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WHS on a Via C7 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'd like to build a quiet, mini ITX system on which I would install WHS. Based on the hardware requirements I've read here, I would think a Via C7 CPU running at 1Ghz should be adequate.

    Does this sound reasonable?

    Monday, February 19, 2007 2:00 PM

Answers

  •  

    I've got WHS CTP running on my C7 box now. The base hardware is:

    • Via C7 CPU at 1 GHz
    • 1GB Kingston PC2 4200 RAM
    • 200W PS
    • MSI Axis 700 Lite Case

    For my first stab at installation I set up my storage like this:

    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Master on IDE1)
    • 2x Seagate 400GB SATA HDD (set in BIOS as "IDE" instead of RAID; i.e., Master on IDE2 and Master on IDE3)

    WHS installation didn't like this. It complained that there were no bootable disks on which to continue the installation. It had succeeded in getting the installation environment installed on a small partition of the first SATA drive. But after lots of BIOS tweaking, I couldn't find a way to get WHS to recognize a bootable disk in this configuration.

     

    Next, I set up my storage like this, hoping the addition of a real IDE drive on the first IDE channel would solve WHS' trouble finding a bootable disk on which to install.

    • 1x IDE 120GB PATA HDD (Master on IDE1)
    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Slave on IDE1)
    • 2x Seagate 400GB SATA HDD (set in BIOS as "IDE" instead of RAID; Master on IDE2 and Master on IDE3)

    Still had the same problem though.

     

    So I disconnected the SATA drives, leaving me with this configuration:

    • 1x IDE 120GB PATA HDD (Master on IDE1)
    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Slave on IDE1)

    This worked great. When installation was finished, I shut down and  reconnected the SATA drives. WHS booted fine and recognized the two new drives. I was then able to add them to the storage pool. Later, I removed the DVD drive 'cause I had borrowed it from my regular workstation

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:13 PM

All replies

  • I assume that will work fine.

    My eventual aim is to use a VIA ITX board in a Micro ATX case and a Serial ATA Card in there with 1GB Ram, low noise low wattage power supply. I think that will make an awesome WHS setup. Especially if its passively cooled.

    Most VIA chips are over 1GHZ these days so I see no reason why it wouldn't work fine. Worth checking the VIA website though to see if they have windows server 2003 drivers on there, otherwise it's possible you may run into some driver issues.

    If you go ahead with the build let us know how it goes!
    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:16 PM
  • i'm running @ dual p3 1ghz and when moving large files or other cpu heavy tasks i notice cpu tends to stay on the 85+% side, and if at that time i'm watching a movie on the server i experience some hickups, so i'm not sure a Via C7 1ghz will be suffice to run WHS at
    Wednesday, February 21, 2007 7:15 AM
  • That is a good point. It may struggle with streaming media. 1.3GHZ maybe if you can stretch to that, as theres a bit of a price hike about 1GHZ :)
    Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:19 AM
  •  byKnight wrote:

    I'd like to build a quiet, mini ITX system on which I would install WHS. Based on the hardware requirements I've read here, I would think a Via C7 CPU running at 1Ghz should be adequate.

    Does this sound reasonable?



    I'm also thinking about using this proccessor.  I can build a Via C7 WHS machine for $300.  That's using a Via C7 1Ghz barebones, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD.  I'll be doing some music streaming as well as backup stuff, but that's about it.  My only reservation is that this particular barebones doesn't have a gigabit ethernet port --- just 10/100. 

    Is anyone using this particular Via C7 with WHS yet?  Or similar?
    Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:23 PM
  • I use on a test system a EPIA-EN15000G board (1.5GHz) with gigabit LAN, 1Gb RAM and some 320Gb disks (with a 4 port SATA card) running win2k3. It works as a file server for multimedia. it works fine and as WHS is based on win2k3, it should run smoothly.

    The video drivers given by VIA are clumsy (some builds crash the system), but sticking with ones installed by Windows lets everything run fine.

    I used in a config 2.5" disks for lower power cunsumption and lower noise, but it's quite expensive for the gigabyte/$ :-(( so I got back to 3.5" disks.

    Daniel

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:20 PM
  • Thanks Bluebird!

    I feel more confident about using a VIA setup now

    Friday, February 23, 2007 10:25 AM
  • Bluebird, have you installed WHS on your Via C7 system?
    Friday, February 23, 2007 4:23 PM
  • In fact, I'm playing with WHS under Virtual PC for the moment, but I'm gooing soon to install it on the EPIA system - have to figure out how to put RAID5 (Win2k3) data to WHS formated disks... without getting everything out on other disks...
    Saturday, February 24, 2007 12:09 AM
  • I tried now to install WHS on the system and get hung after Windows copies files... so I don't know if it is a SATA HD problem or else. There's a thread about this problem - no fix
    Sunday, February 25, 2007 12:53 AM
  •  

    I've got WHS CTP running on my C7 box now. The base hardware is:

    • Via C7 CPU at 1 GHz
    • 1GB Kingston PC2 4200 RAM
    • 200W PS
    • MSI Axis 700 Lite Case

    For my first stab at installation I set up my storage like this:

    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Master on IDE1)
    • 2x Seagate 400GB SATA HDD (set in BIOS as "IDE" instead of RAID; i.e., Master on IDE2 and Master on IDE3)

    WHS installation didn't like this. It complained that there were no bootable disks on which to continue the installation. It had succeeded in getting the installation environment installed on a small partition of the first SATA drive. But after lots of BIOS tweaking, I couldn't find a way to get WHS to recognize a bootable disk in this configuration.

     

    Next, I set up my storage like this, hoping the addition of a real IDE drive on the first IDE channel would solve WHS' trouble finding a bootable disk on which to install.

    • 1x IDE 120GB PATA HDD (Master on IDE1)
    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Slave on IDE1)
    • 2x Seagate 400GB SATA HDD (set in BIOS as "IDE" instead of RAID; Master on IDE2 and Master on IDE3)

    Still had the same problem though.

     

    So I disconnected the SATA drives, leaving me with this configuration:

    • 1x IDE 120GB PATA HDD (Master on IDE1)
    • 1x DVD+RW Drive (Slave on IDE1)

    This worked great. When installation was finished, I shut down and  reconnected the SATA drives. WHS booted fine and recognized the two new drives. I was then able to add them to the storage pool. Later, I removed the DVD drive 'cause I had borrowed it from my regular workstation

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:13 PM
  • So its simply not possible to install it on a C7 box without an IDE HDD?
    Saturday, April 28, 2007 2:03 PM
  • No, I didn't say that.

    I wasn't able to get it to work. Whether it's possible, I don't know.
    Saturday, April 28, 2007 8:22 PM
  •  dotted wrote:
    So its simply not possible to install it on a C7 box without an IDE HDD?
    I installed WHS beta2 and CTP on VIA pc2500 based system (very similar to EPIA-EN 15000).

     

    Config: VIA pc2500 board, 1.5 Ghz C7 processor (Esther core), CN700 chipset with VT8237R Plus Southbridge, 512 MB Kingston DDR2 533 Valueram, 250 MB SATA II Samsung Spinpoint. Built this in an old ATX case, total cost 190,= €. System was built with low cost and low power consumption in mind. Board has video on board, currently assigned max 8MB shared memory for video in BIOS (Task manager reports 506320K so this BIOS setting seems to work om this board). Also other settings (up to 64MB which is max shared video mem) works fine.

     

    Attached an external HP Surestore DAT 24 (SCSI, Adaptec AHA-2940UW PCI) for external backup. (this thing is switched of most of the time, FAN is a bit noisy and running all the time). Recently added 40GB Maxtor (6K040L0), after installation and setup. This also works fine. Will also try adding a few old SCSI disks (and remove them after one or weeks of use to see how this works)

    .

    To install WHS I tried BIOS "default settings", "optimised settings" and some settings I thought would be optimal. All BIOS settings that result in a DVD bootable system installed and run WHS fine.  I have not tried the Via SATA raid option since I only have one SATA disk, most of my HW is old PII / PIII stuff, IMHO RAID doesn't make muche sense on WHS anyhow. "Borrowed" DVD-rom drive from another system for installation which was reasonably fast and completely flawless. All other CD / DVD installs were done by copying content to WHS HD.

     

    With Beta2 I had some issues of processor running at +95% for prolonged periods ("demigrator.exe", issue has been discussed somewhere else on this board). CTP is running now for a bit more then a week, seemingly without any major issues. Still need to run a Perflog though. Eventlogs show only few errors / messages, nothing out of the ordinary.

     

     

     

    Friday, May 4, 2007 10:21 PM
    Moderator
  • I am using a EPIA-EN 15000 system with 400 W case and five hard drives totaling 830 GB. The only problem was getting it to install. It would hang after booting from the CD. I had to move the hard drive to another system, do the install, move it back to the EN 15000 system, upgrade the drivers, and finally activate WHS. This was true for both beta 2 and the CTP. The only problem now is in using remote desktop to my vista system.
    Monday, May 7, 2007 6:41 PM
  • I also have a EPIA-EN 15000 system in a 400 W case and five drives totaling 830 GB. The only problem with this system has been installing WHS. It would hang after booting from the CD. I had to move the C: (SATA) to another system, install WHS, move it back, upgrade the drivers, and activate WHS. I had to do this for both beta 2 and the CTP.

     

    It has been running great. The only problem now is remote desktop to my vista system.

    Monday, May 7, 2007 6:50 PM
  • What version of Vista? It will need to be Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate to allow remote desktop in.
    Tuesday, May 8, 2007 7:28 PM
  • I've managed to get the software running fine on the 1.2ghz C7 version.

     

    The system is passivly cooled with a heatsink down the side of the case and is currently configured with:

     

    1 * 400GB Hitachi Deskstar drive

    1 * 512mb Crucial ram chip

    1 * Panasonic slim DVD

     

    The case is a passivly cooled unit - a heat pipe sites over the CPU / Bridge chip and leads to a long (14 inch) heatsink down the side of the case

     

    The monitor is my 42" plasma TV with RGB connection - using the default drivers fine.

     

    Both lan ports are up and running - the only issue I had was the drivers for the sound chip but the last update I did has fixed that.

     

    Speed is fine for day to day backups and file sharing BUT streaming is a bit of a problem - I've handled music OK but not video.  With the MCE part turned on CPU use jumps to 95%+ and stays there.  Not to much of an issue for me as I have a NAS that serves music (ROKU Soundlabs and PCs as the palyers) but long term this will be an issue.

     

    Web serving is OK - speed not to good but it works fine (not sure if it is the works WAN that is the issue as local access seems Ok).

     

    Backups run OK and restores are fine for single files.  I've not tried the full system restore yet though.

     

    Andrew

     

    All in all I have a totally silent server that does a good job.

     

    Andrew

     

    Sunday, July 8, 2007 3:52 PM
  •  boylansr wrote:

    I also have a EPIA-EN 15000 system in a 400 W case and five drives totaling 830 GB. The only problem with this system has been installing WHS. It would hang after booting from the CD. I had to move the C: (SATA) to another system, install WHS, move it back, upgrade the drivers, and activate WHS. I had to do this for both beta 2 and the CTP.

     

    It has been running great. The only problem now is remote desktop to my vista system.

     

    This setup ABSOLUTELY NEGATES any advantages of running an EPIA system? cheapo inefficient 400W power supply?  5 hard drives where 2 would suffice?

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 5:56 PM
  • Why does it negate advantages of an EPIA system?? It's not because you have a 400W power supply that you will use 400W, it's only if you plug a lot of drives that you need more power. And if you need much storage space, you need several disks... it's some times cheaper to buy smaller drives than 500Gb ones, and if you have some at hand it's cheaper than buying some.

     

    Just my 5 cents

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 8:36 PM
  • Small question, it seems that you use WHS as a media center, not as a server, am I right? On EPIA systems, I've managed to display streaming video or DVDs, but it's runs at 95% as you state - this is in fact not the role of WHS as I understand, it a server.

     

    Daniel

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007 8:41 PM
  •  Bluebird77 wrote:

    Small question, it seems that you use WHS as a media center, not as a server, am I right? On EPIA systems, I've managed to display streaming video or DVDs, but it's runs at 95% as you state - this is in fact not the role of WHS as I understand, it a server.

    Daniel



    I see the system as both a true server (file share / file store) and a media server.  If its roll is only as a file server then I would buy a dedicated NAS box to do that.  The server should be a multifunction box.

    Andrew

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 5:52 PM
  •  Andrew Beasley wrote:

    I've managed to get the software running fine on the 1.2ghz C7 version.

    The system is passivly cooled with a heatsink down the side of the case and is currently configured with:

    1 * 400GB Hitachi Deskstar drive

    1 * 512mb Crucial ram chip

    1 * Panasonic slim DVD

    The case is a passivly cooled unit - a heat pipe sites over the CPU / Bridge chip and leads to a long (14 inch) heatsink down the side of the case

    The monitor is my 42" plasma TV with RGB connection - using the default drivers fine.

    Both lan ports are up and running - the only issue I had was the drivers for the sound chip but the last update I did has fixed that.

    Speed is fine for day to day backups and file sharing BUT streaming is a bit of a problem - I've handled music OK but not video. With the MCE part turned on CPU use jumps to 95%+ and stays there. Not to much of an issue for me as I have a NAS that serves music (ROKU Soundlabs and PCs as the palyers) but long term this will be an issue.

    Web serving is OK - speed not to good but it works fine (not sure if it is the works WAN that is the issue as local access seems Ok).

    Backups run OK and restores are fine for single files. I've not tried the full system restore yet though.

    Andrew

    All in all I have a totally silent server that does a good job.

    Andrew


    Exactly which case are you using?
    Thursday, July 12, 2007 8:39 PM
  • Interesting

     

    in part of our lab tests, over the last 4 years, we have evaluated numerous CPUs / MBs etc.

     

    we did build a WHS on our platforms, using a new Intel 1.33Ghz CPU (28Watts) along with more powerful core2duo etc - then decided to monitor performance of a VIA 1.5GHz (C7) (12W) CPU and a C7-M (speed stepped) CPU in comparison.

     

    in 'normal' operation the VIA 1.5GHz CPUs (either) work very well indeed, with CPU loading varying from 0-5 (idle), 20-30 (demigrator.exe etc) - to high 60s (backup management etc).

     

    for a server to sit there quietly, servicing up to 10x PCs for data storage, remote access and image backup - on a VIA 1.5GHz CPU is quite astounding - but then the CPU is really only looking after network access, and disk control (no video etc).

     

    our conclusion, we will be promoting the C7 and C7-M in various appliances running WHS later in August.

    Friday, July 13, 2007 3:49 PM
  • Is there any chance you'l be offering a case that is designed to contain multiple full size HDD's? I really like the T7 and especially the size but for it to be an ideal WHS box it needs to allow full size HDD's while still staying as small as possible.
    Friday, July 13, 2007 5:24 PM
  • the T7-HS appliance concept is a small (80GB) internal HDD for OS etc

    with ,multiple (8x) USB2.0 ports for a choice of mass storage devices (this way you can choose your own HDDs) black, vertical drives look awesome next to the T7.

     

    the alternative is the T2e-HS - with space for 2x SATA (3.5") drives - we are considering shipping this with a 2.5" for the OS, and leaving space for user to add his own 3.5" (x2) SATA drives.

    the T2e-HS will have a basic 8x USB2.o ports, optionally 16x ports !!

     

    we're just seeing what you all want of the product before it's launch in August - be assured - it's a marriage in heaven, a silent, small, power efficient platform, with a drop dead simple application, for all you home (and SOHO) users Smile

     

     

    Friday, July 13, 2007 5:31 PM
  • My choice would be a T7 with room for at least two internal SATA 3.5" drives. My main reason for that is fewer power bricks to deal with. I really like the configuration of the SMC TigerStore though I think a T7 modified would be more visually appealing.  I'm OK with using a 2.5" HDD for the system disk or even a 80GB FlashCard (i.e. SSHDD).
    Friday, July 13, 2007 5:43 PM
  • TxDot - forgive the delay (see below)

    The case I am running is the T2 from http://www.tranquilpc.co.uk/T2.htm with a 100W power supply from mini-itx

    Only problems I have found are:

    1) Fitting the drive holder requires a magnetic screwdriver or a bit of blue tack
    2) Getting the power switch and DVD cover to stick on
    3) My friends wanting to take it away with them as they love the blue lights

    I've now fired up the web server and am happy with the speed of standard pages (kings-sleep is the sub domain) but not yet stressed it in any way shape or form due to my firewall working so well it would not let anything in or out for the last week.

    I do find the console slow - RDP to the desktop is fine so I assume it is just the api from the console program.

    Andrew
    Saturday, July 14, 2007 7:47 PM
  •  TxDot wrote:
    Is there any chance you'l be offering a case that is designed to contain multiple full size HDD's? I really like the T7 and especially the size but for it to be an ideal WHS box it needs to allow full size HDD's while still staying as small as possible.

     

    What would be great (IMHO) would be a second (third......) case that was a SATA PE case that could link to the CPU case and be filled with disks. With the right eSATA card you could hang a few of these off one host.

     

     

    Gordon

    Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:42 PM