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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Know Your Equipment

Today I ran to the co-location facility for FourDeuce and End to End Training, to upgrade our database server to SQL Server 2005. We've been wanting to do it for awhile, but since most of our SQL code is fairly simple and generic, we haven't needed it.  The old SQL Server 2000 instance has run fine for years on there (it was the old SQLServerCentral.com database server) with no issues.

However we're starting to do more VS 2005 development and there are a few things in 2005 that it would be nice to tak eadvantage of. Plus we are teaching on 2005 all the time, or at least Andy and Brian are, so it makes some sense to just get 2005 on there.

I logged a ticket yesterday, got a note back today that I was set to go, and so I downloaded the 2005 Enterprise media today to my desktop and burned it on a DVD. I also started it downloading remotely on the database server, or so I thought. I didn't realize until later that it wasn't there.

I got to the colo at lunch, figuring this would be a quick hour. I got in, the guy from our hosting company opened the rack for me (we share with some of his other customers) and I got a crash cart and plugged it in. Now the crash cart had PS2 connections for the mouse and keyboard, which is OK since that's what the server has, but those connections are flaky. It would be better to have USB stuff on there, or at least adapters. I plugged things int he server, but it didn't respond.

So I did a hard shutdown, not able to reach Andy right then. So I started it up, plugged into the front (mistake) and only had one connection, so I went with keyboard. I've been using Windows for years, figure it would be easy to navigate. I got things up, logged on, put the DVD in, and

 "Please insert a CD into the drive"

 Huh? I opened it, put it back, cursed myself for not bringing a laptop, and then checked the drive. It was a "CD" drive and couldn't read DVDs. I haven't had a machine with no DVD drive in years, but this server is an old 2650, about 4-5 years old, and it doesn't have one. Even out "newer" machine, a 1750, is about 3 years old and doesn't have a DVD drive either. They didn't have one I could borrow, so I thought I'd download more media.

No chance. I got to the MSDN page, picked the server, but the "download" button wouldn't respond to keyboard input and I had no mouse.

I called Andy, thinking he might have some other idea, but it ended up being a busted trip.

When I got home, I saw the image was <4GB, so I could have actually put it on my flash drive, which I should have done. I'll try that tomorrow and see if I can get over there again and get a 2K5 instance.

So the moral: pay attention to your equipment. Remember that servers, espeically older ones, might be a generation behind your desktop in terms of interfaces and capabilities.    

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