Internet is Back

It took a while, but I managed to get my home PC network up and running again last night.

After the problems with the power, it left my mini-ITX PC in a less-than-healthy state and it refused to boot. I managed to fish out an old monitor and pilfered the keyboard from my main machine, connected them to the mini-ITX PC and began troubleshooting.

In the end, it was all my fault. At startup, Linux checks that all file systems which are listed in the /etc/fstab file are present and it refuses to start otherwise. Unfortunately, I’d removed one of them a couple of months ago but forgotten to update this file. Because /etc/fstab is only checked on startup, the system can run happily without the file system, and the first you know about it is when the system needs to restart and things grind to a halt.

That doesn’t mean to say things were easy though. My mini-ITX PC accesses a hard drive in a USB enclosure which caused some problems too. The USB logic doesn’t seem to like the mini-ITX PC being reset with the reset switch, causing weird device read errors at initialisation time otherwise. Even switching it off and on again with the (hard-wired) power switch doesn’t fix things. You have to physically unplug the power supply, wait, and then plug it in again. It took me a while to remember that.

What could have been avoided actually took me 90 minutes to sort out. But I have my Internet fix back now and all is well.

I say all is well though, but tonight we’ve had 2 further “brown-outs”, where the supply voltage dips enough to cause a noticeable dimming of the lights for a couple of seconds. That’s not funny when there’s a whole collection of delicate electronics hanging off the mains supply. Surely by now they can sort this out?