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Temaelrin

Shit I've bought from eBay... #4 - IBM X3200 M3 Server

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Temaelrin

What do you get if you cross a server with a desktop computer?
An IBM X3200 M3, apparently.

large.IMG_2977.jpg

Just a little amount of time after I took purchase of the HP ProLiant DL380 G5 Server, I also spotted this on eBay for (At the time) £8.00; plus free postage. Like with the previous one, my first thought was “Alright… What’s wrong with it?” Well quite a bit more than the previous one, but the seller wasn’t entirely honest about all that was wrong with it… We’ll get to that in a moment. I decided that the highest I’d go is £20 for this early on in the bidding; seeing as there was no postage and package costs. It was advertised as: IBM X3200 Tower Server M3 with a X3430 Quad Core 2.4Ghz processor and 16GB RAM with a 500GB server. They specified that it was in good clean condition, a few blemishes present consistent with age and use, only 1 HD and only the one caddy for it. They said that it had an evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 on it and that it worked fine. 

Alright… At £20 I was willing to take the risk. This was placed on the 21 Oct 2018 at around 05:55hrs (Nearly 6 in the morning). Which bumped it up to £8.50, which it remained until 2:24:05PM BST when a series of highly suspicious bids took place on it on an account that only had 1 feedback score and seemed to bump the price up in increments repeatedly. Seriously… Check this out (I used inspect element to change the names):

large.suspicious.jpg

And hiding automatic bids:

large.suspicious2.jpg

Now I have no proof but this s***i ( 1 ) was extremely suspect to me; almost like he was trying to inch up the price for the seller; and what made it worse was that this guy’s bidding history at the time was 100% on the same seller. Is it possible that it was a legitimate person? Sure! It’s possible. But to me it was just as likely to be the seller’s alt account or a friend of the seller. But that wasn’t going to deter me. Whilst £20 was the highest I was willing to go; it was only that early on in the bidding. I was planning on bid sniping if it was under £40 which is the absolute highest I’d go, incase something like this happened. Using a buffer of £30 as my max I put another bid on it on the 22nd Oct 2018 at 09:30 BST. With plans to put £40 in on it on the last moment of bidding.

23rd October 2018, seconds before the bidding ending, I put £40 as my max, exactly as planned anticipating another snipe bidder. But there was none. By the time my computer refreshed the page - I had won the bid at £27.00, with free postage!

I am not going to name the seller because I don’t recommend them…

  • Item: IBM X3200 Tower Server M3 Xeon X3430 Quad Core 2.4Ghz 16GB RAM 500GB HDD server
  • Price I paid: £27.00
  • Shipping: Free (Courier) 
  • Total Cost: £27.00
  • Came With: More damage than advertised.

So I briefly touched on the damage that this server had; in the listing the seller specified:

Quote

 

good clean condition, a few blemishes present consistent with age and use, only 1 HD and only the one caddy for it. 

reloaded with trial version of 2016 works fine.

 

And that certainly is true to a point. There certainly are blemishes on the case, but whether or not it’s consistent with age and use… Well, as you will see in my bonus part, which isn’t something I bought on eBay, I have a system that is much older, and isn’t anywhere near as damaged. Hell the HP Proliant DL380 G5 Server wasn’t as damaged at this server either. It looks quite beaten up in some places, with deep gashes that go beyond the black paint of the case, and hit the shiny surface below. 

large.IMG_3040.jpglarge.IMG_3038.jpglarge.IMG_3037.jpg

In addition; the one and only hard drive caddy that came with this server has an unremovable hard drive in it because someone damaged the screw so much that no screwdriver will release it. This wasn’t mentioned on the listing.

large.IMG_3027.jpg

But that’s not a problem; I just purchased extra caddies (Buy it Now)

  • Item: 4x 3.5" Drive Caddy Tray For IBM 3200
  • Price I paid: £19.88, -£2,00 Special Offer
  • Shipping: Free (Royal Mail Tracked)
  • Total Cost: Server (£27.00) + Caddies (£19.88 - £2.00) = £44.88
  • Came With: Two of them came with 4 screws. The other 2 came with 0 screws.

Except one of these Caddies will not fit this server; they sent the wrong item… My luck with eBay as it seems is starting to come to an end...

But with the three that I have and the one HDD that is unremovable from the Caddy, I can now have upto 4 HDDs in the server. Which I will come back to in a moment. Compared to the HP Proliant Server from the last topic; this machine is a lot quieter. Let's put it this way, my USB desk fan on my main workstation desk is a lot louder than this server is. Which is good, because it means I can install it somewhere in my home, and it won’t be a loud nuisance. Its power draw is also significantly less than the HP server too. So this has become a really strong candidate of being a server that I can use here, as an internal private intranet server. It is also smaller (Mini-Tower 5U), and I can install it in a range of places, that will be quite discreet. 

Update: I of course raised this issue and we got it resolved in the end, and I got a replacement that did fit.

The initial specs of this server is as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon X3430
    • Socket H1 (LGA1156), 45nm Chip
    • X86-64 Architecture
    • Quad Core @ 2.40GHz (4 Threads)
    • L1 Cache
      • 4 x 32 KB 4-way set associative instruction caches 
      • 4 x 32 KB 8-way set associative data caches
    • L2 Cache
      • 4 x 256 KB 8-way set associative caches
    • L3 Cache
      • 8 MB 16-way set associative shared cache    
    • 160W Max Sustained Power Consumption (95W TDP)
    • 32GB Max Supportable RAM*
  • Chipset: Intel DMI Host Bridge rev. 11 (Northbridge) + Intel 3420 Rev. 05 (Southbridge)
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 (6 Slots Total: 4x 4GB, 2x Slots are empty)
    • 4x Samsung (4092MB each) 
    • Low ProfileECC RAM
    • Bandwidth: PC3-10600 (666.7 MHz)
    • JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency:
      • JEDEC #1: 6.0-6-6-17-23 @ 457 MHz 
      • JEDEC #2: 7.0-7-7-20-27 @ 533 MHz
      • JEDEC #3: 8.0-8-8-22-30 @ 609 MHz
      • JEDEC #4: 9.0-9-9-24-33 @ 666 MHz
    • Model: M392B5273CH0-CH9
    • 2x Empty Banks
  • Optical Media: HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH60N
    • Firmware: NY03 (2009-12-23 12:34:56)
    • Can read:
      • CD-R
      • DVD-R
      • DVD-RW
      • DVD+R
      • DVD+RW
      • DVD-RAM
      • DVD+R DL
    • Can Write:
      • CD-R
      • DVD-R
      • DVD-RW
      • DVD+R
      • DVD+RW
      • DVD-RAM
      • DVD+R DL
  • Network Cards: 2x Intel 82574L Gigabit Network Connection
  • Graphics: *reportedly* Matrox MGA G200eV (Integrated)
    • VGA Output only.
    • 16MB SDRAM Video Memory
  • PSU: 1x 400w Power Supply 
    • Model DPS-400-AB-9 A (Rev: 00F)
  • HDD: 1x 500GB 3.5” SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    • Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX (500GB)
    • 3x Empty Banks

So unlike the last server I showcased, this has a few noticeable differences. The Hard Drive is something, I sincerely doubt came with the server, as it’s as a Western Digital Blue HDD, that has likely come out of a Desktop Computer. It certainly isn’t enterprise grade, nor is it what I’d expect to find in a server. It’s also pure SATA, where as the HP Hard Drives are SAS, and the difference that I’ve noticed can be seen on the SATA Connection themselves. This appears to me like an ordinary desktop HDD. It also appears to be considerably well used:

large.2084844328_WDCWD5000AAKX-603CA0.jpg

The RAM is extremely low profile, but at least all of it matches, and doesn’t get anywhere near to the temperatures of the HP server. The CPU does run a little hotter, but since reapplying the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5, this has greatly reduced and become far more manageable. 

Before I got to really play around with it, I did exactly what I did to the last server. I took a look at the hard drive to see if there was remnants of data left over on them from the previous owners - of which I found that there absolutely was. Which means this hard drive wasn’t properly wiped at all. Oh dear… So what did I find? 

To be honest, I am not sure. I’ve found evidence of previous operating systems installed on this hard drive; such as EULA’s for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 10 Enterprise. I’ve also seen update CAB files for Windows 6.1 and Windows 8.1 updates, as well as CAB files that contain files like: DesktopTargetCompDB_ENTERPRISE_ko-kr.xml as seen below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<CompDB xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" CreatedDate="2017-09-30T15:48:06.0289147Z" Revision="1" SchemaVersion="1.2" Product="Desktop" BuildID="863b33d6-5d47-3ae6-5284-31cc06b48473" BuildInfo="rs3_release.16299.15.170928-1534" OSVersion="10.0.16299.15" BuildArch="AMD64" ReleaseType="Production" Type="Build" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/embedded/2004/10/ImageUpdate">
  <Tags Type="Edition">
    <Tag Name="Edition" Value="Enterprise" />
    <Tag Name="Language" Value="ko-kr" />
    <Tag Name="UpdateType" Value="Canonical" />
  </Tags>
  <Features>
    <Feature Type="DesktopMedia" FeatureID="Enterprise_ko-kr" FMID="MSDE" Group="Microsoft">
      <Packages>
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Foundation-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-WOW64-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-WOW64-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-WOW64-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Analog-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-WOW64-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-WOW64-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-QuickAssist-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-MediaPlayer-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-OneCore-ApplicationModel-Sync-Desktop-FOD-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="AMD64_Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.All" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="AMD64_Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.enterprise" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-LanguagePack-Package_ko-kr" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Basic-ko-kr-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Handwriting-ko-kr-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-TextToSpeech-ko-kr-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-OCR-ko-kr-Package" PackageType="FeaturePackage" />
        <Package ID="Enterprise_ko-kr_esd" PackageType="MetadataESD" />
      </Packages>
    </Feature>
  </Features>
  <Packages>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Foundation-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="+wrnS73RVfhDnBBNpVujYmajNVLE7L5Zm1oklaL+RXQ=" PayloadSize="2286690" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Foundation-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="vQBvfoo+j/2gnPAr3D2mG2SkCu8cYjBHUD4aA97N8BI=" PayloadSize="880381462" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-WOW64-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <SatelliteInfo>
        <DeclareInfo>
          <Declare Type="arch" Value="wow64" />
        </DeclareInfo>
      </SatelliteInfo>
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="SS6IfGMo3omwr+HN1/YYX6OaVnTAlcDp9boDK4HK/mE=" PayloadSize="264049316" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Client-Features-WOW64-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="vFWYTitDL+/wwWyHj76BApHyuZf8fjcwe2/b0QeTBD8=" PayloadSize="25781426" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-WOW64-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="SEg4Oxzjs9CnNepslha9IVlEI8pr3hhkrCODpBvuzLw=" PayloadSize="22229744" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-RegulatedPackages-WOW64-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="yqf0RvQn+YklfTgKUetuU+dS2+HTO1Ovj/IGRVpQiZw=" PayloadSize="5190740" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-WOW64-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="areJOF0n8tRCHNZvXof7rlnTHqcetUP+P+8vmiVbLJE=" PayloadSize="99460" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Merged-WOW64-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Analog-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="KMXFQjtx2Bn5dp7yWAKYtt1n4xvabBnSQ9cQf40kUk0=" PayloadSize="8293796" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-Holographic-Desktop-Analog-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="HD109q+JSvMYIc2/bya+A0L4YMYcIMaW8rOQ6ZLJaL0=" PayloadSize="504868788" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-WOW64-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="0ipelbg2f3GE77S+XioBLi2i7+tkIh0udRabkH5C96Y=" PayloadSize="67978176" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-EditionPack-Enterprise-WOW64-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="zZT9JM4Ey4vP+9Qm6DlBM9tpQPG6coeD/CxK86ACMKE=" PayloadSize="13836388" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-WOW64-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="sZzd0urLY1F/gMJUmcKZN66PWIS1b5BuNuEl80RXyPw=" PayloadSize="19871364" Path="UUP\Desktop\editionPackages\neutral\Microsoft-Windows-EditionSpecific-Enterprise-WOW64-Package.ESD" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-QuickAssist-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="eNxYefEk+1bQcZTb2zrr5RGcuMNstmdv71wuHpuQx4E=" PayloadSize="367627" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-QuickAssist-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package" Version="11.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="ht7tgr1cDeBkUIuyjbZxY4JK/s0rEBtMiFIRgDDdA7s=" PayloadSize="296038" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-MediaPlayer-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="mT08yTE4X5NJiKfb6aW8WSDaFWTkHas+Ueqv6OOv7M4=" PayloadSize="25500439" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-MediaPlayer-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-OneCore-ApplicationModel-Sync-Desktop-FOD-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="1mwEJAfTpz2sxZ/n71yo3XaPHmyIvAPpacLnEyF4kf4=" PayloadSize="4122962" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-OneCore-ApplicationModel-Sync-Desktop-FOD-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="AMD64_Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.All" Version="0.0.0.0">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="HcejkXuxAxiG5calWGUrbsEHgBOtDy5aF9U9GIgzAM8=" PayloadSize="271834360" Path="UUP\Desktop\Apps\Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.All.esd" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="AMD64_Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.enterprise" Version="0.0.0.0">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="ZsN5P42CYFIad+8bmmTZPt59Hh5J9TVB3mzjKfMj0pQ=" PayloadSize="27003996" Path="UUP\Desktop\Apps\Microsoft.ModernApps.Client.enterprise.esd" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-Client-LanguagePack-Package_ko-kr" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="APjQ1Bxm4LPVqKTmQvD1f/V7p/k0L3sZ0SxJJZmU//8=" PayloadSize="28549716" Path="UUP\Desktop\EditionPackages\ko-kr\Client\amd64fre_Client_ko-kr_lp.esd" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Basic-ko-kr-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="OU/NB7fOktLb5r/kXaqTmQO/aRYac5txCov6fo6/liw=" PayloadSize="4337536" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Basic-ko-kr-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Handwriting-ko-kr-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="VYa6KHQnxONo1IkMi6gyOd+FWeOvrZPmvN/BqRyrECU=" PayloadSize="23326233" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-Handwriting-ko-kr-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-TextToSpeech-ko-kr-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="2zKYivZ90rQkFk9cUCotV4iA8qeEh6a/gQDhYmbGJzY=" PayloadSize="14278698" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-TextToSpeech-ko-kr-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="amd64_Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-OCR-ko-kr-Package" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="SRYNd4ITZDnXZUen+Dtj9rJS6fIvNU9935j5kSfX0GM=" PayloadSize="3412608" Path="FeaturesOnDemand\neutral\cabs\Microsoft-Windows-LanguageFeatures-OCR-ko-kr-Package.cab" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
    <Package ID="Enterprise_ko-kr_esd" Version="10.0.16299.15">
      <Payload>
        <PayloadItem PayloadHash="Ew37BM+a4208gMxnZMpvP8KEEWBnZ9kbBsJ6MFQSnM8=" PayloadSize="530003885" Path="UUP\DESKTOP\MetadataESDs\Enterprise_ko-kr\Enterprise_ko-kr.esd" PayloadType="Canonical" />
      </Payload>
    </Package>
  </Packages>
</CompDB>

But perhaps the strangest of all is that there were files on the hard drive at some point that seems to contain (What looks to me like) Development Assets of King’s Candy Crush Saga… Stuff like images, OGG/WMA/MP3 files which seem to be from the Candy Crush game as well. Now; I could be wrong and this stuff could get installed by default (as it is a tile on Windows 10 from the Windows Store), or was installed through the Microsoft Store and these files are installed with that, but I’m not honestly sure. To me; they look like developer assets and sprites. Some of the Candy Crush files are in different languages. There was nothing “Personal” in the files I recovered; but there were a couple of databases, that could contain sensitive information… Thankfully the SQL, SQLite and .accdb (Microsoft Access) files were either damaged/corrupted beyond recovery or were encrypted - and I have no inclination nor desire to attempt to repair or decrypt them. 

I was able to recover around 62,000 files (8.77GB) all of which are deleted now, and I did the right thing; I wiped the hard drive (And the storage medium I restored it to) completely using DoD 5220.22-M, which is a bit overkill for hard drives nowadays but it ensures the data is unrecoverable by peasantry (Me) means, it essentially wipes over the entire drive with all binary zeros, then verifies that write, before making a second pass that overwrites all addressable locations with binary ones, I believe it then verifies it again before making a third pass of a completely random bit pattern, then verifies that again. For good measure I did a binary zero write afterwards, for another purpose; to test the hard drive and root out any bad sectors. 

Then I was free to continue on and use it. I want to urge everyone here; if you’re selling your computer/laptop then please at least do a proper format (Not a Quick Format), or worse yet don’t just *delete* your files and call it job done, it most certainly isn’t. Do not be lazy about this. Overwrite that data. So assholes like me can’t come along and recover it; I really can’t stress that enough. In most cases a single pass of random bits will do, but if you want to be sure, 3 passes like with the DoD 5220.22-M is usually a good idea, but if you’re a little paranoid, a 7 pass write like DoD 5220.22-M ECE I guess is alright. But if you’re extremely paranoid - just don’t sell the hard drive, and physically destroy it, and sell/give the rest of the computer. Chances are if you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be told that.

There are far worse people out there and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve purchased second hand hard drives online, that people haven’t properly formatted the hard drives of. I’ve had access to various kinds of sensitive materials that have either been too hot to handle or have been wiped properly by myself. To see someone actually take data protection seriously and to wipe their drives before selling them is a good thing to me. I actually like that they do it properly. But I always format again; just to be sure, it roots out any bad sectors, and makes sure that the drive is properly cleaned and conditioned, ready for use. You don’t need to use the Gutmann method (35 pass write) because that is most certainly overkill. 

For more information you can read the following:

• 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence 
• 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_forensics 
• 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure 
• 
https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html - Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory (Floppy/Tape/HDDs)
• 
https://www.cs.jhu.edu/~astubble/600.412/s-c-papers/remanence.pdf - Data Remanence in Semiconductor Devices (Flash/SSDs)

So with the hard drives wiped; I installed a temporary installation of Windows Server 2016, as I was going to benchmark the system and turned the machine off for a good look inside. Before I did this though I took a temperature check of the CPU and RAM and found them to be the opposite way around from the HP Server and more in line with what I expected. The RAM was pretty cool, at around 30-40oC but the CPU was quite high even under idle loads, at around 60oC, and under 100% Prime95 load it was around 97-98oC which is a little too hot for my liking. But again, I could be wrong and this could be normal for this CPU. I did not leave Prime95 running for long, not at these kinds of temperatures, and I shut down the system and opened it up. 

large.IMG_2282.jpg

This server is laid out near enough exactly like a Mini-Tower. The first thing I noticed in there was this very fine amount of dust everywhere inside the machine. The second thing I noticed however was the CPU Heatsink was chock-fucking-full of dust which had compacted into the fins and was skewing my head test results for sure. The CPU fan was also caked in dust which severely reduces the airflow that the fan can draw through the heatsink. 

Immediately I got to work in dismantling the server for a full and proper clean. 

The Hard Drive Bay had to come out first, as you can see in the above picture; it is above the CPU heatsink and fan. So that came out, although the process seemed convoluted and impossible at first but after referencing the service manual it was as easy as taking out the hard drive caddy and pressing on a tab to make it swing outwards. I decided to give that fan a clean too as it was filthy, and I knew I was going to have four hard drives in there which will generate quite a bit of heat. 

Once that was done I disconnected the fan power supply from the motherboard to the CPU Fan and removed the heatsink, only to find that the thermal paste had hardened into a cement like substance. So I removed the processor and delicately cleaned this up. 

large.IMG_2440.jpg

I also spent some time cleaning the heatsink out with various pieces of equipment, and clearing off the junk on the bottom of it. I then put the CPU back into the socket and applied some Arctic Silver 5, in a vertical line up the CPU (as instructed by their site) before putting it all back together and ran the system through another intense benchmark.

large.IMG_2462.jpg

This time, at idle the CPU was around 30-35oC and under heavy load it was around 70-75oC so as far as I was concerned this was mission accomplished. 

As I said in the previous part: I use Arctic Silver 5; which is a high density micronise Silver and ‘Enhanced Thermally Conductive Ceramic Particles’ (What I call Enhanced TCCP), which is typically around 88% thermally conductive materials (by weight) with ‘Three Unique Shapes and Sizes’ of 99.9% pure silver to maximise the particle contact area and thermal transfer, suspended in Polysynthetic Oils. It is not electrically conductive either. You can find more information here. This is not an advert; and I am not sponsored by Arctic Silver, but it is in my experience, the best stuff to use for thermal paste solutions, at the very least it is almost usually much better than stock solutions. It is not cheap though (~£1,800 per KG. You buy it usually in 3.5g syringes that cost around £6-7 and it does lots of applications). 

All in all this was running quieter than the HP Server, cooler than the HP server and taking in half of the power of the HP Server, so far this was looking like the best solution to use around the “Office”. 

But the next thing I wanted to do was run some benchmarks. Unfortunately the benchmark program CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2 defines the following benchmarks as the stupid 1KB = 1000 bytes therefore 1000KB = 1MB, and if you want it to mean 1024KB = 1MB you’re actually talking about MiB… Which I’ve already ranted about in the previous topic.

In the last topic of ‘Shit I’ve bought from eBay’ I stated that with the HP Server it had better numbers but the test files took a lot longer to create; this is absolutely true. But there was something I hadn’t read in the results that was showing me in the numbers that write speeds were much slower. Whilst the read speeds of the HP server was far better than the read speeds of the IBM server, the write speeds are a completely different story. Inside the computer was one single Western Digital (Blue) WD5000AAKX (500GB) HDD (7200 RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA III - 6Gbps). 

So here is the raw data of the test using Crystal Diskmark (Freeware):

large.CrystalDiskBenchmark.jpg

Here is a comparison of the HDD speed between this server and the HP Server. Red indicates where the IBM server is slower and green indicates where it was faster:

large.CrystalDiskBenchmarkCompare.jpg

But I could argue that this test isn’t exactly very fair either. There are few points of differences to raise here:

  • The IBM System did not have a full complement of disks, and it wasn’t set up in any kind of RAID system. Where as the HP system has all 8 disks in a RAID 5 set up.
  • The IBM System does not appear to be able to do, let alone support RAID 5. In fact the letters “RAID” doesn’t even come into it. The best I can tell this has four options.
    • Each disk is a stand alone drive (Which I guess could be configured in an OS)
    • Integrated Striping: Which I am guessing is RAID 0.
    • Integrated Mirroring: Which I am guessing is RAID 1.
    • Integrated Mirroring Enhanced: Which I am guessing is RAID 1E.
      • There are some reports that this only works with an odd number of drives, yet when I selected three of my drives I had around 750GB of total space, and when I selected four I had around 1TB of total space. 

I had also tried using 4TB drives in the server however the RAID Controller, a IBM ServeRAID BR10il SAS/SATA Controller v2 (Which is actually a: Symbios Logic/LSI 53C1064E PCI Express Fusion-MPT 4-Port SAS Controller) can only see 2TB (2048GB) and even then it can’t process it properly. Everything else after that Linux, Windows, and even the BIOS only sees it as a 2TB Hard Drive and is incapable of installing anything onto it. So I am limited in this regard and can only use 2TB Drives or lower.

I used SiSoftware (Sandra) to get an overall benchmark of the system as I hold a valid licence for the software (2016 version). Which I have compared to my desktop computer (Because as unfair comparaisons go this was the best baseline I have; other than old Pentium 2 Processor machine I have in my airing cupboard). I also compared them to the HP server that I spoke about in my last topic.  

As I mentioned in the last topic it is important to see how the benchmarking software see’s the hardware, as there were discrepancies with the HP Server, that I wanted to rule out here too. 

SiSoftware Sandra

ID
Host Name : WIN-F1VD50H6AMM
Workgroup : WORKGROUP

Computer
Model : IBM System x3200 M3 -[7328EAG]-
Serial Number : (REDACTED)
Chassis : IBM Tower
Mainboard : IBM 81Y6793
Serial Number : (REDACTED)
BIOS : IBM Corp. -[GYE163AUS-1.20]- 03/19/2018
TPM - Trusted Platform Module : 1.02, WEC
Total Memory : 16GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3

Processors
Processor : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Socket/Slot : FC LGA1156

Chipset
Memory Controller : Intel Core (Clarksfield/Lynnfield) DMI 2x 2.4GHz (4.79GHz)
Memory Controller : Intel Xeon (Lynnfield) UnCore 2x 2.4GHz (4.79GHz), 2x 8GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 798MHz 128-bit

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 4GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 PC3-10700R DDR3-1334 (9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5)
Memory Module : Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 4GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 PC3-10700R DDR3-1334 (9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5)
Memory Module : Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 4GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 PC3-10700R DDR3-1334 (9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5)
Memory Module : Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 4GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 PC3-10700R DDR3-1334 (9-9-9-25 4-34-10-5)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : Dell Computer DELL S2440L
  (1920x1080, 24.0")
Video Adapter : Microsoft Basic Render Driver (SM5.2, 8GB)

Graphics Processor

Storage Devices
WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0 (500.1GB, SATA300/600, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache) : 466GB (C:)
HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GH60N (SATA150, DVD+-RW, CD-RW) : N/A (D:)

Logical Storage Devices
System Reserved : 500MB (NTFS, 4kB) @ WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0 (500.1GB, SATA300/600, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache)
Hard Disk (C:) : 465GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0 (500.1GB, SATA300/600, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache)
Optical Drive (D:) : N/A @ HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GH60N (SATA150, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)

Peripherals
LPC Hub Controller 1 : IBM 3420 LPC Interface Controller
Serial Port(s) : 2
Disk Controller : IBM P55/PM55/3400 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
Disk Controller : IBM ServeRAID BR10il SAS/SATA Controller v2
USB Controller 1 : IBM P55/PM55/3400 USB2 Enhanced Host Controller
USB Controller 2 : IBM P55/PM55/3400 USB2 Enhanced Host Controller
SMBus/i2c Controller 1 : Intel ICH SMBus
SMBus/i2c Controller 2 : IPMI T1 Controller

Printers and Faxes
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer v4 (600x600, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft Shared Fax Driver (200x200)
Printer : Microsoft Print To PDF (600x600, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer v4 (600x600, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft Print To PDF (600x600, Colour)

Network Services
Network Adapter : IBM USB Remote NDIS Network Device (Ethernet, 9.73Mbps)
Network Adapter : Intel(R) 82574L Gigabit Network Connection (Ethernet)
Network Adapter : Intel(R) 82574L Gigabit Network Connection #2 (Ethernet, 1Gbps)

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows 2016 Server 10.00.14393
Platform Compliance : x64

But this is the results compared to my PC (Blue) with the Server (Green):

large.716014719_TemPCvsIBMOverallScore.jpg

This is really not unsimilar to the HP server results when compared to my computer. It is striking how very much the same they are. So to get a more complete picture let's take a look at how this IBM server (Green) is compared to the HP server (Blue):

large.1856534173_IBMvsHP.jpg

Now that’s interesting.

And of course the raw data, which you can freely compare to the previous topic:

SiSoftware Sandra

Display
Connection : Local Computer

Processor Multi-Media
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 67.17MPix/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Cryptography
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 0.680GB/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Processor Financial Analysis
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 8.00kOPT/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Processor Scientific Analysis
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 6.57GFLOPS
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

.NET Arithmetic
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 14.15GOPS
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Memory Bandwidth
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 6.251GB/s
Result ID : Intel Core (Clarksfield/Lynnfield) DMI; 2x 8GB Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 (798MHz 128-bit) PC3-10700 (6-6-6-16 4-22-6-3)
Speed : 798MHz
Capacity : 16384MB
Power : 19.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Cache & Memory Latency
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 34.1ns
Result ID : Intel Core (Clarksfield/Lynnfield) DMI; 2x 8GB Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 (798MHz 128-bit) PC3-10700 (6-6-6-16 4-22-6-3)
Speed : 798MHz
Capacity : 16384MB
Power : 19.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

File System Bandwidth
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 106.438MB/s
Result ID : WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0 (500.1GB, SATA300/600, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache) (NTFS, 4kB)
Speed : 7200rpm
Capacity : 500.11GB
Finished Successfully : Yes

File System I/O
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 1929.7IOPS
Result ID : WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0 (500.1GB, SATA300/600, 3.5", 7200rpm, 16MB Cache) (NTFS, 4kB)
Speed : 3000Mbps
Capacity : 500.11GB
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Processing
Analysing...
Error (339) : No devices found. : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Finished Successfully : No

Video Shader Compute
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 6.03MPix/s
Result ID : Microsoft Basic Render Driver (SM5.2, 8GB) (D3D 11)
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Cryptography
Analysing...
Error (339) : No devices found. : High Security (AES256 + SHA2-256) : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Standard Security (AES128 + SHA1) : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Higher Security (AES256 + SHA2-512) : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Finished Successfully : No

Cryptography
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 0.683GB/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Financial Analysis
Analysing...
Finished Successfully : No

Processor Financial Analysis
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 8.02kOPT/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Scientific Analysis
Analysing...
Finished Successfully : No

Processor Scientific Analysis
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 5.28GFLOPS
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Media (Audio/Video) Transcode
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 1.508MB/s
Result ID : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3430  @ 2.40GHz (4C 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, 2.13GHz IMC, 4x 256kB L2, 8MB L3) (Microsoft H264 Video Decoder MFT > H264 Encoder MFT; Microsoft AAC Audio Decoder MFT > Microsoft AAC Audio Encoder MFT)
Speed : 2394MHz
Capacity : 4Unit(s)
Power : 95.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Bandwidth
Analysing...
Error (339) : No devices found. : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Finished Successfully : No

Video Memory Bandwidth
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 4.070GB/s
Result ID : Microsoft Basic Render Driver (SM5.2, 8GB) (D3D 11)
Capacity : 8186MB
Finished Successfully : Yes

GP (GPU/CPU/APU) Memory Latency
Analysing...
Error (339) : No devices found. : Global Data Memory : In-Page Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Global Data Memory : Full Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Global Data Memory : Sequential Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Constant Data Memory : In-Page Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Constant Data Memory : Full Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Constant Data Memory : Sequential Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Shared Data Memory : In-Page Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Shared Data Memory : Full Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Shared Data Memory : Sequential Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Private Data Memory : In-Page Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Private Data Memory : Full Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Private Data Memory : Sequential Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Texture Memory : In-Page Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Texture Memory : Full Random Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Error (339) : No devices found. : Texture Memory : Sequential Access Pattern : GP(GPU) call failed. Try another interface (e.g. OpenCL/ComputeShader/CUDA/etc.) or update video drivers.
Finished Successfully : No

Cache & Memory Latency
Analysing...
Aggregated Score : 34.2ns
Result ID : Intel Core (Clarksfield/Lynnfield) DMI; 2x 8GB Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 (798MHz 128-bit) PC3-10700 (6-6-6-16 4-22-6-3)
Speed : 798MHz
Capacity : 16384MB
Power : 19.00W
Finished Successfully : Yes

Overall Score
Aggregated Score : 2.13kPT
Results Interpretation : Higher Scores mean Better Performance.
Decimal Numeral System (base 10) : 1GPT = 1000MPT, 1MPT = 1000kPT, 1kPT = 1000PT, etc.
Result ID : IBM System x3200 M3 -[7328EAG]- System X (IBM 81Y6793) (Intel Xeon CPU X3430 @ 2.40GHz; Intel Core DMI; 2x 8GB Samsung M392B5273CH0-CH9 ECC DIMM Regis; WDC WD5000AAKX-603CA0; Microsoft Basic Render Driver)
Finished Successfully : Yes

After I ran these tests I began to make some modifications to the server. During the time that I was writing this up, I actually sourced together three additional 500GB drives, two from my next topic of ‘Shit I’ve brought from eBay’, and one from my computer so that the total complement is as follows:

  • Western Digital (Blue) WD5000AAKX
    • 500GB HDD 
    • 7200 RPM
    • 16MB Cache
    • SATA III (6Gbps)
  • Western Digital (Blue) WD5000AAKX
    • 500GB HDD 
    • 7200 RPM
    • 16MB Cache
    • SATA III (6Gbps)
  • Toshiba DT01ACA050 
    • 500GB HDD 
    • 7200 RPM
    • 32MB Cache
    • SATA III - (6Gbps)
  • Seagate Pipeline HD .2 ST3500312CS 
    • 500GB HDD 
    • 5900 RPM
    • 8MB Cache
    • SATA II - (3Gbps)

This to me is not ideal to say the very least. Yes all the drives are 500GB but there is a variance of how much cache they have and in once case there is a wild variance in speed of the platters, cache and even type. 

So at the moment I am looking to replace them all with 1TB Western Digital Blue HDD’s (WD10EZEX) at some point, which isn’t too expensive, but it’s not exactly something I’m going to rush to do. They’d all be the same make and model with 64MB Cache, and 7200 RPM on a SATA III connection, it’s not ideal but it’s cost effective, and certainly more ideal than the current loadout, for sure.

The reason I am not in a rush to do this however is because of the limitation mentioned before. I have no idea if the RAID controller can work with 4x 1TB drives, or if it would only see 2TB maximum even if I tried to (Although I’d never) use RAID 0. If this is not viable, I might just go and buy two more WD5000AAKX’s. 

Obviously the ideal solution would be using 4 drives of the same model, spec and everything else that are designed to be used in servers such as a NAS drive or other enterprise drive solution rather than crappy WD Blue’s, which lets be honest here; are only being used because they’re already here. 

IME Volume is what I went for in the end because I avoid RAID 0 like the plague and straight up mirroring will allow me to have three drive failures but only ~500GB of useable space. So RAID 1E/RAID 10 is the best I can hope for in this server.

With the RAID set up I went ahead and inserted a WiFi Dongle inside of the Server, on the motherboard, because I’m not going to trial goodness knows how many feet of Network cables to where it’s going to end up just for the server - at least not yet. I may do that later on, for sure, but right now I just want a quick and easy setup. The next thing I did was installed my Linux Flavour of Choice to mimic the EcchiDreams Server and set it all up accordingly. 

After I made sure it was all set up and stable. I simply powered down the server and stored it elsewhere in the home to see if it would work - and it did. And now I will finish the topic with some comments I have about the machine as well as some neat pictures of the server itself.

This machine arrived to me more damaged than advertised; not only has the case got deeper cuts, and outright surface chunks missing, but it’s HDD caddy that came with it has a damaged screw meaning that replacing that HDD is not going to be possible without breaking, damaging or destroying the caddy completely, the server was unhygienically filthy and the hard drive was not wiped properly. In addition the fourth HDD slot (Slot 3, as 0 is a starting number) has defective LED’s which resulted in confusion earlier on in the process as I was concerned that the bay wasn’t working, as it’s not just one LED gone, it’s both of them. This is why I will not recommend the seller, he seems to be absolutely fine with falsely advertising things and potentially (Although unproven) boosting his own eBay auctions with fake bidders, that have 100% activity with the seller. 

The system can be opened up with as few screws to get in the way as possible. There is literally a lever on the side of the chassis that will allow you to open it up and reveal the goodness inside. It’s quite intermodular in a form factor I am instantly all too familiar with. I am uncertain as to what the launch price of this server was, or when it was released although if I had to guess I’d guess 2011 or thereabouts. Everything within the tower is easily accessible and potentially replaceable/upgradable with ease.

large.IMG_3200.jpgThe one thing that is noticeably screwed in is the PSU; which seems to be almost a standard 400W ATX PSU (DPS-400AB-9 A) which distributes power to the system. This is an extremely quiet PSU, which is surprising as the HP Server I last looked at was quite loud. 

The Hard Drives look to be in a hot swappable format, although I have not tried this yet. They take standard or enterprise grade 3.5” Hard drives and have the standard caddies that allow air to flow over them in an optimal pattern as it gets sucked into the system through the fan at the end of the bay. Again, this fan is extremely silent, and seems to do the job pretty nicely. On my model there are four 3.5” bays that will only accept upto 2TB drives (Although I have not tested 4 X 2TB, or even 4 X 1TB as of yet, it seems to have able to handle 4 X 500GB very well. The lack of hardware RAID options however on the IBM ServeRAID BR10il RAID controller really lets this system down however, as it doesn’t appear to allow for a RAID 5 setup which is what I had wanted, and the RAID options that it does give you aren’t in clear English - it’s stated in IBM RAID terminology such as IM, IME and IS rather than RAID 1, RAID 1E and RAID 0 respectively. I can understand why the RAID controller can’t accept bigger drives than 2TB - and that is purely because the RAID Controller is old. All in all this is not very ideal for me, but I can live with RAID 1E (Or IME Volume) for the time being. The controller is fairly fast and responsive, so I have no complains on that part. Receiving files over Ethernet in the Windows Server installation was quick and painless, and sending files from the server to my main PC was even quicker. So no complaints there either. 

large.IMG_2519.jpgThe RAM in the machine is DDR3 which I am quite surprised at, in addition it’s ECC RAM which you can find out more information about here from Luke Lafreniere over on Techquickie. The total in the system is four sticks of 4GB totalling at 16GB, but it can be taken even higher with the official IBM Spec saying it can take about 32GB of RAM, and there is no conflicting information between this and the CPU Vendor - Intel. However there are only 6 slots; which is extremely unusual. You’re not going to be able to fill all those slots, with the same kind of RAM at the same size; because they don’t make 5.33(recurring)GB sticks. The RAM seems to run quite cool, and I have no further issues with it.

The CPU in the system is an Intel Xeon CPU X3430 clocked at 2.40GHz, which seems capable at stepping down the clock under idle loads which reduces the temperature as well as the power consumption of the CPU. After replacing the thermal paste of the CPU the temperatures keep well within my tolerance level which keeps the fan from running at full pelt, to give it some wiggle room later down the line, such as the heat sinking become less effective by dust build up, as well as the fan, or thermal paste becoming dry and in need of replacement. Not that I anticipate the latter being needed for a long time to come. The CPU also has a fan on the side of the heatsink. 

There is a VGA port on the back as well as four USB2 ports, a serial port, and two Gigabit Network ports, as well as having two USB2 ports on the front. So it’s about what I expect for a server. Inside the unit is two SATA cables for CD/Tape drives, and several spare molex connector cables tied up in what I would assume was IBM’s cable management system. There is also another USB port inside of the machine which is where I put a WiFi dongle. 

The graphics processor is reportedly a "Matrox MGA G200eV" which has 16MB of GDDR2 RAM, which is about half of the amount of RAM as the HP Server, but you’re not really going to run games on this machine and for command line interfaces, I don’t really see much purpose of having over 16MB RAM at all. Considering the fact that once the server is setup I’ll mainly be using SSH (A command line tool) to access the server remotely this integrated GPU suits my purposes as and when I need it to set the server up. 

large.IMG_3191.jpgInside the system as I mentioned before, I put a WiFi dongle in it, because fuck trialing an ethernet cable across the home - through walls and so on. It was intended to be a temporary solution, and for a short time it worked. After I installed Linux and preformed a ‘yum update -y’ command, whilst it was still on my desk I set it up via the Ethernet cable and used the command ‘yum NetworkManager-WiFi install -y’ to install the WiFi component to NetworkManager which could then be ran (after a reboot) by inputting ‘nmtui’ so I could activate the WiFi dongle and put in my WPA2 Password. 

After that I unplugged the server and moved it across the room putting just the power in, and tested it out. It worked flawlessly. Until a few days ago; where it started dropping out and being intermittent. I checked with the PING command from my Windows Computer and I was getting 44% packet loss, with some packets being sent and received within 2ms all the way up to 2850ms. Speeds in FTP also dropped to around 40KBps to 170KBps, and this became unworkable. 

I hooked it back up to the ethernet cable and it was fine again, transferred a 2.82GB file at ~ 101MBps - 152MBps no problems. But it seems that my crappy free USB WiFi dongle is crapping out. So I am looking at getting either a PCI-E ASUS PCE-AC68 WiFi Card for it; or actually stop being a lazy arse and go for the more secure option of neatly trailing a long ethernet adapter from the Router to where the server will be located. Objectively the latter option would probably be the most cost effective solution all round as it would be a pure gigabit connection between the server and the router as well as the other computers on the network that are connected via LAN. 

With a bit of TLC the server can be repaired; and some parts can even be upgraded. There is certainly a fair bit of upgradability with this machine. I fully intend on using this server too for various purposes, such as:

  • Development and Testing - Currently I do this on the very same server that EcchiDreams is hosted on in a separate area, I don’t need to say why that’s a very bad idea and it’s something that I can thankfully stop. 
  • Host private content that is not for the general public - Content such as the Wiki project I am hosting in a secret directory on the EcchiDreams server, this is around 2.8GB big when it’s compressed, and it’s not something I really want to host on the EcchiDreams Server at all.
  • A server that will download EcchiDreams backups - I want the EcchiDreams server to frequently download snapshots and backups to this server, currently I am doing it all manually and it’s something I want to move away from now that automatic backing up is far more reliable than it’s always been. But I can also use my NAS for this purpose. 
  • A place where Neptune can test and create new things - Neptune is semi interested in web development too, and it’s something that she can do without fear of breaking anything.
  • Host our internal-private Intranet site for the “Office” and “Home”. 
  • Eventually look at moving away from Google Docs for our Collaborative Document Editing needs (Which we’ve somewhat already tried to no success, yet.) With the increasing presence of Google in our lives, we (Neptune and I) are actively trying to back away from it, having done so already with our web searching needs, email, and more. We are currently writing stories on Google Drive and I frequently back it up because I’m always thinking ‘What if someone from Google takes exception to what we write?’ and the fact that when Google bans you from one of its platforms like YouTube, you’re banned from all of it, with little to no recourse. This is not without merit; it’s happened to us before, when EcchiDreams was vindictively removed from Google Search with little to no warning and no explanation as to why, or any hope of getting your data back. We’re already transitioning from YouTube to other video platforms as well like BitChute. I will even be killing Google Analytics across all my online properties and as soon as I’ve moved from Google Docs to my own solution, I will be changing my daily browser too. 

There might be some other ideas that come to me for running on this server, as it won’t be open to the general public, and only accessed by a small handful of people, I think the overall specs of the machine will be more than sufficient for our needs. But I think this is certainly a keeper.

At some point, I may indeed consider upgrading the RAID Controller if I can, I have more than enough spare PCI-E slots in the server. 

large.IMG_2535.jpglarge.IMG_2524.jpg

The current one (the LSISAS1064E) seems to be a little lacking in many respects, however I am uncertain as to what BIOS Limitations there are and it may require me to do further research into the system itself. Currently I suspect that this has a LBA size of 32bit which explains why would have a limit of 2TB. You see it’s rather simple; 32 bits is essentially 256 (times by) 256 (times by) 256 (times by) 256, which gives you; 4,294,967,296 this number times 512 (Because there are 512 Bytes in a sector) gives you 2,199,023,255,552 - which is exactly 2048GB (2TB). Yes, yes before you start typing away in the comments that I’m wrong about definition of GB/TB please read my rant in the last part. 

I’m not sure if the BIOS would except it or not, but if possible I want to try going for a RAID Controller that has an LBA Size of 48 or 64 bits, so I can use a 4TB drive, or more. If possible I’d like it to have a battery backup too for the write cache. This RAID Controller is also only SATA 2 capable; but seeing as I am only using hard drives for the seeable future so I can’t really see any benefit by upgrading this to SATA 3, unless there is a speed performance to be had that I am not aware of (As most HDDs are well under the max speeds of SATA 3 and SATA 2), like to the queuing of data or something. 

So that’s pretty much it. I will be keep this server. I really like it, despite its age.

Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - Synology DS212j NAS

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Whoreo

can this run desktop environments like windows xp/vista/7/10 and be like an office PC or something?

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Temaelrin

I believe so, yes. But just because it can, I don't think it should. I personally wouldn't use it for this purpose. I have turned mine into a server with CentOS on it, and it serves as our Intranet server. It also takes and stores backup/snapshots from EcchiDreams and keeps them backed up on site, over here.

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    • Temaelrin
      By Temaelrin
      What do you call a computer strapped to the back of a monitor?
      Apparently it’s a AiO computer… 😕

      I found this strange little thing on bid for £4.99, and there really wasn’t all that was said about it. No specs, no model number, nothing. Just “It turns on” but “It has a password” therefore it was being sold for spares and repairs. 
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      I figured at £4.99 (Plus £9.99 shipping) there really wasn’t much to lose, and took the plunge, putting in a bid for it. My max bid was £20; I wasn’t really willing to spend more than £29.99 on it, because it was a curiosity more than anything, and I had no idea what the specs were, at all. I was surprised that no one else was interested in it. He claimed he had brought a load of them from a joblot and was selling them individually on eBay. It was advertised as coming with the power cables and VGA cable, but other than that; there wasn’t much.
      Of course after I bought it, the seller started charging £14.99 for them +£9.99 Shipping. 
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      After stabilising the machine, I did some cable management and tied it up. I did try replacing the HDD with a higher capacity one, however I had lots of errors happen when I did that, such as “Memory_Management”, and so on until the computer just outright failed to detect any other hard drive other than the 80GB one. You’d hear it power up, and then it’d power it down repeatedly - and this was with a good hard drive (Because I use it in the HP AiO now and it’s absolutely fine) This is why I suggest that the power distribution is precarious… Perhaps and SSD will do fine in this system - were it not for the heat issues I’m finding. I do not like subjecting SSD’s to more than 35oC of heat, certainly no more than 45oC if I can help it. 
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      Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - ACER Veriton L670G PC
    • Temaelrin
      By Temaelrin
      What happens if you cross a netbook with a Desktop PC?
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      It is so small in fact that it almost doesn’t even look too out of place on my bookcase, and is smaller than my A4 folders, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual too, as you can see here:

      So for this one; I was just browsing around on eBay (As I do from time to time) and I noticed this for £10.00; plus free shipping. At the time on the 4th of April there was no bids on it, and I decided to keep a watchful eye over it. I put a bid on it for £20 with my ultimate max going to be around the £25 range. 
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      No thermal throttling and the CPU Temperature a good 30-40oC away from maximum temperature, and indeed the air coming out of the back is pretty cool, I think. Certainly much cooler than the Viglen AiO PC. For reference here is the Viglen graph:

      Taking a look at under the hood, and it’s pretty clear to see why the Acer succeeds in cooling; 

      This should give you some idea about the size and scope of this machine. Unlike the Viglen AiO, this uses notebook RAM.
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      The Specs - 
      Acer Veriton L670G (With Acer EQ45LM Motherboard)
      CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (E8400) LGA775, 45nm Chip Dual Core @ 3.00GHz L1 Cache 2 x 32 KB instruction caches  2 x 32 KB data caches L2 Cache 6MB (3MB per Core) 4 KB Pages, 4-way set associative, 128 entries 4 MB Pages, 4-way set associative, 32 entries 52.81W Typical Power Consumption (65W TDP) 4GB Max Supportable RAM* Chipset: Intel(R) Eaglelake Q45 Express Chipset (North Bridge: Intel Eaglelake Q45) (South Bridge: Intel 82801IO ICH9DO) RAM: 4GB DDR2 (2 x 2GB) 1x Princeton (2GB) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: DDR2-800 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 5-5-5-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 23-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 333 MHz 4-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 266 MHz 3-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: Unknown 1x Kingston (2GB) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: DDR2-800 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 6-6-6-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 24-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP)  @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: ACR256X64D2S800C6 Optical Media: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT31N (LG Electronics?) Firmware: 1.00 Can read: CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Can Write: CD-R CD-RW DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Network Cards:  Intel(R) 82567LM-3 Gigabit Network Connection (1000M) Graphics: Intel(R) GMA 4500 (Integrated) on the Intel(R) Q45 Express Chipset. VGA Output DVI Output PSU: 1 x LITEON 135W Laptop style PSU (Power Brick) Model PA-1131-07 Output 17V at 7.1A HDD: 1 x 320GB (WDC WD3200AAJS-22L7A0 (320 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)) Monitor: None included. Sound: Realtek ALC888 (On the Intel 82801JB ICH10) Whilst in my benchmarking software there are a ton of claims that this has HDMI support and HDMI compatibility; there is no HDMI output port on the motherboard, nor are there any headers for it. With the monitors I have I can easily use DVI or some kind of converter to convert DVI to HDMI/Display Port so I’m not overly bothered by this. 
      In terms of connectivity; on the back of the device you have four USB2 ports, a serial connector, ethernet connector, an eSATA port, VGA and DVI Ports, and an impressive array of audio ports including: Line-out/Front Speakers/Headphones, Microphone, Line-In, Subwoofer/Center Out, Read Surround Speakers for 5.1 and 7.1 systems, middle surround speakers for 7.1 systems as well as a MIDI/Game Port - Joystick port. Oh and the power in. On the front you have four USB2 ports, again, headphones port and a microphone port. 
      I have used this computer for an extended period of time, from managing Microsoft Access Databases, to Excel Spreadsheets, and Google Docs this has taken everything I’ve thrown at it and shrugged it off. I’ve even gone as far as to install Photoshop CS6; and again it can handle it pretty well.
      320GB is not a lot of disk space especially with how quickly I can eat that up, so I’ve just mapped network drives to my NAS, and one of the drives in my PC, so if I need something I can drag it from there, or if I want to put something onto my main PC I can push it over there. It also allows me to share things across my network (Through the NAS) which I can access on other machines. 
      I will not be flipping this PC and putting it back on eBay, instead I will be setting it up as a workstation once I’ve set the security policies up and everything. It would make a fine addition to my collection of computers. 
      Take a look at it’s size compared to a USB3 Flash Drive and my Samsung Galaxy S8+, as you can see this is quite a small device:

      Benchmarks: For these, I am directly comparing them to the Viglen AiO as I believe they’re somewhat comparable. And as a result I will be showing the specs there, and how different they are.
      Here it is against my beast (Don’t worry, I’ve since cleaned it up and I’ve actually moved it since this picture was taken in April). 

      Weight
      Acer: 2.25KG + 610g (PSU) = 2.86KG Viglen: 5.1KG (5,164g) Difference: Acer is 57.4277% lighter RAM
      Memory Read: 6,832MB Viglen Memory Read: 7,098 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 3.8191% faster Memory Write: 6,682MB/s Viglen Memory Write: 6,955 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 4.00381% faster Memory Copy: 6,283MB/s Viglen Memory Copy: 6,384 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 1.59469% faster Memory Latency: 105.1 ns Viglen Memory Latency: 100.0 ns Difference: Viglen AiO has 4.97318% less latency  Central Processing Unit Benchmarks:
      CPU Queen Score: 12,704 Viglen CPU Queen Score: 12,662 Difference: Acer has 0.331152% better score. (Negligible)  CPU Photoworxx Score: 3,592 MPixel/s Viglen CPU PhotoWorxx Score: 3,498 MPixel/s Difference: Acer has 2.65162% better score. CPU ZLib Score: 75.6 MB/s Viglen CPU ZLib Score: 75.3 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.397614% faster. (Negligible @ .3MB/s difference)  CPU AES Score: 330 MB/s Viglen CPU AES Score: 328 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.607903% faster. (Negligible @ 2MB/s Difference) CPU Hash Score: 966 MB/s Viglen CPU Hash Score: 959 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.727273% faster. (Around 7MB/s Quicker) Floating Point Unit Benchmarks:
      FPU VP8 Score: 2,035 Viglen FPU VP8 Score: 2,102  Difference: Viglen has 3.23906% better score FPU Julia Score: 4,030 Viglen FPU Julia Score: 4,056 Difference: Viglen has 0.643087% better score (Negligible) FPU Mandel Score: 2,140 Viglen FPU Mandel Score: 2,144 Difference: Viglen has 0.186741% better score (Negligible)  FPU SinJulia Score: 1,103 Viglen FPU SinJulia Score: 1,099 Difference: Acer has 0.363306% better score (Negligible) SIMD-Enhanced Ray Tracing Benchmarks:
      FP32 Ray-Trace: 580 KRay/s Viglen FP32 Ray-Trace: 582 KRay/s Difference: Viglen is 0.344234% quicker. (Negligible) FP64 Ray-Trace: 306 KRay/s Viglen FP64 Ray-Trace: 305 KRay/s  Difference: Acer is 0.327332% quicker. (Negligible) All of those marked “Negligible” are well within margins of error. 
      Conclusion: 
      I was really surprised by these results. I was expecting it to be better than the Viglen in every way possible, and whilst it’s not (And only by a thin margin), I can’t explain why it feels snappier and more responsive, perhaps under real load conditions rather than synthetic load conditions - it is snappier. It also seems to chuck out less heat than the Viglen one, so I consider that a reasonable compromise to offset the benchmarks. There are of course other factors to consider when you’re basing things off of real world usage, quite a lot of it is subjective. I enjoy this computer though. Compared to my beast it’s tiny, underpowered and not going to run my games. But then I don’t need it to.
      Oh and it has no problem running EcchiDreams.
      Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - Asus Eee PC 1011PX (AKA: Minibook 120) and Packard Bell DOTS E2 Netbooks (Coming Soon)
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