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WHS11 platform: Can't buy one? Can't build one? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I'm back to considering a WHS11 machine in spite of my aversion to principalled aversion to a DE-less WHS.

    The obvious mobo to build one from (I'm thinking Intel DH67CFB3 with a i3-2100T CPU) has several reports of people giving up for lack of drivers that are willing to install on a--dare we say the word?--server operating system and no reports of anyone succeeding. The situation on other similar mobos doesn't look appreciably better: essentially nobody makes a suitable mobo at a reasonable cost that "supports" the "server" OSes. (This is probably a situation the hardware OEMs and MS encourage to hold up margins.)

    (And "support" doesn't really matter to me IF drivers that will work and install exist. But if the installers start actively refusing to install on WHS11 and you have to start working around that--for drivers that otherwise would work--that's another matter. Life is short. My WHSv1 hardware has never been "supported" but you could get there and it works more or less fine.)

    So how about, arrgghhh, a pre-built system like an HP MSS? Uhhh... There aren't any?

    Anybody else wondering the same thing? Anybody see a path through this maze? Anybody built a new WHS11 box from late model parts? What parts? WHS11 is DoA if you can't build homebrew boxes to run it and next to nobody does OEM systems for it either.


    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 3:37 AM

All replies

  • Check my post about the Dell T110 II. It works, but I am not sure WHS 2011 is worth it....
    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 3:52 AM
  • I did see your post. Went to Dell and priced one of those boxes. Yikes. It's also physically huge and power-hungry compared to my needs. But it looks like one of the few viable solutions.

    I'm thinking an 8GB, 2x 3TB 3.5", 1x 1TB 2.5", ODD, MiniITX system in a shoebox sized case for (just barely) sub $1,000--WHS11 OS included. But the driver situation has me spooked. Don't want to be a pioneer with the arrows in my back.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 4:14 AM
  • In my experience, WHS2011 seems to find drivers just as well as W7 does - very well.
    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 11:32 AM
  • The T110 II is about $390 as I bought it. The T110 is still available at $270 I believe, a bargain with a drive already installed. I think the T110 II will last me years... The T110 may allow the old WHS to install, but this appears to be an adventure. One way or another, if you put 4 drives into a computer is is going to use power... Cheers
    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 3:35 PM
  • I just built one using an ASrock Motherboard (H67 chipset) and a Sandy Bridge 2120 intel processor. After installing WHS 2011, I just inserted the Asrock disk and installed drivers, audio, video and lan drivers. No problems.

    One item that did not installed properly was USB3 drivers.  However, I installed the USB driver by just going to device manager and installing driver pointing to the driver location on the ASrock DVD. It then installed just fine.  

     

    PS: Asrock did not show any drivers for windows 2008 but they all installed and everything is ok in device manager.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011 7:00 PM
  • I just built one using an ASrock Motherboard (H67 chipset) and a Sandy Bridge 2120 intel processor. After installing WHS 2011, I just inserted the Asrock disk and installed drivers, audio, video and lan drivers. No problems.

    One item that did not installed properly was USB3 drivers.  However, I installed the USB driver by just going to device manager and installing driver pointing to the driver location on the ASrock DVD. It then installed just fine.  

     

    PS: Asrock did not show any drivers for windows 2008 but they all installed and everything is ok in device manager.

    How much did this one set you back?  Sandy Bridge was probably expensive?  Build from scratch?
    Monday, June 6, 2011 3:06 AM
  • Not that bads - The 2120 was about $120 at Fry's and the Motherboard a little under $100 (Newegg). I bought a case at Newegg for $ 45 Which is pretty cheap but it is a good case for a home server. The biggest cost was the harddrives. I had a couple of drives available but ended up buying two new 2TB drives.
    Monday, June 6, 2011 1:30 PM
  • ASRock H55M Pro

    Intel Core i3-540

    Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1333 qty 4 (16GB is total overkill btw)

    Hitachi 1.5TB 7200rpm SATA drive

    No trouble installing, allowing stock drivers to auto-load, etc

    Added an ATi video card (the HD "lawsuit settlement" card): no trouble loading drivers but no appreciable reason to use this card either

    I've had no trouble using this platform as a home server.  Also have used as a browsing workstation but not too much.  The H55 is like $70, i3-540 $120, 4GB stick $40 (1 is plenty), pick up a cheap $60 case and you're under $300 before adding OS and storage.

    From the Atom-based home servers I see on the market, though, I wonder if a core i3 is overkill too.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 2:16 AM
  • Here's an article that deals with "issues" preventing straightforward installation of drivers on intel mobo based "servers". Not sure if it applies to DH67CF, but it seems likely: http://www.missingremote.com/guide/installing-server-os-intel-media-series-motherboards.

    I'm still struggling with whether or not to get to a WHS11 server and, if so, whether to upgrade my 2007 vintage WHSv1 machine or build a new machine.

    Sadly, ASUS has announced they are getting out of the WHS business. So what, again, OEM boxes are there running WHS11 out-of-the-box?

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 4:35 AM
  • Dick

    Depends where you are. If in the UK, try Tranquil PC:

    Tranquil PC

    Phil


    Saturday, June 11, 2011 12:14 PM
  • US.

    The WHS team ought to be nicer to us homebuilders. Without us, they would't be shipping much of any WHS11 here.

    Monday, June 13, 2011 1:23 AM
  • The WHS team ought to be nicer to us homebuilders. Without us, they would't be shipping much of any WHS11 here.


    See, they do listen! Apparently they've cut the price of SystemBuilder licenses by more than 50%. And still no OEM machines with WHS11 available in the US market…

    I'm thinking, sadly, that neither of these things are good signs for the future of WHS.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011 1:03 PM