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6 Beeps When Booting a Dell Studio XPS 8100

So this weekend I have experienced my first graphics card failure. When booting a Dell XPS Studio 8100 desktop PC, I started getting 6 beeps and no video at all. I immediately thought about either a RAM or a motherboard failure, but after a quick search online I quickly found out that this was actually a video failure.

This machine came equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, so the first thing I tried was using the onboard video on the motherboard, but once more I was getting the dreaded 6 beeps. It was only after some more digging that I found out that my configuration did not have onboard video :/

So the only option left was to replace the graphics card with a new one. The HD 5770 wasn’t the best graphics card ever made and it was quite power-hungry like other ATI cards, but it has served me well for quite a few years, even of intense use.

A couple of pictures for posterity, to remember what a beast this GPU was :D


XenServer Host Stuck In Maintenance Mode (Server Still Booting)

Here I am with another XenServer issue that was easy to solve but quite difficult to troubleshoot. I have applied a few XenServer updates (I am running XenServer 6.5 FP1), but I started having issues after installing XS65ESP1022 and XS65ESP1023.

Specifically, after rebooting the host following the installation of these two updates, I noticed that my host would not come out of maintenance mode anymore. If I tried to do so from XenCenter I would get an error message that said Server still booting. This of course was not true, since I could access the console on the host.

After a lot of trial and error I found a solution, but it turns out there were at least a couple of problems that I needed to solve before being up and running again.

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How To Make the No-IP DUC Automatically Start At Boot On A Raspberry Pi

If you look at the README file inside the noip folder, you will see that, in order to have the No-IP Dynamic Update Client automatically launch at boot on Linux, you have to copy and paste a script inside the relevant rcX.d folder inside /etc/init.d. However, Raspbian does not have this folder, so the procedure is slightly different if you are using a Raspberry Pi (you can find some information here).

These are the steps to follow:

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How To Configure FreeNAS To Successfully Boot In XenServer

From the FreeNAS documentation page on VMware ESXi:

If you are running ESX 5.0, Workstation 8.0, or Fusion 4.0 or higher, additional configuration is needed so that the virtual HPET setting does not prevent the virtual machine from booting.

I have found that this holds true for Citrix XenServer as well. If you don’t touch the HPET setting, FreeNAS 9.3 will fail to boot on XenServer 6.5

I have also found this bug report against FreeNAS 9.3 and XenServer 6.2, which is currently in resolved status. However, since I have experienced this same issue on XenServer 6.5, I have decided to put together some screenshots and instructions on how to solve this issue and allow FreeNAS 9.3 to boot successfully on XenServer 6.5.

There are two different phases to allow this to work:

  1. Disable HPET from GRUB to allow FreeNAS to boot successfully the first time
  2. Disable HPET within FreeNAS to avoid stumbling upon the same issue on following reboots

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