In a move that would give the honourable Will Woods paroxysms, today I upgraded my HTPC from Mandriva 2009 to Mandriva 2009 Spring. Live, with urpmi. Over an ssh link. While the media center it runs (Freevo) was still running in the foreground.
...playing a video.
Well, the upgrade happened, the video kept playing, and Freevo continued to work happily after the upgrade was done and the video had finished. Try THAT with Windows. (I did lose the remote control until I rebooted...inexcusable! Who's the lirc maintainer again? Oh, er, right - me.)
On reboot, though, my RAID array had disappeared. With help from the awesome zcat in Fedora IRC, we determined that it was something to do with RAID-related changes in udev - it had somehow created one array device for each drive that was part of the real array, and these arrays were in some sense running (though obviously they didn't work for anything). mdadm -S /dev/md_d12[5-7] - to stop those odd arrays - then re-starting the real one turned out to be the trick. Never would have figured that one out myself in a month of Sundays. However, the real array came up degraded, with one disk being reconstructed from scratch. I'd already noticed some suspicious errors relating to that disk in the logs, so it got the old heave-ho, I ran down to Crystal Mall to pick up a new one (500GB for $65...sheesh, we're living in the future. Hell, I bought a 16GB micro SD card for $60 while I was there. 16GB. It's smaller than my frickin' thumbnail...), threw it in there, and now the array's building that drive into itself. That'll take all night. Ah, well - at least I didn't lose my data, and that was the point of the whole RAID-5 array exercise in the first place. So that's done its job.
(the failed drive was a Seagate 7200.11, for anyone keeping track. Yes, of the OEM variety. And yes, I bought it on May 3rd 2008, or just over one year ago, or just after the one year shop warranty on OEM drives expired. Sigh. Replaced it with a WD, since that's what the closest shop had on hand.)