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The DustWall


Perhaps I should say firewall, as that is what it was supposed to be. My mom recently asked me to check her firewall which had stopped working. It had been making a grinding noise for a while then just up and died.

The firewall is a PC based firewall running Endian Community Edition. When I got to it the machine would not boot at all. I tore it apart to find this:

OMG Dust!
OMG Dust!

I of course cleaned the machine up and tried to save the poor things life. Alas I was unable to do so. The motherboard refused to boot regardless of what I did, which included changing the CPU, RAM and PSU. In the end I replaced all the hardware to include the PSU.

The new hardware came from my stash of parts. I had these parts set aside for a firewall or networked media box but the security of a family network takes precedence. The new parts were:

  • Intel D945GCLF2 Motherboard
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Pico PSU
  • Generic RTL NIC
  • Laptop HD

I don’t recall the make of the NIC, HD or RAM off the top of my head. I went with a laptop HD since they are a bit more tolerant of heat since this thing was likely to see reduced airflow over time. Overall it is a pretty hefty upgrade as the original hardware was a PIII 433 with 256 MB of RAM. The new gear is a dual core Intel ATOM with a GB of RAM.

The internals went from:

The old hardware
Old Hardware

To this:

The rebuilt machine
The Rebuilt Machine

The original PSU and floppy drive were left in place to prevent large holes in the chassis. The system has been in place and running like a champ for a few months now and I have not heard any complaints.

 

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Most who fail…

Most who fail have yet to really try!