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SubjectRe: Nasty suprise with uptime
NTP? Oh, this thing I once installed and that was hanging my machine at boot
time for a couple of minutes until it timed out when my laptop was not
connected to the network?
Thanks, but no thanks.


> From: Chris Meadors <>
> Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 10:56:30 -0500 (EST)
> To: bert hubert <>
> Cc: Linux kernel <>
> Subject: Re: Nasty suprise with uptime
> On Tue, 30 Oct 2001, bert hubert wrote:
>> Having huge uptimes is by the way not adviseable operational policy
>> according to many. Chances are you will be in for a nasty surprise when you
>> reboot - do you remember after a year which daemons you 'started by hand'
>> and how?
> While this isn't exactly on topic for l-k, I just thought that I would
> share my recent pain as it does fit in this thread.
> I had a box that I inherited. It just did its job. Actually most of my
> co-workers didn't even know which box performed this function, and when
> they saw the physical box, they didn't know what it did.
> It was running a 2.0.x kernel. One day after running for a long time (I'm
> guessing close to 500 days) it just went wacky. I tried getting into the
> machine by ssh, but nothing was really working right at all. So I figured
> a reboot was in order.
> This was a crappy 486/66, with no reset button. So a power cycle was
> called for. When I started the machine back up, it did the file system
> has not been checked in a long time thing, and it started the fsck.
> After a bit I saw read errors start to spew to the screen, tons of bad
> blocks. Then the machine squealed for a few seconds, clicked, and then
> all was silent, except for the steady stream of errors on the console.
> A second power cycle confermed what I already knew. The BIOS reported a
> failure in the disk controller (the drive would spin up for 2 seconds
> squeal and click a little bit as it spun back down).
> This machine was configured to do a task, just forward messages to a
> paging terminal. It's configuration was never changed. It had a one of
> those floppy-tape drives in it. I knew were the backup tape was, it was
> made 3 years ago when the machine was first put into action.
> Of course the tape was unreadble at this point. So the installation and
> configuration was recreated from my memory. Luckly I have a good memory,
> but it did take me 2 days to get everything running right again.
> So the moral of the story is. Reboot every-so-often. Set your fsck to
> run at around 2 months, x number of reboots is good too. I like to
> stagger my partitions with 5 reboots between each, even on journaled
> filesystems. And verify your backups even if the machine isn't changing.
> I usually follow those rules, but the cute little 486 in the corner with
> the 240MB hard drive, 16MB of RAM, and the monster uptimes was just too
> much fun to brag about. I'm not bragging anymore, and it is disassembled
> on the floor in my office.
> -Chris
> --
> Two penguins were walking on an iceberg. The first penguin said to the
> second, "you look like you are wearing a tuxedo." The second penguin
> said, "I might be..." --David Lynch, Twin Peaks
> -
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