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Server machine going "deaf"


Rick Whitelaw
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I host FMS 13 on a Mac Mini. Twice in the last two weeks the machine has gone completely deaf. Unfortunately both times I was out of town without direct access to the machine. Here's my worry. When I get back to town I find that of course I can't access any databases. Nor can I access the Admin Console either locally or remotely. BlueTooth is also not available. So there's absolutely no access to the machine. A hard manual restart is the only way to resume communication. I know this is a very bad idea. however there isn't an alternative. Has anyone else run into this problem? I'm beginning to think that it's not the right machine. The OS is obviously not sufficiently robust.

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Hello.

i used to host my FMS on a Mac Mini Server, but then switched to an X-Serve.  But it wasn't because of this kind of problem.  Did your crashed machine still ping?  I think I infer that you're not in a position to see what's on the screen?

 

Mac OS X rarely if ever locks up in this way, at least not Mac OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion, which is what I run.  What you describe sounds more like a hardware problem to me.  Does it have the original RAM in it, or was this replaced?  How about the machine's physical environment, is it sufficiently well ventilated and cool?  Might the internal fan of the computer have stopped working?

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 A hard manual restart is the only way to resume communication. I know this is a very bad idea. however there isn't an alternative.

​The hard restart is not a problem, just don't use the FM files that were live at that time, go back to your last backup.

 

Sounds like a hardware problem, there might be some confirmation of that in any of the system logs.  Do you have a spare machine to host on for a while to see if it keeps happening?

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Did you get a minute to check the RAM? Also, what version of Mac OS X?

i buy a lot of second hand Mac minis (mid-2010 and mid-2011) from ebay.  On the whole I've found them rock solid (if a little slow for server use).  Only one locked up in the manner you mention, but after Crucial certified RAM was installed instead of the RAM the unit came with from the ebay seller, it settled down.

Edited by Richard Fincher
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Original ram installed. Seems fine. I'm pretty sure the machine isn't crashing exactly (but then again how to tell?). All communication is lost. Strange problem. Will further review the logs.

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I use these in my data centre.  Basically, they let you see what's on the screen remotely, and use keyboard/mouse to take remote remedial action.  

Lantronix Spider

They should work with anything that has a VGA port (or adapter to one, as the Mac Mini does), and it emulates a USB mouse/keyboard.

It even lets you boot from an ISO CDROM image on your local computer (although that is quite slow)

If you turn on "ScreenSharing" in System/Preferences/Sharing, then as Steve says you can see what's on the screen using a VNC client (e.g. "Screens" from the Mac App store), but unlike the Spider, this will not show you what's on the screen if the whole operating system has locked up, or ceased responding to any network traffic.

 

With the X-Serve,  you can use the built-in IPMI to remotely restart the machine, but the Mac Mini lacks this, as it's not intended to be remote controlled.  

 

 

Edited by Richard Fincher
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