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Computer conversion to a Home Server RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I would like to take an existing computer and convert it to a home server.  The computer uses an AMD Sempron 2400+ processor (1.667 Ghz, 256K cache, and 333 MHz FSB) that is mounted on an Asus A7V8X-X motherboard with 512KB of RAM.  I think all I need is a PCI card with Sata II internal connections and a couple of SATA II hard drives, and Windows Home Server.  Would this be adequate as a home server?  Thanks.

    Doug
    • Changed type kariya21Moderator Tuesday, August 4, 2009 2:05 AM not a technical question
    Monday, August 3, 2009 1:19 PM

All replies

  • Doug

    Personally I dont think 512KB of ram is sufficient - you really want at least a 1GB I would suggest, more if you were planning on doing a lot of server side "stuff".

    I think that given you are looking at buying a PCI card, some SATA drives and the Windows Home Server software you may be better off looking at actually just buying a Windows Home Server - maybe the Acer one?

    Andrew
    MVP - Windows Home Server http://usingwindowshomeserver.com
    Monday, August 3, 2009 3:41 PM
    Moderator
  • Well Doug, My Home Server at present is a old Socket 478 Celeron 1.7GHz with 512mb DDR400 RAM my advice would be to get a decent IDE drive to install the OS on and then use the SATA card with SATA HDDs as you will need to have drivers installed. and I think you meant 512mb and not 512kb, yes it will run with 512mb granted it will be a little slow, but connection to device should only loose a small bit of performance. I have 2 PC's and a 360 connected to my server and I had the same movie running on the server the 2 other PCs and the 360 at the same time without any problems. There is something you need to consider when buying SATA PCI cards is the right drivers for it, I have 3 in mine and it tooked me over a week to get the right drivers and I still dont even know what they are now. So be careful.
    HMG
    Monday, August 3, 2009 3:55 PM
  • Thanks, Andrew

    I've got another computer (same vintage, different MOBO and processer) that uses the same type of memory, so I can get my intended configuration to 1 GB.  I am going to use this server to back up my 3 laptops and one desktop, with an additional aim of being able to serve up music to my stereo system.  That means a network capable receiver, which will take up a large chunk of the budget.  So I am trying to reuse what I have got from a computer perspective as much as possible.  The Acer server is $500 and the upgrades to the computer, including PCI card, HDD, and WHS comes to $260, so that's $240 towards the receiver.  I have an existing external 500 GB HDD that I would connect to the server, so I can mirror the drives.  As I need more capacity, I will add internal SATA ii hdds.  The PCI card can handle up to 4 sata ii drives (it's a Promise card).  All $ in Cdn.

    Have been reading a number of threads here and am a bit confused regarding the WHS drivers.  Are there not any drivers that come with WHS that will configure the network, drives, and various I/O connections?

    Doug 
    Monday, August 3, 2009 3:59 PM
  • Thanks, HMG,

    I will look at the Promise Web site for drivers.  If I understand correctly, I will need Windows 2003 drivers if there are no WHS drivers available.   I certainly have some IDE drives to mount the OS on.

    Doug

    Monday, August 3, 2009 4:13 PM
  • In which case I would certainly build my own :-)

    Yeah, as for drivers you will need to ensure, where possible, you find drivers for each item that work with Windows 2003.

    Andrew
    MVP - Windows Home Server http://usingwindowshomeserver.com
    Monday, August 3, 2009 4:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, Andrew,

    So for drivers, I will drivers for:

    the DVD drive;
    the PCI sata card;
    the LAN interface;
    keyboard and mouse;
    the SATA HDDs;
    the PATA HDDs;
    the floppy drive;
    the video card (which I will remove one WHS is up and running - as I understand it, I can access WHS through any other computer on then LAN.

    anything else?

    Cheers,

    Doug
    Monday, August 3, 2009 5:17 PM
  • Unless you have a specific use for the video card, i would suggest leaving it in. You may at some point have network issues and connecting via a monitor and usb keyboard/mouse gives you local access to the desktop for trouble shooting and graceful shutdown and restarts.
    Monday, August 3, 2009 8:02 PM
  • Unless you have a specific use for the video card, i would suggest leaving it in. You may at some point have network issues and connecting via a monitor and usb keyboard/mouse gives you local access to the desktop for trouble shooting and graceful shutdown and restarts.

    I agree with Tom in terms of having some sort of video port available to you (although I would try to find a mobo with a cheap on-board video card since it won't be doing anything heavy and this way, it won't use up any PCI slots on your mobo).
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 2:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Doug most of the drivers you need for your hardware will be on the WHS disc, you will need drivers for the Sata PCI card, probably the Lan and the Video card, all others should be on the disc.
    HMG
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 7:19 AM
  • Henry,

    Thanks for the note.  Wasn't sure how many drivers I would have to track down.  If my MOBO has an onboard LAN connection (although its only 10/100), will I have to update that driver as well or will that be on the WHS disk?

    Thanks

    Doug
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 2:11 PM
  • I dont know it depends on if WHS has drivers for it, mine didnt had to install the driver of the internet. So I recommend you locate the driver just incase it doesnt.
    HMG
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 4:01 PM