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Home server build issue RRS feed

  • Question

  • Tyring to build WHS from an older P4 system.  Wanted to have a larger capacity hard drive, so I purchased a new 1.5TB SATA drive.  Removed both older PATA hard drives from my system, even the cable from the board.  Installed a new SIIG serial ATA PCI card and connected the drive to the card.  My MB did not have a SATA connector, but my power supply did, as I had replaced it a few years back.  I was curious as to what would happen if I tried to load WHS right after making the modifications, and hoped that it would recognize the only hard drive automatically.  I was dissappointed that it did not.  Anyon know if I am able to load WHS to this neww SATA Drive connected to a new PCI card, or do I need to keep one of my older drives in the system and add the SATA as a 2nd drive.  I would prefer to only have the new drive as it is brand new and probably not due to fail for a while, but my other drives are older and probably not much life left in them.  When I tried to load, the WHS build process stated it could not locate a hard drive to load the OS, or something to that effect.  I managed to get into the BIOS on my system, but I am not sure what would need to be done.  I forgot to mention that when it could not find the hard drive, it asked if I would like to load a driver.  I was hopeful that it needed a driver for the SATA PCI card and tried using every driver that came on the CD wit the card, but noneo f those worked.  The card stated that it needed to be loaded by floppy for W2K3.  No floppy available.  Am I out of luck?

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 3:58 AM

Answers

  • Just to mark this closed, I wanted to thank you for your help.  I actually was able to complete the build as I had intended.  I was able to find some floppy's at the local office supply store.  $3 for a 10 pack.  I copied the driver onto the floppy, began the build, installed the driver at the appropriate time, and the build completed after a lot of fumbling with the sequencing.  I had messed around in the bios with the boot order and had to make some changes on the fly.  Like I said, pretty green with stuff like this and really could not repeat the build process if I tried, but somehow, I was smiled upon by someone and got the job done.  After getting WHS installed, I shut down the unit until I am able to read the setup material I can find online and deploy it properly.  Thanks for the help.  I was able to build a WHS from my 2.4 P4 with 512 of Ram by only purchasing a SATA PCI contoller for $35 and a GIG NIC for $10.  Got a 1.5TB drive for $80.  $125 total to have a home server that I can share media and back up my home systems to.  Eventually since I have a dual port SATA card I will add an aditional drive for the folder duplication features, but want to make sure I get the system up and running properly first.  I only have about 500-600 GB's of data, and half of that is music stored on a portable hard drive, so I will have that as a back up for the music and the primary data stored on the systems, so everything will have at least 2 copies right now anyway.  A couple of questions in closing. 

    Now that it is complete, and once I am able to link to and manage it via a home computer, any isues with me unplugging a  number of devices.  I am wondering if I could unplug the 2 DVD drives, floppy drive, and even remove the video card from the system.  Not hugely concerned about power consumption, but curious if I would see a signicant decrease in power by doing that.

    What is the default boot sequence of a PC.  I would like to get mine back to the original state.

    How many people run their WHS in a basement.  Could it get too cold for it down there?  (Chicago, IL)

    Finally, because I replaced te power supply just a few years ago, also, along with the CPU fan, the only original pieces of the system that I am counting on are the MB, memory, and proc.  Does that sound about right?  Wondering what my chances of a failure are if they have run like a champ for this long. (No way to know for sure, but informed opinions are worth consideration)

    Thanks.
    • Marked as answer by Tex-able Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:54 PM
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:53 PM

All replies

  • Tyring to build WHS from an older P4 system.  Wanted to have a larger capacity hard drive, so I purchased a new 1.5TB SATA drive.  Removed both older PATA hard drives from my system, even the cable from the board.  Installed a new SIIG serial ATA PCI card and connected the drive to the card.  My MB did not have a SATA connector, but my power supply did, as I had replaced it a few years back.  I was curious as to what would happen if I tried to load WHS right after making the modifications, and hoped that it would recognize the only hard drive automatically.  I was dissappointed that it did not.

    That's because there are no SATA drivers included in the image (due to the fact that the underlying OS, Server 2003, is 6 years old and SATA drives weren't widely used at the time).

    Anyon know if I am able to load WHS to this neww SATA Drive connected to a new PCI card, or do I need to keep one of my older drives in the system and add the SATA as a 2nd drive.  I would prefer to only have the new drive as it is brand new and probably not due to fail for a while, but my other drives are older and probably not much life left in them.

    You could always buy a new PATA drive (yes, they still make them  :)  ).

    When I tried to load, the WHS build process stated it could not locate a hard drive to load the OS, or something to that effect.  I managed to get into the BIOS on my system, but I am not sure what would need to be done.  I forgot to mention that when it could not find the hard drive, it asked if I would like to load a driver.  I was hopeful that it needed a driver for the SATA PCI card and tried using every driver that came on the CD wit the card, but noneo f those worked.  The card stated that it needed to be loaded by floppy for W2K3.  No floppy available.  Am I out of luck?
    You should be able to install the driver from a USB drive the first time the driver is needed (during the initial GUI portion of installation), but if none of the drivers worked, that won't help much.  (Plus you will almost definitely need a floppy drive the second time you need to install the driver, which is during the text portion, immediately after the first reboot.)

    In your case, I would recommend you use a PATA drive as your primary drive.  The other option would be to get the ports to be in IDE/Legacy mode, but since you're using a PCI card, you probably won't have that option.  (That's typically only available when the SATA ports are on the mobo.)
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 4:43 AM
    Moderator
  • PATA drives max out at like 5 or 6 hundred GB, and I was wanting more than that.

    I actually have a floppy drive on my P4 machine, I just do not have any floppy disks lying around.  Do they still sell those?

    So I guess I will need to find a floppy, copy the contents of the driver CD onto a floppy and hope that will allow me to complete the build.  OF course, I guess I will need to disconnect the new SATA drive, reinstall the older IDE drive and ribbon, and then boot, copy to floppy, power off, un-install the IDE again, re-install the SATA and boot to WHS insall cd again. 

    I guess I will first see if I can buy a floppy disk somewhere.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 4:50 AM
  • PATA drives max out at like 5 or 6 hundred GB, and I was wanting more than that.

    Max is 500 GB (and is what I am using for my primary drive).
    I actually have a floppy drive on my P4 machine, I just do not have any floppy disks lying around.  Do they still sell those?

    Good question.  You might try an antique shop.  :)

    So I guess I will need to find a floppy, copy the contents of the driver CD onto a floppy and hope that will allow me to complete the build.  OF course, I guess I will need to disconnect the new SATA drive, reinstall the older IDE drive and ribbon, and then boot, copy to floppy, power off, un-install the IDE again, re-install the SATA and boot to WHS insall cd again. 

    Why would you do all of that?  If you are going to use a SATA drive as your primary drive, just copy the necessary drivers to the floppy, then boot from the WHS DVD with the SATA drive attached and use the drivers from the floppy.  (Although I would still suggest you go with a PATA drive or get a mobo that has SATA ports built-in and has the ability to set the ports to IDE/Legacy mode.)

    I guess I will first see if I can buy a floppy disk somewhere.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:10 AM
    Moderator
  • So I guess I will need to find a floppy, copy the contents of the driver CD onto a floppy and hope that will allow me to complete the build.  OF course, I guess I will need to disconnect the new SATA drive, reinstall the older IDE drive and ribbon, and then boot, copy to floppy, power off, un-install the IDE again, re-install the SATA and boot to WHS insall cd again. 

    Why would you do all of that?  If you are going to use a SATA drive as your primary drive, just copy the necessary drivers to the floppy, then boot from the WHS DVD with the SATA drive attached and use the drivers from the floppy.  (Although I would still suggest you go with a PATA drive or get a mobo that has SATA ports built-in and has the ability to set the ports to IDE/Legacy mode.)

    My response-
    The only system that I can create the floppy disk with is the system I want to use as the WHS.  Can I copy files from a cd to a floppy on a system without an OS?  I outlined those steps, becuase basically, I will need to put my old system back together in order to boot to XP and make the floppy disk (provided I can find one).  Once I get the floppy created, then I will need to re-do the hardware configuration again and try to boot to the WHS DVD and load the driver via floppy.

    Cost and uncertainty would prevent me from getting a new mobo.  Not sure what else I would need to get new and then cost would be a factor.  So far, to do this, I have only spent $35 for the SATA PCI card and $10 for a new gig NIC. The hard drive would be purchased no matter what.  So for $45, I planned to create a WHS.   

    If I get a new mobo, I could probably use my same case and power supply.  RAM would need to be purchased, and I have no idea if I could get a new mobo and use the same processor or if I would need to get a new mobo+CPU combo.  Then, I would have to go thru a much more complex build process, which I have never done before.  Pretty much a noob to this stuff.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 3:42 PM
  • My response-
    The only system that I can create the floppy disk with is the system I want to use as the WHS.

    Unless you either A) pull the floppy drive out temporarily and connect to another PC or B) buy another floppy drive (I'd probably go with B if it was me).

    Can I copy files from a cd to a floppy on a system without an OS?

    No, but you can run some OSes strictly from a CD/DVD (although I don't believe it can be done with any Windows OS).  To the best of my knowledge, those are all Linux-based.

    I outlined those steps, becuase basically, I will need to put my old system back together in order to boot to XP and make the floppy disk (provided I can find one).  Once I get the floppy created, then I will need to re-do the hardware configuration again and try to boot to the WHS DVD and load the driver via floppy.

    The biggest problem I can see with that is what if it doesn't work the first time?  You'll have to back through all of those steps again.  At this point, since you have to go shopping for a floppy disk anyway, I would suggest you add a floppy drive to your shopping list as well, then connect it to another PC and do all of your prep work there.

    Cost and uncertainty would prevent me from getting a new mobo.  Not sure what else I would need to get new and then cost would be a factor.  So far, to do this, I have only spent $35 for the SATA PCI card and $10 for a new gig NIC. The hard drive would be purchased no matter what.  So for $45, I planned to create a WHS.   

    If I get a new mobo, I could probably use my same case and power supply.  RAM would need to be purchased, and I have no idea if I could get a new mobo and use the same processor or if I would need to get a new mobo+CPU combo.  Then, I would have to go thru a much more complex build process, which I have never done before.  Pretty much a noob to this stuff.


    Yes, you probably would need a new CPU as well to with the new mobo and new RAM.  However, FWIW, I would suggest that anyway.  Speaking from personal experience, I did the whole "scrounge-a-server-from-any-old-parts-I-can-find" concept during the WHS beta 2 years ago.  I had various issues with the product (partly due to the old hardware I was using, partly due to my curiosity of looking "under the covers" of the OS).  The point of my little anecdote is this: I learned the hard way to not trust all my most valuable data (i.e. irreplaceable photos and personal documents) to a server built out of old, used parts that had been lying around for who-knows-how-long.  (However, I was at least fortunate enough to have backups of everything due to the fact it was a beta product at the time.)  Obviously I have no idea how old the computer is you want to use for your server, but it might be worth considering starting with all new hardware anyway.  Just food for thought...
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Just to mark this closed, I wanted to thank you for your help.  I actually was able to complete the build as I had intended.  I was able to find some floppy's at the local office supply store.  $3 for a 10 pack.  I copied the driver onto the floppy, began the build, installed the driver at the appropriate time, and the build completed after a lot of fumbling with the sequencing.  I had messed around in the bios with the boot order and had to make some changes on the fly.  Like I said, pretty green with stuff like this and really could not repeat the build process if I tried, but somehow, I was smiled upon by someone and got the job done.  After getting WHS installed, I shut down the unit until I am able to read the setup material I can find online and deploy it properly.  Thanks for the help.  I was able to build a WHS from my 2.4 P4 with 512 of Ram by only purchasing a SATA PCI contoller for $35 and a GIG NIC for $10.  Got a 1.5TB drive for $80.  $125 total to have a home server that I can share media and back up my home systems to.  Eventually since I have a dual port SATA card I will add an aditional drive for the folder duplication features, but want to make sure I get the system up and running properly first.  I only have about 500-600 GB's of data, and half of that is music stored on a portable hard drive, so I will have that as a back up for the music and the primary data stored on the systems, so everything will have at least 2 copies right now anyway.  A couple of questions in closing. 

    Now that it is complete, and once I am able to link to and manage it via a home computer, any isues with me unplugging a  number of devices.  I am wondering if I could unplug the 2 DVD drives, floppy drive, and even remove the video card from the system.  Not hugely concerned about power consumption, but curious if I would see a signicant decrease in power by doing that.

    What is the default boot sequence of a PC.  I would like to get mine back to the original state.

    How many people run their WHS in a basement.  Could it get too cold for it down there?  (Chicago, IL)

    Finally, because I replaced te power supply just a few years ago, also, along with the CPU fan, the only original pieces of the system that I am counting on are the MB, memory, and proc.  Does that sound about right?  Wondering what my chances of a failure are if they have run like a champ for this long. (No way to know for sure, but informed opinions are worth consideration)

    Thanks.
    • Marked as answer by Tex-able Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:54 PM
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:53 PM
  • A cool basement is a great place for a remote machine like a WHS box. I have mine in aa area under my stairs on a small platform in case of standing water. I doubt my location gets below around 50 f. As to hardware longevity its a roll of the dice. Some motherboards last forever and some die in 3-5 years. I have an old HP p4-2.8 that still runs as good it did on day one.
    Friday, October 16, 2009 11:08 PM