Linux saves the day again

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 4
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Sep 20, 2012
11:21 AM EDT
Today my server that hosts several parts of websites, mail server and some other important stuff started to shutdown at random. After diagnosing it for hours, it seems to be a hardware issue. Because this server is part in the network, it had to be fixed basically instantly. But the problem was I couldn't find any replacement hardware for that model .. so there was only one choice left: find another computer that can boot from the drives. My first attempt failed, because the computer I tried wasn't 64 bit, a stupid mistake. My second attempt, something I though that wouldn't work at all .. worked ! The Software raid was detected perfectly, along with the LVM partitions on it. The reason I thought the computer wouldn't boot was because the hardware was radically different, and much newer. But it booted, and Ubuntu Server 10.04 didn't complain about anything. After tweaking the network config files (and adding an extra USB ethernet port, because it had only one) everything was running fine as before.

Now, I'm pretty sure this wouldn't have been possible if the server was running Windows :D

Sep 20, 2012
12:13 PM EDT
There was huge hew and cry back when WinXP started the "This isn't the computer this software was installed on, shutting down" tricks.

Oh well. People get accustomed to restrictions on their choices so quickly.

Freedom works, and I've had the same kind of experience, having to take a HD from one machine to another more than once. I'm really pleased it worked RAID and all.

Sep 20, 2012
12:21 PM EDT
I have seen Windows make a transition from old hardware to a new machine without too much trouble once with a Windows XP installation (and I was pretty flabbergasted at the time). Lest I start to think this was a new feature of Windows, since that time I have tried it again and got the usual BSOD every time. I guess this means that Windows can do this occasionally, but you can far from count on it.

With Linux, you can pretty much count on this working as long as the kernel on the old machine is up to date enough compared to the new hardware to support it all. This is, of course, unless you have a specially prepared lightweight kernel with only the things needed for specific hardware, but standard distribution kernels pretty much always work.

Edit: I should mention that the Windows experience is not related to activation. I've never tried this with a version of Windows that required activation because I knew it wouldn't work. The attempts with XP have always been with a volume license or an OEM build (interestingly, it's an OEM build that worked when moved to generic hardware).

Sep 20, 2012
4:54 PM EDT
> I guess this means that Windows can do this occasionally, but you can far from count on it.

If you don't cross processor types, there's a chance it will work. If you change processors, forget it.

Sep 21, 2012
11:55 AM EDT
As I recall, the computer that the hard drive came from was an original Athlon64 processor, and the one I moved it to was a Phenom II. So they were both 64 bit AMD processors (though it was 32 bit Windows XP); thus what you said makes sense. Generally, I don't think it matters much though. Ninety Nine percent of the time it seems like moving a Windows drive from one machine to another results in a BSOD (or whatever the equivalent to that is these days).

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