Windows Home Server Build


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Hi all,

Not been on here for a while as I have been out of the custom PC scene for a while.

I'm looking to build a Windows Home Server as myself and the wife have a fair amount of Music, Videos and Pictures that we would like to store in a central location rather than our individual laptops.

I have managed to get my hands on an HP Compaq DX2200 from work for nothing and I was thinking of using this as my home server.
It has the following spec:

Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz
2GB RAM
160GB Hard Drive
Realtek RTL 8139/810 NIC

I have a 250GB Maxtor hard drive and I've also got a WD 1TB hard drive coming my way.
The downside I see with the above is that it only has room for 2 internal hard drives. I could do with there being room for 3. 1 for the OS and 2 for the storage.

Would the above be any good? Or would I be better off starting a new build. Don't really want to spend the money but I suppose I could stick it on the card. lol

I will be getting a copy of WHS obviously for this.

Thanks in advance,
Richard
 
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Abarbarian

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Any GNU/Linux os can be set uo to run as a server.

Mandriva or Ubuntu would be easy to set up.

 
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Abarbarian said:
Any GNU/Linux os can be set uo to run as a server.

Mandriva or Ubuntu would be easy to set up.

Yeah I know but can it connect to an Xbox 360? Not up on my Linux distro's. ;)
 

Ian

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That PC should be more than powerful enough to do that :) The only thing you may want to upgrade is the storage device.

It won't be as handy as having a dedicated NAS unit, as it will be bigger and noisier... however if it's free PC, that is a big plus :D

You should be able to set up sharing for other PCs and the xbox very easily indeed, as there are plenty of tools to do this.

The NAS I'm using is essentially a mini-PC running Linux and that is compatible with the xbox 360. The software you'd need to run on Linux is called TwonkyMedia (I think), and this can share photos, music and videos to things like the xbox 360/PS3. :)
 
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I could replace the fans for quieter ones I suppose.
But the DX2200 will only take 2 3.5" hard drives so unless it's an external hard drive I'm a bit stuck on expanding the storage in it. And I don't think there is any spare power connectors on it.

I may have to do a self build to get the redundancy I'm after.

And yeah I've heard of TwonkyMedia. When I looked into an Icy Box NAS previously (which was pants) so sent it back. Held off since waiting for the HP MediaSmart server but that seems quite expensive tbh.
Quite comfortable with self build so if anything I would be up for that.
 

Ian

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Sorry, I've just read that you've got a 1TB drive on the way - that's plenty :) I only saw the 250GB drive.

Should be good fun building a home server :)
 
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Ian Cunningham said:
Sorry, I've just read that you've got a 1TB drive on the way - that's plenty :) I only saw the 250GB drive.

Should be good fun building a home server :)
Thing is it isn't redundant with the one storage drive. Was hoping to have a separate drive for the OS and perhaps 2 mirrored drives for the storage.
Run the risk of loosing the data if/when there is a hardware failure.

Not sure what to do. :confused:
 

Ian

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Are there any 5.25" bays in there? You can buy mountings for 3.5" drives which would allow you to store another drive. :)
 
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Ian Cunningham said:
Are there any 5.25" bays in there? You can buy mountings for 3.5" drives which would allow you to store another drive. :)
Yeah there is. Not sure on the available power for another sata drive so would need a converter. But should be pretty cheap. If that's the case I could stick the OS drive in that as it's more tricky to get to and use the other 2 3.5" bays for the storage.
Ahhh wait a minute there is only 2 sata connectors on the motherboard. Might have to go IDE on the OS drive and sata for the storage perhaps? Not sure what the IDE situation is like tbh. Hmmmmmm:confused:

Plus ideally I want the thing to go to sleep/hibernate when not in use. Don't want it spinning away 24/7 (just had a rather large electricity bill) so would like it to wake on lan but I don't think the bios supports it.

Will need further investigation me thinks.
 

Abarbarian

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You could put SliTaz on a USB stick with a persistant section and a "toram" setting. That would give you a superfast os that was running from ram, thus leaving you with all your connections inside for hdd's.

All your looking for is a linux os with samba file sharing set up so that your , I'm guessing here, windows laptops etc can acces the files and folders.

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/slitaz_live_cd_small_beautifully_marked

http://pkgs.slitaz.org/stable/network.html

You could run from a CD or a CD-RW but I recon a USB is better or even a SD or Flash card etc etc etc :D
 
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Some good options there Abarbarian. :D

Still not a Linux convert but appreciate it can do a job.
 
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I think I have decided on a self build as the dx2200 is not going to serve (pardon the pun) my needs with redundancy amount of storage.

So here a build I have put together so far:

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L 34228 £36.41
Processor - Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400 / 2.7 GHz processor 35403 £52.86
RAM - Corsair Value select 2GB (2x1GB) 24346 £39.94
Case - Arianet 4670 + 450W PSU 36830 £36.37
Software - WHS OEM 28886 £75.14
CPU Paste - Arctic Silver Ceramique Compound 7774 £3.51

Total £244.23

All prices were taken from Aria so subject to change and have the quick code numbers. But what do you think?
I have a 1TB WD hard drive already so will perhaps get another one for redundancy. And maybe a quieter case and CPU fan depending on what the stock ones are like.
The only concern I have would be the PSU supplied with the case whether it will be a bit loud.

I have downloaded Linux Mint 8 to have a little look. But still not 100% convinced.
 
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Abarbarian

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Personally I recon you are barking. You already got a free pc, cut a big hole in the top of it and fit a big 120 fan in it to make it run cool and quiet, cost about £7. Get one of these.

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/...rCards/IDEAndSATA/Novatech/FG-SA3512-2IR.html

or something similar, and you can get a 1.5TB hdd from Aria for £50. Stick Mandriva onn the pc , go to the Control Center and set up samba shares, probably take about an hour including installing Mandriva.

Take the rest of the weekend of in a luxury hotel with the money you saved, the wife will love you, well at least for a while longer.

:D
 
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Abarbarian said:
Personally I recon you are barking. You already got a free pc, cut a big hole in the top of it and fit a big 120 fan in it to make it run cool and quiet, cost about £7. Get one of these.

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/...rCards/IDEAndSATA/Novatech/FG-SA3512-2IR.html

or something similar, and you can get a 1.5TB hdd from Aria for £50. Stick Mandriva onn the pc , go to the Control Center and set up samba shares, probably take about an hour including installing Mandriva.

Take the rest of the weekend of in a luxury hotel with the money you saved, the wife will love you, well at least for a while longer.

:D
I am coming around to your way of thinking. BUT I have a couple of concerns:

1. I want the machine to go to sleep when inactive and then wake only as and when accessed. I don't want it on 24/7 sapping electricity. The BIOS on the DX2200 doesn't seem to support wake on lan so yes I can get it to hibernate but then I can't use it unless I physically go to the machine and slap the keyboard or something. That's why I thought a new biuld with new MB with the WOL feature.

2. Would I be able to stream music/video to my Xbox 360?

Not sure I need to cut holes in it but just replacing the fans in I think would make a difference.

The wife loves me either way. :D
 
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