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Monday, May 12, 2008

Compaq Evo D300 SFF as a router

About 6 months ago I purchased a reasonably cheap second hand Compaq Evo D300 Small Form Factor PC.

Originally, the machine was intended to become a dial-up router and http proxy for my moms small gallery business in Empress, Alberta. After repeated failed attempts to get OpenBSD to actually dial into the ISP, I gave up on that train of thought for the time being and brought the machine back to Calgary.

Jumping forward a bit, I decided to start using the machine (named evo on my network) as my own gateway instead. Fine. OpenBSD installed just peachy, and configuring dhcpd and dns took a couple hours. Poof, instant router. However, one of the machines problems is that unless a keyboard is attached, it will fail to boot. Despite all my rummaging through the bios, I was unable to turn off the darned "halt keyboard missing; Press F1 to continue error".

This is a problem for server hardware which run headless (like a router should be able to), since if there is a power failure, I will need to manually hook up a monitor and keyboard, and press F1, and verify it is booting. Gah, No thanks; I would rather run a crumby linksys. Sure enough, Google came to my rescue. Apparently, the ignore missing keyboard option is available on the machine, however, both a power and bios password need to configured to make it available in the BIOS.

Silly.

That said, the machine is more than capable for a SOHO router, and now I am keeping it for myself.

4 comments:

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