My HP ML115 G5 home server is dead

After several years of trusty service, my HP ML115 G5 quad core AMD Opteron server is dead. This was my main internet facing home server hosting mail accounts for family and friends, a couple of personal web sites, DHCP, local MySQL database, a ZoneMinder installation supporting my IP based security cameras and other assorted services so it’s loss is a bit of a problem to say the least!

The server ran a bare-metal install of Debian 6 and had performed admirably since it was first purchased to replace my previous lower spec home server. At the time I only paid about £200 for it as it was purchased using one of the numerous offers HP runs from time to time. This was great value for a quad core AMD 2.2 GHz Opteron 1352 with 1GB RAM, a 160GB hard drive and a DVD-ROM drive in a decent quality tower case. I transferred the old hard drive over from my previous server and upgraded the memory to 4GB and combined with an APC UPS this is the state it has been running in for the last few years. Until now.

There is absolutely no sign of life from the motherboard – no LEDs on the motherboard are lit despite trying alternative PSUs – so I suspect the board is dead.

I’ve been very pleased with this server so I would like to replace it with an equivalent if possible. I’ve looked up the price online for a new replacement motherboard sourced from HP and it is in the range £300 – £400 so there’s no way I will be going that route. I did manage to find a new one on eBay from a seller in China for around £80 including shipping but this was sold just as I was about to order it! So my next step is to try and find a complete used ML115 G5 on eBay either to use as a donor for just the motherboard to fix mine, or to act as a complete replacement.

In the short term however my immediate priority is to restore the services I’m missing, most importantly email. I do have an HP N36L Microserver with 8GB RAM acting as a home lab ESXi host so I think I will build a temporary VM on there as a stop gap until I get a more permanent replacement in place. Watch this space…