Friday I closed The House temporarily while I pondered my options after the meltdown. It survived the day in its minimal role as firewall and proxy, but when I came home to check it after a hard day at the Salt Mines it hung tight the first time I touched the keyboard. After bouncing the box, it did the same thing. Then after a few more bounces and hangs it refused to boot.
Time for Plan B.
Since I was cut off from the Interwebs the first order of business was getting back on, so I dusted off an old (vintage 2005) D-Link DI-524 wireless router, reset it to factory freshness and realized I had no idea what the default admin password was. I booted a Backtrack 5 DVD in my laptop and plugged into the Net directly to Google it. Turns out it was blank. DOH!
I configured it to be a complete plug&play replacement for the BOT House firewall (sans proxy and IPv6) and got the List back online. I pulled the hard drive out of BH, plugged it into Experimental and it booted fine.
Try that with Windows. Unless your new hardware is identical you generally get an "UNACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE" Blue Screen 'O Death every time. In fact I attached Experimental's drive via USB to my laptop just for funsies and it booted right up after messing around with the GRUB options (it had switched from /dev/sda to /dev/sdb).
I will probably look for a cheap replacement for Experimental, but until then BITCH House, EXPV, and Classic ]i[ are all off-line for now.
This makes four dead machines for 2011.