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Newbie question about buildng a WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was hoping to have someone could tell me if my older Dell Dimension could be used as a WHS.  The following are the configurations of my old machine:

    Dell Dimension 8200

    Pent. 4 2.4 ghz

    512 MB of ram

    I will buy two new HD's

    I would of course buy the server software but want to make sure this machine could handle the tasks.

     

    Thanks in advance for any help.

     

    Mark

    Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:59 PM

Answers

  • CPU is Ok. Servers are not really CPU hogs, Memory is low.  I would use minimum of 1G and really at least 2 G because if you don't the server will be cashing data to the drives and run even slower.  A big question is how much data do you want to back up.  I have 6.5TB on my server and with your configuration I would wonder how many hard drives you can fit easily into your case and power supply.  Servers need to grow as your data needs do.  Computers over the last 20 year have continued to demand more and more memory storage and if you are going to back up photos, songs and movies they will eat memory on the HD fast. IDE or SATA are both fast and my opinion is don't use USB on your computers as they are slow to back up to the server.  Day one I got rid of mine and I had a bunch.  I actually took them apart and used the ones with SATA drives in an external SATA tower.  They run 5 to 10 times faster and backup just as fast too.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:36 PM

All replies

  • CPU is Ok. Servers are not really CPU hogs, Memory is low.  I would use minimum of 1G and really at least 2 G because if you don't the server will be cashing data to the drives and run even slower.  A big question is how much data do you want to back up.  I have 6.5TB on my server and with your configuration I would wonder how many hard drives you can fit easily into your case and power supply.  Servers need to grow as your data needs do.  Computers over the last 20 year have continued to demand more and more memory storage and if you are going to back up photos, songs and movies they will eat memory on the HD fast. IDE or SATA are both fast and my opinion is don't use USB on your computers as they are slow to back up to the server.  Day one I got rid of mine and I had a bunch.  I actually took them apart and used the ones with SATA drives in an external SATA tower.  They run 5 to 10 times faster and backup just as fast too.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:36 PM
  •  Fijimark wrote:

    I was hoping to have someone could tell me if my older Dell Dimension could be used as a WHS.  The following are the configurations of my old machine:

    Dell Dimension 8200

    Pent. 4 2.4 ghz

    512 MB of ram

    I will buy two new HD's

    I would of course buy the server software but want to make sure this machine could handle the tasks.

     

    Thanks in advance for any help.

     

    Mark

    I've been limping along with almost that exact same configuration for about nine-months.

     

    I have a Dell Dimension 8250 with a 2.4GHz processor, but with 1GB of RAM (the maximum amount of RAM the 8250 supports). I have two ATA 250GB internal drives and a few external USB drives. I purchased an OEM version of WHS. The server's performance has been fine and it works well...but at least once a week it either locks up or one or more of the internal or USB drives seem to disappear--necessitating a reboot. Personally, I've come to the conclusion that this hardware just isn't up to the challenge.

     

    Earlier today, I purchased an HP EX470 MediaSmart Server and four 1TB SATA drives, to which I'll be expanding to 2GB of RAM. (The EX470 comes with WHS--so what am I supposed to do with my OEM version of WHS? Oh well, I got nine months of excellent use out of it.)

    Friday, July 11, 2008 3:57 AM
  • Keep the 'old' server and software, with just a couple of disks, for testing things like PP1.

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, July 11, 2008 4:59 PM
  • So if I decide to buy the new server, dos everyone reccomend the HP MediaSmart server?  I really would like something that I do not need to reboot every week so I will most likely buy a new box.  I guess now my question is what to buy and does anyone have recommendations on good pricing? 

    Friday, July 11, 2008 5:08 PM
  • I guess "what to buy" is quite a personal thing!

    This website has a reasonable list of available servers, so it depends what your priorities are - low noise - low power - expansion etc. (plus of course, price).

     

    Colin

     

    Friday, July 11, 2008 5:42 PM
  • Newegg sells the EX470 for $539 with free shipping and no sales tax.  Hard to beat that.  They are also the best source for memory expansions, CPU upgrade and good prices on 1TB drives.

     

    HP MediaSmart Server EX 470 - Retail

     

     

    Friday, July 11, 2008 9:50 PM
  • I recommend the HP MediaSmart.  Had mine since January, with no issues at all.  It only reboots due to updates, which is not very often.  I leave it on 24/7, and it has yet to crash on me.  Reviews of the MSS have been mixed, but my experience has been overwhemingly positive.

     

    The Egg has the EX-470 for 539.00, which is a good deal.  Do not waste the extra $$$ on the EX-475.  You can get the EX470, upgrade the memory to 2GB, add another 500GB drive and still have $$$ left over before you'd match the price of the EX-475. 

     

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 1:04 AM
  • Good idea, Colin! I hadn't thought of that.

     

    I was actually hoping to reclaim some floor space (where my Dell Dimension WHS sits) and some desk space (where my five USB drives sit). I'll have to see how much space the EX470 takes up.

     

    Speaking of which, has anyone tried installing their OEM version of WHS in a Virtual PC (or a Virtual Server) guest? That would seem to be a good way to test PP1, etc.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 3:31 PM
  • Quite a few people are running WHS in a Virtual Machine, have a search through the forums as there are a few posts giving details.

     

     

    Colin

     

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 3:36 PM
  • BTW, Fijimark, I had a similar question to your's earlier in the week. I ended up purchasing an EX470 and four 1TB drives from NewEgg.com. I placed my order Thursday afternoon and received the packages Friday afternoon!
    Saturday, July 12, 2008 3:37 PM
  •  

    I've been running an eval. copy of WHS on an old box. To supplement my knowledge I purchased "Windows Home Server Unleashed" and gave the eval. version / setup a good workout.

    During this eval. process, with mighty above mentioed tome to guide me, it became apparent to me that for the home/ home office WHS is the future.

    So having decided to take the leap what hardware to deploy?

    My first thought was to build my own box (or rather have someone build it for me.) Then I thought maybe the HP Media server.

    Both were attractive propositions, but reading the spec of HP's machine it has  modest CPU. Mulling this around, undecided, I was browsing Ebuyer and by accident I came across the HP Proliant ML110 G5. It imediately registered, so I ordered one, plus extra memory and a second 750Mb SATA drive. It comes with a 'beefy' Intel Xeon CPU.

    I followed the advice from excellent previously mentioned book and installed the 750Mb drive as the system (SATA 1) HD and the HP 250MB HD o SATA 2, as my starting point.

    Booted up and installed WHS. Once installed re-booted using the HP setup CD to install the correct and or missing drivers.

    Then I proceeded to connect other boxes, setup the backup routines, poplute the shared folders and other general commissioning tasks.

    • I've installed an inexpensive Gigabit switch, from the router and use Cat 6 cables to the boxes / server
    • I've installed SharePoint services.
    • I'm having problems logging in from the Internet, but I think that this is because of the oldish router I'm using. I will upgrade this soon. My business is home based and I travel the world so this has to be sorted out.
    • This setup is fast. It is expandable on every front.
    • I do not intend to using any kind of RAID array, I cannot see the point of it! WHS's drive extender technology seems to me to make it all totally unnecessary.

    The Ebuyer price is unbelievably low, but beware. They say there is a 3 year next day business day replacement. It's not true, the first year they have you return the box to them to sort out the problem, then in years 2 and 3 HP take over the warrenty. Take your pick, Ebuyer's low price modified HP warrenty, or a bricks and mortor purchase with a replacement, whatever, next business day.

    Down the line (and a major reason for purchasing WHS/ HP) I will be connecting up to a Linn Akurate DS. This means that I will be using WHS / HP to stream my ripped CD collection (Flac lossless format) from this server to the Linn DS.

    For the first time, I will be able to listen and enjoy digital music that comes near to the pleasure I get from listening to my vinyl LP collection.

    To sum up

    • Purchase a box which will last for years to come and don't just purchase on price
    • Get a copy of WHS Unleased
      It really will educate you to all that you can do with WHS i.e SharePoint Services
    • HP Proliant ML110 G is very quick, robust, and expandable in line with future needs
      It will last you for some considerable years to come and is backed (Ebuyer excluded for 1 year) rock solid warrenty.

    I'm happy with my WHS setup now, hope this helps others when considering there options.

     

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 2:13 PM
  • Cliff,

     

    Do you live in the US?  If so how much was the box shipped to you?

     

    I can't seem to fin the conversion price nor if Ebuyer ships to the US.

     

    Thanks fo all your help.

     

    -Mark

     

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 4:47 PM
  • Mark

     

    I'm in the UK, so I there was free shipping. I see on the HP box the unit originated / was assembled in the Czec Republic, if that's any help.

     

    I cannot get Ebuyer USA into my browser, only the UK site.But looking at US prices in general for this unit,  I'm astonished as they appear to be more expensive than UK prices! Quite the inverse of the norm.

     

    I would give Ebuyer a call (on +44 871 5213300) and ask them if they will ship to the US.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Cliff

    Monday, July 14, 2008 11:59 AM