the bios in my server had problems recognizing the 40GB drive i procured the other day, so i searched (and searched and searched) and finally found my logic board model and an updated bios. no problem, right? i made a boot disk (which died in transport) and wound up making a boot cd (yay linux). booted to dos, flashed and got a misterious "Disable USB" error. i restarted to disable usb (lack of sleep makes one an idiot) to find a blank screen and more or less dead peecee. since it appeared to be the same chip that is in my dvd player (and since i have 2 in it with a switch for flashing) i tried to flash it with that. it gave an "ERASE FAILED". hmmm, not looking good. i did some more research, and found:
If you have a PM-599LMR (M599LMR) motherboard or PG-5517A PreSystem you may not be able to update your BIOS. A batch of BIOS chips used on these motherboards was accidentally WRITE-PROTECTED when it was originally programmed. Any attempts to update the BIOS on one of these write-protected BIOS chips will cause the system to become unusable.
why yes, i do have a pm-599lmr. they give a recovery procedure, that i will try tomorrow.
in the midst of all this, i realized that nothing would be receiving mail for me and had to configure sendmail for my pvr box. it took 15 minutes, passed an open relay test, and i'm receiving mail again. not fancy - no spam or virus protection, and everything is being dumped into one box instead of sorted--whadayado...
i had been thinking about buying a peecee laptop (to put linux on) instead of an ibook (running osx)--after this experience i have 2 words: fuck that.