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About the Project

We received a large hardware donation from a local Internet company and are slowly auctioning it off, with all proceeds going to the Hackspace. It started with about 15 flat screen monitors, 60 servers of varying kinds and sizes, two network switches, and upwards of 200 hard drives; and we're already receiving hardware offers from other organisations.

Hardware gets auctioned off via our LondonHackspace eBay account.

Our work requires a combination of diverse technical skills, a lot of organisation and coordination, and eBay fu; but mostly patience, persistence, and a willingness to do basic repetitive tasks for no pay :D

In return we get a warm fuzzy feeling from making a major contribution to the financial health of the London Hackspace, we gain experience in hardware diagnostics and maintenance, networking and automation systems, the psychology of online auctions, and a chance to meet enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Project members, in no particular order (please add yourselves):

  • Jasperw
  • tgreer
  • ... and many more volunteers helping out in countless small and big ways.

Help Needed

(last updated 26 Sep)

If you would like to help out with any of the below contact tgreer or Jasperw. Most of these tasks don't really require any particular skills, we can show you how it's done.

  • Be at the space for: deliveries of empty server boxes, pickup of machines by seller or courier
  • Assess the box of "maybe dead" hard drives (smart status, stress test etc.)
  • Coordinate eBay auctions
    • Robert/martind/Russss have access to the Ebay account, and TurboLister
  • Prep more servers for auction
    • Take photos



(This section now out of date, will be updated when netbootyboxxy is back up and running)

All servers have been assigned a hardware class, based on their type. (Double-check when you process a machine.) That way we only have to document the basic hardware once.

  1. open machine, check that is has
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • SATA cables (some machines have had the sata cables removed)
    • and that all (or at least some) of the drive bays connected (some machines have had their controller card removed so they won't talk to any drives!)
  2. if all is ok connect up the machine and boot it.

Test that it all works

  1. Run dban with drives in all slots to ensure they're connected and functional
  2. Run a ram test (how? need to find good software)
  3. Test all ports (VGA, USB, PS/2, Ethernet, ...)
  4. Test the CD drive, if applicable

To determine hardware spec:

  1. Plug in monitor & keyboard
  2. Boot up, ensure it netboots into "DISKLESS Debian" (the default option) and wait until it shows a prompt
  3. Make a note of server ID (the label we put on each server) and MAC address (shown just above the login prompt) and put them both in the Hardware List below

All hardware info files are automatically collected at;O=D (aka;O=D), one set of files per MAC address (this link shows newest first)

There are scripts to process the records here:

NetBoot Server

this needs double checking

It's 'C1'.

running debian 6.0.6

  • eth0 - unused (single socket)
  • eth1 is on the hackspace lan and is (assumes dhcp is stable!) (right hand of double socket when viewed from the back)
  • eth2 is on the netboot lan, (left hand, yellow cable atm).

  • 9600 8N1 on both serial ports.
  • password is hackspace

See Project:ServerHardwareAuction/NetBootServer for more details


Most drives are already wiped for this lot

All drives need to be cleared with dban before we do anything else. Project:ServerHardwareAuction/DBAN.


Server won't netboot

  • Check that the Option ROM's for the onboard nics are enabled, something like BIOS -> advanced options -> PCI & devices config -> and then you can enable the ROMs. (Sometimes you need to configure it for each port individually.)
  • If netboot works but NFS mount fails, try a different ethernet port.

Some drives fail/don't get detected on boot

Remove drives until you found the faulty ones, put them in the "dead drives" box.

Some drives fail during dban or other operation

If you can't figure out how to determine the faulty one just put them all in the "dead drives" box, we will do a second pass of those drives later.


Don't just throw away components that don't work; make use of them.


Olfin>	Are there any plans to harvest the rare earth metal magnets from the dead drives? THey're rather useful!

Yes, and keeping the aluminium shells for melting and casting purposes would be good as well.


See the archive below for stuff that's already gone.


  • 2 x HP Procurve 2824 (J4904A) running firmware version I.10.32

Current firmware version is I.10.77:

9600 8N1 for the serial

The one that I (User:JasperWallace) am using for netbooting stuff will have 'hackspace' as every password.

It will be on network range, it will be, it has unrestricted snmp access on the public community.

Internal drives

All have been dbanned already. The Hitachi HUS103073FL3800 weigh ~740g a drive.

Make Capacity Interface RPM Initial Quantity Sold Model
Hitachi 73 SCA 10000 67 8 (of which 1 was a free replacement for a dead one) HUS103073FL3800
Hitachi 36 SCA 10000 2
Seagate 35 SCA 5 ST336607LC
Maxtor 35 SCA 10000 4 Atlas 10k IV
Fujitsu 70 SCA 28 MAW3073NC


Moved to a google docs spreadsheet.

(todo: insert link)



We use Parcel2Go to ship stuff, and get packaging from

  • 1U server: 80 x 53 x 8 cm, 20kg, £10 shipping and £4 packaging
  • 2U server: 80 x 53 x 12 cm, 25kg, £12 shipping and £5 packaging
  • 3U server: 80 x 53 x 17 cm, 30kg, £14 shipping and £7 packaging
  • 4U server: 80 x 53 x 21 cm, 40kg, £20 shipping and £8 packaging (hum. this has become much more expensive; checking now the minimum is TNT for £25.)

Dispatching ritual:

  • Ensure that someone will be at the space on the day of pickup.
    • Typically couriers will pick stuff up between 8am..6pm, but never tell you when exactly.
  • Make sure to provide either your own phone number, or the LHS one; they might call beforehand
  • Make sure to print out both the postage labels and consignment note: one to label the package, one for the courier
  • Also make sure to print & attach a few "Fragile" stickers; parcel2go couriers may treat deliveries quite badly.
  • Make sure to store the machines to pick up in a prominent place in the entrance area, and add a note to members so that anyone would know what to do once the courier arrives.


Old auctions.