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WHS on the new MSI Wind ? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Do you think it would work here are the specs
    Processor
    - Intel® AtomTM processor 1.6 GHz on-board (TDP Max 4 W)
    FSB
    - CMOS, 533 MHz, 32-bit address
    Chipset
    - North Bridge: Intel® 945GC chipset
    - South Bridge: Intel® ICH7 chipset
    Memory
    - DDR2 400/ 533 SDRAM (200-Pin/ 1.8 V)
    - 1 DDR2 SO-DIMM slot (2 GB Max) (Non-ECC)
    LAN
    - Supports Gigabit Ethernet Controller for PCI ExpressTM Applications
    by Realtek® RTL8111C
    - Supports ACPI Power Management
    - Compliant with PCI 2.2
    Audio
    - Chip integrated by Realtek® ALC888
    - Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
    - Compliant with Azalia 1.0 spec and Microsoft® Windows® Vista
    Premium spec
    SATA
    - 2 SATAII ports by Intel® ICH7, support two SATA devices
    - Supports storage and data transfers up to 3 Gb/s
    On-Board Slot
    - 1 mini-PCI express slot (for WiFi card or TV tuner card)
    - 1 CF card slot (for CF card)
    Product page
    http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=Wind_PC&class=npc
    Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:17 AM

All replies

  • Hi Adrian,

    this machine may be a good desktop for Office applications, but not a server.

    The spec are ok to get WHS to work on the system, if you can get the drivers running on Windows Server 2003.

    But I would not use that system for a server, since it lacks what is most needed:

    The ability to extend the mass storage.

    Only one slot for a 3.5" drive, 2 SATA ports. This contradicts the possibility to extend the storage by more drives and to use one of the core features - folder duplication.

    Sure, you could use external disks, but these take up space, need own power supplies, are easier to damage and therefore will be able to cause more trouble, than a bunch of internal disks.

    Best greetings from Germany

    Olaf

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 6:41 AM
    Moderator
  • While the Intel Atom platform looks like an excellent one for a Windows Home Server device, and I beleive there are at least a couple of manufacturers that are pursuing that route, the Wind is poorly suited for a home server. Cooling isn't great (though not as much of an issue with a low power system like that as with a Core 2 system), and there isn't much expandability for storage: both SATA II ports on the motherboard are in use, which leave only external drives connected by USB.
    Thursday, August 21, 2008 11:31 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    I just ordered a MSI Wind for building a WHS "Backup Server" for a friend. There's two XP Pro PCs in the house with less than 100GB total system/data files total. I'm tossing in a used 320 GB drive, which should be plenty for backups for the next couple of years. As long as I don't have problems finding drive controller drivers, I think this will be a very good choice for her. It uses little power, is tiny, and ultra-quiet.

     

    Sure, if you need a file server to hold millions of .MP3 or video files, then drive expandability (and the ability to enable data redundancy) is important. But lots of folks don't have a lot of data, are horrible about making and managing backups, and could use something that burns so little power.

     

    Myron Johnson

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 8:56 PM
  • @Myron Johnson, have you built your WHS on the Wind yet? I should get mine late next week, and have a 500GB drive and 512Mb RAM. Be good to hear of any issues you had. Once mine is complete I will post on my blog.
    sticky
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 8:10 PM
  • I just finished installing WHS (RTM) on my new MSI Wind box, along with a used Seagate 320 GB SATA drive and a new LG SATA DVD-RW drive and a Cruicial 1 GB 533 MHz module.

    Installation of the hardware was easy. The MSI BIOS found both the hard drive and DVD drive. It booted directly to the LG DVD drive. Since WHS seemed to find the Seagate SATA hard drive, I didn't bother with any SATA drivers and they weren't needed. I'm guessing the MSI Wind sets up the SATA drives in IDE emulation mode.

    WHS installation took about an hour. After I signed in and gave it an Administrator password, I looked at Device Manager and found that three drivers were missing: SMBus, Audio, and Network.

    I used the included MSI Wind driver disk to first install the Intel System Chipset drivers, which went fine and didn't require a reboot. In fact I didn't have to reboot the WHS for ANY driver additions.

    Then I did a manual "Update" of the driver for the Realtek Gigabit NIC, which went fine. Finally, I went ahead and updated the Realtek Audio HD Chipset drivers, although I really don't need them for my application (backups only).

    When all was done and the machine rebooted, the Setuperr.log file in c:\Windows reported two files weren't signed by Microsoft and that Windows wouldn't replace them. These were c:\windows\system32\dpcdll.dll and pidgen.dll.

    The System and Application Event Logs were clean, the sound works, and the NIC works. I've now updated (using Microsoft Update) to PP1 and all other recommended Windows and Microsoft updates and I'm making a test backup of  spare laptop.

    While backing up, I can JUST feel some heat over the hard drive area of the case and feel a SLIGHT warmth to the exhaust fan air. The Server is whisper quiet.

    So far, so good. Total cost (including a new WD 640 GB drive that I purchased but used elsewhere) was about US$400. It'd be nice if I could buy a case like HP uses with slide-in four-drive capacity, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards quite yet.

    Myron Johnson
    • Edited by Myron Johnson Friday, September 5, 2008 4:01 AM Added comments on heat and noise.
    Friday, September 5, 2008 2:38 AM
  • Cheers for that install description. I think maybe I'll skip installing the 120day trial and just go straight to the retail version as you've had no hardware issues.

    Have you considered removing the optical drive and placing a HD in the 5.25 bay?

    So far the hardware has cost me £90 (MSI) + £4 (512Mb) + £20 (500GB HD), Windows Home server will cost me about £90, nearly as much as the hardware!



    sticky
    Friday, September 5, 2008 7:13 AM
  • a[dbs]sticky said:

    Have you considered removing the optical drive and placing a HD in the 5.25 bay?


    sticky


    Yeah, I thought about that. I think you could get away with it if you don't mind a bit of a mess if you ever need to re-install WHS. As long as you keep external backups of any important files on the WHS (which I definitely would recomend) then you could always just pull the second drive, install the DVD, and just rebuild the WHS.

    The other issue might be heat. The Wind wasn't designed to hold two hard drives. The only ventilation is the power supply exhaust itself. It'd probably be OK, but the case would obviously run hotter.

    But if you really want two or three hard drives, it'd probably be safer to get a mini-ATX case w/200 Watt PS and the new Intel Atom mini-ITX motherboard. The Intel board has an IDE connector as well as two SATA connectors, and there are several suitable mini-ATX cases with two or three hard drive bays that are still fairly small. 

    I don't know what the power consumption would be versus the MSI Wind. I'm thinking of buying a "Kill A Watt" device along with the Intel motherboard and trying out that approach, too.
    Friday, September 5, 2008 8:00 AM
  • I can live with a single HD for now, although it's best to have 2 in the WHS. As long as it's less power, and quieter than my current solution I'll be happy.
    sticky
    Friday, September 5, 2008 10:05 AM
  • I've been looking at the Atom processors. I'm curious how performance is on the box, are you running any music or streaming any dvd's from the box?
    Josh
    Monday, September 8, 2008 4:45 PM
  •  I took some power measurements on the MSI Wind WHS I built. With a 320 GB drive, it's drawing 30 Watts at idle (measured with a Kill-a-Watt).

    In comparison, a second WHS I build on an Antec mid-tower case, 350 Watt Antec power supply, and a Core2Duo processor on a MicroATX ASROCK motherboad is drawing twice that, 56 Watts, at idle, and four more Watts during backups. 
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 8:57 AM
  • My Wind Desktop arrived a few days ago, unfortunately it does not even POST. My assumption is that the 2nd hand  memory I bought is not compatible, hopefully new memory will solove the problem, if not then I'm stuck, a friend (who's living in the US) bought this for my, so if it's not working it'll be a pain to send back as I'm in the UK.

    I don't even get as far as the BIOS screen, just fan noise. I didn't have a keyboard connected, but this should not have stopped it POSTing. Even with dodgy memory I would have still expected some error beeps.

    Any ideas?



    sticky
    • Edited by [dbs]sticky Sunday, September 14, 2008 9:40 AM
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 9:40 AM
  • I finally got around to posting on my blog about my WHS built on the Wind Desktop. It's only an initial post about the cost and the power usage.

    Link to blog post.

    sticky
    Saturday, October 18, 2008 6:58 PM
  • WARNING: Minor Thread Derail.

    I am curious about people's experience with the Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit chipset. I just put into service an Asus and AMD motherboard based WHS machine and, for some reason, the Realtek RTL8111C motherboard-based NIC was throttled down to 100mbit service.

    Yes, a current WinServer 2003-friendly Realtek driver was installed as the first step once the WHS installation process completed as WHS did not suppor the NIC out-of-the-box. Upon installation and prior to the Windows Update process running, the NIC was connecting with a local switch at a 1gbit rate of speed. At some point during the Windows updating process or just after, the NIC dropped its connection to 100mbit and hasn't changed since. The machine has been rebooted and the Device Manager reports no problems. WHS reports that it is fully up-to-date.

    The only thing that I can think of that went awry is maybe WHS determined that the rest of my LAN, outside of the local switch to which it is connected, operates at 100mbit and WHS throttled the network connection down. All LAN speed settings are on auto.

    Unfortunately, the heaviest data transfer work is intended to take place via that local gigabit switch and at gigabit network speeds.

    Thoughts? And if this post should be elsewhere, please let me know.

    Machine Spec for the curious:
    Case: Antec Mini P180
    Mobo: Asus M3A78-EM
    CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e
    Heatsink: Scythe Ninja Mini (passive :) )
    RAM: Kingston DDR2 800 (1GB x2)
    PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W
    Optical: Lite-on generic spec'd drive
    Drive(s): Seagate ES-class 500GB (x2)
    Monday, December 1, 2008 10:50 PM
  • Charles Buck said:

    WARNING: Minor Thread Derail.

    I am curious about people's experience with the Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit chipset. I just put into service an Asus and AMD motherboard based WHS machine and, for some reason, the Realtek RTL8111C motherboard-based NIC was throttled down to 100mbit service.

    Yes, a current WinServer 2003-friendly Realtek driver was installed as the first step once the WHS installation process completed as WHS did not suppor the NIC out-of-the-box. Upon installation and prior to the Windows Update process running, the NIC was connecting with a local switch at a 1gbit rate of speed. At some point during the Windows updating process or just after, the NIC dropped its connection to 100mbit and hasn't changed since. The machine has been rebooted and the Device Manager reports no problems. WHS reports that it is fully up-to-date.


    I had a PCI Realtek RTL8111C-chipset NIC that was only showing as 100 Mbps on my server. All my other NICs were showing as 1 Gbps. I found that the other end of my network cable was missing its retaining clip and the cable had slid outwards a bit. Because of the poor connection, the NIC throttled itself down to 100 Mbps. A new cable fixed it.
    Friday, February 20, 2009 8:33 PM