Repurposing a Cranky Computer

One of the bumps encountered while traveling memory lane was a cranky test system.

That cranky participant is a AMD dual core system with 8 GB of DDR2 RAM. Originally the system was my primary office computer for several years. When I retired the system I envisioned no permanent operating system. The system has removable drive bays. The idea was to connect disks as needed and use a Live ISO. For the most part this design has functioned as intended.

This system supports PATA/IDE, albeit through a poorly designed and cantankerous BIOS. There is no floppy disk drive but that need is fulfilled with other computers.

During that episode accessing an old Conner 540 MB 4500 RPM PATA/IDE hard disk I decided an enhancement would be a permanent operating system. That avoids the inconvenience of using a Live ISO, which unless custom built does not contain all desired tools and has no immediate access to convenient network shares. An internal hard disk is faster than a USB stick.

Another idle AMD dual core system has a funky network controller. That system supports PATA/IDE, has no floppy disk drive, and no removable drive bays.

Both AMD systems have 1 Gbps network controllers, a convenient improvement on the older systems with 10/100 Mbps controllers.

On the office system I formatted an empty SATA II hard disk because both AMD systems do not support SATA III. I cloned parts of the office system, massaged various configuration files, and changed the host name.

Next was connecting a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and network.

Configuring the system required a few leisurely paced hours, mostly to tweak everything as desired for the house network, including backups to help restore from a failed hard disk. While intended to be a test unit, with this additional customizing the system could be used as a full workstation anywhere in the house where there is an Ethernet connection.

With hindsight this configuration should be more flexible and beneficial as a test system.

So ends Yet Another Side Journey.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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