This is a read-only archive of an earlier blog posting. Reasons for the
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My old Winbook laptop (100 MHz 486!) finally
died. I was using it as a private webserver, mail collector,
Christmas light controller, remote access when I'm away, etc. So
it's been running 24/7 for about 5 years now. The battery died
several years ago, and the hinge cracked, but the guts still worked
fine and it doesn't suck too much power. So, if it ain't broke too
bad, don't fix it.
Finally, the disk started sticking: I
have to pick up the PC and shake it to get the drive to start
spinning so it can boot. Now the fun part: I decided to move the
drive to a new PC and copy all the settings off before it died
completely. Unfortunately the disk was too big for the BIOS in the
486, so it's formatted with an OnTrack DiskManager partition hack,
and the new PC (running a Debian Linux 2.6 kernel) doesn't see the
real partitions. Google found 2 couple of suggestions: Add the
hda=remap or hda=remap63 kernel option in grub (didn't help), or
use device-mapper (didn't find any instructions on how to actually
do it). Apparently, DM support was deleted in 2.6. So, I rebooted
with a 2.4 kernel, whacked the drive with my hand, and all my
partitions were readable without changing any settings.
The disk did die for good shortly after that. I suppose I
could dig up an old 2.5 drive and get a few more years out of the
486, but I think I've gotten my money's worth.
I'll get the backups on my main PC up to date, then go back to
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