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Magic smoke and dust bunnies

April 10, 2008 @ 20:11 By: gordon Category: General

When I got up this morning and checked my email, I thought I smelled a faint hint of that acrid smell that means that the “magic smoke” has escaped from something electronic.  I checked everything and all seemed ok, so I figured it was something that had wafted in from outside.  When I got home, I quickly determined that the magic smoke had escaped from the power supply in the Linux server that runs Asterisk (my VoIP server), the DHCP server for my network and one of the DNS servers.  So most of the things on my network at home weren’t happy because they didn’t know who they were because the DHCP and DNS servers were down.  I don’t think it was down for that long because the last entry in my Asterisk server’s CDR was 15:40 localtime when I called in to check my voicemail and I got home around 17:15.  Fortunately, my local computer store is open late and I was able to get a new power supply and had everything back up and running by about 19:00.

While I my Linux server apart I took the opportunity to blow the dust off things and then decided to pop the sides off my Windows box and do the same.  It’s been running hotter than I’d like for a while and based on the pack of dust bunnies blocking the intake slots on the front of the case I can see why.  When I finished blowing dust off everything and put it back together I fired it up and found it running significantly quieter because the fans didn’t have to work as hard.

So, if you haven’t taken your computers apart and blown the dust out of them and they’ve been running continuously, you might want to do so.

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