Min hardware checks ? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there,

    I have been having a look at Windows Home server and think it looks a very interesting product to use for home storage. I had been looking at a home NAS type device for a while and not found anything that ticked all the boxes.

    Before I go and spend a few hundred pounds on a custom built Tranquil PC, I'd like to try it out.

    I have a old Compaq iPaq and a trial WHS DVD.

    When I try to install, it first failed saying that it needed a min 512Mb mem (I only had 256Mb). I have ordered more memory for the machine.

    But I thought I should check before going on exactly what the WHS installer checks for and enforces before the install ?

    The machine has a 733mhz processor, I know the min spec. is 1Ghz, but will it stop the installer ?

    Just want to try this out before I go and spend money on a fully built one.

    Friday, October 19, 2007 12:36 PM

All replies

  • Blimey - when you said old, you were not kidding!


    Im not sure if the installation will stop, but certainly its not going to be as fast!


    You would actually be better trying WHS using Virtual PC or VMWare, depending obviously on what you actually want to try.


    From a cost perspective, buying a Tranquil PC would be a good idea if you dony have the hardware or software, not to mention the support you will get!



    Friday, October 19, 2007 2:00 PM
  • I think I'm really asking if it would stop the install based upon the slow processor, I'm happy that I won't work great on it. As I said, I only want to see what it's like before going and putting down real money for a Tranquil one.

    Friday, October 19, 2007 2:14 PM
  • Keep trying!


    I had a PIII 450MHz with 256 MB / 20GB drive. Like you I wondered...


    I upgraded the BIOS, bought 256 MB memory + a 80GB HDD (£40 in all) - and hey presto WHS runs>


    Fast enought for me! (also have installed an old 60GB drive = 140GB total)


    Been going a month now.....



    Friday, October 19, 2007 2:59 PM
  • I agree with Mel - give it a try. The installation process will stop pretty quickly if it hits a snag.




    Friday, October 19, 2007 3:12 PM
  • One thing to keep in mind is that basically WHS is a file server.  File servers don't need a lot of processor or memory power.  I know plenty of companies out there who are still running their file servers on Pentium III machines because they work and there is no need to fool with something that works!


    Your biggest concern is disk I/O.  I'm sure with a machine that old you are probably using a rather slow version of the IDE interface (ATA-66?) and as such that is where you will notice the slowdown, especially if you have a lot of disk activity such as media being written to or accessed a lot.  Another area you might run into is that machine may not have enough expansion choices to add storage as your system grows.


    However, if you are just "trying it out" then this will work just fine for that purpose -- once you get the memory up to 512MB.


    For a "permanent" solution a machine with 512MB of memory, a low-end Pentium IV processor and (preferrably) at least 4 SATA connectors and plenty of USB 2.0 ports would be ideal.  You could clobber together a machine with these specs for less than $250 from vendors here in America such as Newegg.


    Friday, October 19, 2007 3:56 PM
  • I also bought a PCI USB2 card to up the HDD capacity later - seems OK but not added the 350GB HDD usb drive into the WHS scope yet.



    Friday, October 19, 2007 4:20 PM
  • Ok, looks like I'll just get that extra memory and I'll be sorted.

    I really only want to boot it up and have a play with it to see what it's like, so I'm not bothered about how good the machine is or anything. If it's as good as it looks, then I'll just go and buy one of the Tranquil boxes.

    Friday, October 19, 2007 4:31 PM
  • Roy, the only hardware specs that I know are checked are the memory (because the version of WinPE that's used during setup can't run in 256 MiB) and the disk size; you need at least one drive of 80+ GiB. You don't even have to have a NIC installed, silly though that seems. Smile
    Friday, October 19, 2007 8:13 PM
  • Rory -

    The iPaq you have, it is one of the 'all-in-one' internet appliances, with the slim DVD drive? If so, you're going to have a problem with large hard drives that are connected via the IDE or USB. This motherboard does not have large drive support, so it won't able to able to see anything over 137GB. I have one of these sitting in the closet, and would have loved to have been able to use it.

    However, I'm using an 800Mhz VIA processor with 1GB of RAM as my WHS, and it's working well. It does choke the CPU every once in a while when I've got multiple things going, but as a file sharing/backup server, it works perfectly.
    Friday, October 19, 2007 8:23 PM
  • what about a pci card?

    Friday, October 19, 2007 10:56 PM
  • Hi Mel,

    You could use a pci ide card. that would get you up to ATA 100 or 133 SPEED AND ALSO AROUND THE 137 GB LIMIT. Also check to see if you can flash the bios on your MB to a newer ver.



    Saturday, October 20, 2007 12:34 AM
  • Yes - I have flashed the BIOS to get over a 20GB limit (!) and installed a USB2 PCI card (not an IDE one though - that's an idea.)




    Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:43 AM