in a year if you don't write it down?

on July 2, 2003 03:58 PM
# Charles said:

I think that quote got mangled, I heard it as something more like "time is the best teacher, unfortunately it kills all its students."

on July 2, 2003 05:02 PM
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