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Barebone Kit or build from gound up? RRS feed

  • Question

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    I've been looking at various barebone kits and barebone components. I've had some experience under the hood of the computer with everything from memory upgrades, video cards, lancards, new drives the like. Never built from the ground up though. I've been  looking for components over the last couple of weeks. Now I've run across Kits and preassembled Kits as well.Any advice on which, brands to look out for or avoid etc.... Still debating if I,m going with a midtower or micro ATX. Leaning toward the midtower for the extra room, but I am tempted at the price and space savings on the micro. Right now I'm looking at either a "preassembled" Asus P5GC Kit (midtower) I saw at Tigerdirect or a Asus micro ATX at Tiger as well.

    Want to know what others are doing. I've got my OEM version and want to be up and going by Thanksgiving. Whose building, buying now and has any advise

     

     

    Saturday, November 3, 2007 8:21 PM

All replies

  • How much storage do you think you might need? Are you planning on switching folder duplication on for all folders? If you want a lot of storage, and you want duplication then you will either need big drives, or lots of space for smaller drives.

     

    Andrew

     

    Saturday, November 3, 2007 8:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Going with min of two internal drives  (Mid-ATX). Going to go with 2 500 GB hardrives as a starter. I want file duplication but if I use a larger case allows me another internal hard drive later. My debate is to whether to limit myself to external drives in the future if I don't build a setup supporting a min of three internals. Did some reading and althought not required got the idea if your thinking long haul and want file duplication  thats the way to go 

    Saturday, November 3, 2007 8:42 PM
  • Yeah, personally I agree with you. While I like using external drives for the occasional storage (pre WHS) I would feel more comfortable with internal drives. If for no other reason that its neater.


    Andrew

     

    Saturday, November 3, 2007 9:56 PM
    Moderator
  • My 2 cents, I started with an inexpensive micro ATX case, outgrew it very fast, the 3 drives I had in it were always VERY hot and it was noisy

     

    I ended up putting the micro ATX MB into my favorite (huge) cooler master case, the one with the wavy front, it is very quiet, and cool and has a lot of room,   I filled up the first three drives fast with duplication, added one more and a SATA card to run it on, all after thinking 2 250 GB drives would be plenty a few months earlier

     

    Every time I priced parts, the bare bones units seems high, for what you get, of course I am typing this into a Shuttle barebones now, so some times that can be overlooked, This was my first from scratch build and found it was as easy as the barebones, with nothing more complicated than reading the small type on the connectors for the power switch and led's

     

    This is what I used, all picked for features vs price, and because I had RAM for the board,

     

    BIOSTAR K8M800-M7A 754 VIA K8M800 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

    AMD Sempron 64 3000+ Palermo 1.8GHz Socket 754 Processor Model SDA3000BXBOX

    COOLER MASTER CAVALIER 3 CAV-T03-UK Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    SYBA SD-SATA-4P PCI SATA Controller Card

    a 35 dollar power supply, 2 sata drives, 2 IDE drives, 1 gig of ram and a left over DVD burner

     

    all from Newegg

     


    It runs great with these parts, very quiet, fast and reliable. Noise being a after if you have it in your living space as it is always on, go with a decent, roomy case, my opinion.

    Sunday, November 4, 2007 12:03 AM
  • While bilding your own system takes time - you really need to do your due dilegence to make sure all your parts will work together and with your OS, the actual assembly is very easy.  Plus, you get exactly what you want, not what someone else has put together.  Now a days, assembly is completely plug and play.  It's pretty hard to mess something up - just make sure you ground youself regularly to prevent static electicity from building up.

     

    You really need to do your due dilegence with a bare bones system to make sure it has everything you need and the parts all have Windows Server 2003 drivers, so you really aren't saving a lot of time there either.

     

    Sunday, November 4, 2007 4:06 AM
  • The advice for due diligence . I appreciate that more having done a preinstallation and working the kinks out as an educational experience. The windows server drivers turned out to be no problem, the mobo supports. What wasn't supported was my Lan card though. Replaced it and that is when I was able to connect all of my computers. I am still weighing options and am getting closer, but still have some issues which need answering. At the moment I am still having to use the CD to boot my server. Headless booting is a term I've learned and am wondering if the motherboards I am l looking at support this. My test system was top of the line at the time, but that was 4+ years ago.  Right now and after discussing with the other half where I can physically place the unit. I am sure of this much I'm going to go with a midtower at the least (mainly for internal hard drive expansion, ease of assembly and increased room for venilation (fans). In addition to  the issue I'm looking at on headless booting, I am rethinking processor choice, HP chose Sempron chips for there yet to be released server, so I have looked at them.  Also wondeing what other processor groups would be approriate and advantages and disadvatages of each. Any thoughts please post- suggestions on postings I've made have been a major part of my learning curve.

     

    Sunday, November 4, 2007 1:05 PM
  • The term "headless" as used here in the forums refers to booting without a keyboard, monitor, or mouse (sometimes abbreviated as KVM) connected. Just about all motherboards can be configured to boot without any of the above. What some users are trying to do is remove the video card as well, usually to reduce power consumption. Once again, most modern motherboards can be set up to do this, though something several years old may not have that capability. Still, if you have a low-end PCI video card installed, it's only going to draw a few watts.

    As for where to put it, in a closet is an option for a lot of people. Just make sure that you don't pile a lot of stuff on and around it; it is a computer, and if you block air flow it could overheat. The OEM system requirements from Microsoft include mention that a WHS unit should be fully functional when placed in an enclosed space (think small cabinet) with an ambient temperature of 35° C.
    Sunday, November 4, 2007 2:45 PM
    Moderator
  • I may not have explained my boot problem well or am misunderstanding something. In order to boot headless the client pc that has extendeder installed on has to open for password, etc...  When I attach the monitor to the server and boot I see the problem I get:  message to "Reboot and Select a proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media". For now I am rebooting with the Home server setup CD. At this point I can't open the extender software on my client pc's.

     

     What I don't see is any way to change the BIOS settings to allow the computer to continue to boot on without the DVD in the DVD drive. Could it be I am missing a bootloader from the installation pack? Am I supposed to enable another setting I'm note seeing int the boot menu.? Is it something in the Lan Settings perhaps that I am not doing? Any further advice from anoyone?

    Sunday, November 4, 2007 4:27 PM
  • I see. No, I didn't get that from your explanation. You should be able to remove the DVD from the DVD-ROM drive, reboot your WHS, and have it come up to the "Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in" prompt. What you're describing sounds like a simple boot order issue. The first thing to try is to go into your BIOS and change the boot order so your hard disk is the first boot device.

    If that doesn't work, then you have some other boot order problem. In order to help you resolve this, we will need to know more about your server configuration, at a minimum your motherboard (make and model), any add-in cards you've installed, how many drives you have, their types and where they are connected.
    Sunday, November 4, 2007 4:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the help guys (after hours and rethinking after discussing boot process) toook a second look at all my Bios settings. Well there was no Master hard drive according to Bios. Since I had been booting from the DVD I forgot that my exsiting drive which I installed WHS on was the slave drive. Changed the jumper setting on the hard drive - problem solved. Oversight on my part.
    Sunday, November 4, 2007 5:38 PM