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I built a machine with Linux on it about 6 or 7 years ago. I just use it as a fileshare, mainly. I know that's ages in computer years, but it's been great until I upgraded from Fedora 11 to 12. Then it quit recognizing the onboard ethernet. I couldn't seem to figure out how to build an older kernel, so I have since reinstalled Fedora 11, and even 10, both of which used to work fine -- but still, the ethernet is not found at all when I do 'lspci'. I have no idea what happened. And I think Fedora 12 wasn't happy with the graphics card or something, because it kept freezing up within about two minutes of booting it up when I was resizing dialogs, or doing basic things with the mouse.

Is it worth fighting all this, or will my life be much easier if I just upgrade to a new motherboard (remember, mine currently has onboard graphics and lan). Otherwise I guess I can just try plugging a new ethernet card in to this one, and hope that I can at that point download drivers to make the graphics card happy.

The motherboard is a "Shuttle AB60N 865PE Motherboard" -- http://www2.dealtime.com/xPF-Shuttle-SHUTTLE-AB60N-INTEL-865PE-CHIPSET-ULTRA-ATA100-ATX-FORM-FACTOR-1xAGP-8X-5xPCI-4xDDR-W-SATA-LAN-USB-2-0-

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3 Answers 3

With an 8 year old board, I think you've gotten your money's worth out of it. First the NIC goes, then the USB ports, then the video. A new modern board with a current CPU would be much cheaper in the long run.

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I'd give it up. Boards are dirt cheap, and since your requirements are nice and low, you can just go looking for board/cpu combos, and pick something cheap.

Your current board is SATA, which is good, and you use onboard graphics, which means you don't have to worry about AGP/PCI-E. Might need more RAM: it might be cheaper to buy some DDR2 than to try and get a DDR compatible board.

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I agree that you should probably move on to a newer board. If you do your homework you can find stuff that is more energy efficient, and almost all modern chips have hardware virtualization support, so you can use this one system for multiple things if you need to.

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