Setting up a server is not an easy task - especially when running early hardware. Before we could even think about getting anything installed, we needed to update the hardware. Cue a BIOS update for the mainboard, a BIOS update for the RAID controller and also flashes for the hardware that controls the thermal management. Without proper thermal management this thing is as loud as a jet turbine - it has an awful lot of 40mm fans spinning very fast indeed.
The server is a barebones 1U rack. We installed four SATA hard drives onto the RAID controller and also hooked in a slot-loading optical drive. To start with, we wanted to get the system up and running with just one processor before we started messing around with SMP.
We also had a minor issue, in that despite having two processors, we only had one heatsink, which meant we'd have to spend time scavenging another one from somewhere before we could get the second chip in. Thankfully the RAM was free-flowing, and we had a useful 8GB kicking around.