Back online

Shortly after moving my blog to an EC2 instance I received an ominous email stating:

We have noticed that one or more of your instances are running on a host degraded due to hardware failure.

The risk of your instances failing is increased at this point. We cannot determine the health of any applications running on the instances. We recommend that you launch replacement instances and start migrating to them.

After a bit of searching around it seemed that, as my instance is EBS backed, I should just need to stop it and restart it and, in all likelihood, it would move to another host. Sounded simple enough but the stop seemed to be taking forever. After downloading the command line tools I tried to force the stop but still no luck – except when I logged in again the following night it was finally showing as stopped. Unfortunately, when I tried to start it I received the following error: “Server.InternalError: Internal error on launch”.

I posted a question on the EC2 forum and, as you can see, was told that the root volume was in an “abnormal attachment state”. You’ll also see that my attempts to force a detach via the AWS Management Console appeared to fail or at least, the console thought the volume was still attached and therefore wouldn’t let me reattach it. Reverting to the command line utilities again allowed me to successfully detach and reattach the volume and then start the instance. Another delay whilst the DNS refresh took effect (perhaps I should try out an Elastic IP) and, about three days after I first hit stop, the site is finally back online. I’m putting it down as a learning experience!

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