locked
Using an Older PC to Run WHS 2011, Questions RRS feed

  • Question

  •  I know somebody is going to say "Don't use old hardware", But my options are limited and so is my budget. I will be using a off-lease Dell Optiplex GX520 SSF (Small Form Factor). I haven't bought it yet, but at $50 I can't complain. Its likely to have a 64-bit P4 Prescott in it or a Pentium D. Anyway I have to upgrade it from 1GB to 2GB of memory to run WHS2011, otherwise it should be fine.

    The drive I am going to use is a brand new Hitachi 2TB 5900rpm "Green" Drive as WHS 2011 needs a min 160GB drive and I don't have one. Since there's no DE, I'll have to purchase a second drive to get mirroring, that will happen in the next few weeks.

     What I wanted to know is, I have Recorded TV folders spread between five hard drives. Do I move each folder into the Recorded TV folder created on the Server which is also the Recorded TV archive? This will not create different folders for all the shows will it?

     I also have about a TB of video (movies, anime, racing, p0rn, etc) spread between three drives. I will be using Media Browser again on the HTPC, so would putting all the videos in the Video folder on the server? To have the various databases pick them up, they need to have their own folders and naming structure. I guess I'm in for some long hours putting stuff on this thing.

    The only problem I see is doing this over wireless G, which isn't all that fast. Does anybody have any suggestions of having files transfer faster? I'm using a 2 Wire 3800 U-Verse Router/Gateway for Internet which has 10/100 Ethernet ports on, while my HTPC and Laptop are both Gigabit. Some I could transfer via USB 2.0 since three of the drives are external and connect them directly to the server.

    The rest I'll have to deal with the slow transfer rates until I can afford to upgrade the network to Wireless N.

     Thanks

     

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:24 AM

All replies

  • WHS 2011 should run fine on most older hardware as long as it supports 64bit and has 4GB ram.  If you go with 2GB ram you might see excessive page file swaping.  Also, make sure you have enough disk ports.  I would suggest a minimum of 4 with 6 or eight better depending on your intended use of the server.  Servers are intended to store/serve lots of files.
    Friday, July 29, 2011 1:20 AM
  • You could also consider using WHS v1.  Still a great product that is simpler to configure and manage than WHS 2011, and it works better on older hardware.  Backups and restores are faster as well.  (WHS 2011 does have improved media streaming and sharing.)

    Friday, July 29, 2011 2:51 PM
  • WHS 2011 should run fine on most older hardware as long as it supports 64bit and has 4GB ram.  If you go with 2GB ram you might see excessive page file swaping.  Also, make sure you have enough disk ports.  I would suggest a minimum of 4 with 6 or eight better depending on your intended use of the server.  Servers are intended to store/serve lots of files.

     Ordered and is on its way to be delivered is 2GB@533hz (PC4200). Its what I could afford and is the min. I know it would likely work better with more, but that's how it stands currently. This is a SFF (Small Form Factor) GX520, there is only space for ONE drive (with a drive mounting bracket) and one SATA port.

     The intended use is basically to store my media files (music, downloaded/ripped video and Recorded TV files), do task usually done by regular client (torrent downloading and usenet) and keep a backup of the clients in the house (1 laptop, 2 desktops) in case of crash and I believe keep the meta data of the files stored on the server for Media Browser.

     I have over 1.5TB of video and audio files, not many documents, about 8GB of Game ROM's and ISO's that will be used with the Game Browser plug-in for Media Browser. Those I may keep locally because for one that collection will grow and its for NES, SNES, Arcade and Playstation Emulation and its all downloadable or can be ripped again in short order, not volatile.

    Volatile but not very big files would be the Family Tree my mother has been working on for over a decade and Turbo Tax Returns.

     For now 2TB will have to do obviously, a larger 12TB (3TBx4) Mini ITX Server will be built later this year when budget allows. For now bought this 2TB drive to put in my HTPC, but thought it might be better to use it for a small server. It was a minor investment to make a server ($50 for the PC, $30 for the memory, $60 for the drive and $60 for the WHS 2011 software) so why not?

     

     

    Friday, July 29, 2011 9:09 PM
  •  I am 99% sure according to information from Dell and the fact this is a later P4 (I think 3.2Ghz) Prescott and is EMT64 (64-bit). I picked 2GB because its what I could afford with my limited budget which was $15 a stick of 1GB so I purchased two. WHS 2011 was $60, so total with Prime free shipping $90. That was more than 50% of the budget. It left just enough for the purchase of the GX520 for $50, a USB Keyboard ($10) because I didn't have one and there no PS2 ports on this PC. The keyboard will likely go back because while it might be usable for IT work in the future, its too big to carry around and I have a wireless desktop already.

    I heard transfer and accessing files were faster on WHS 2011 than WHS v1 because the higher hardware requirements.

     

    Friday, July 29, 2011 9:20 PM
  •  Okay I got GX280 Mini Tower instead, installed 2GB 533Hz and it works fine. Installed 2011 WHS without issue. Remote Desktop won't work right?

     If that's the case, how on earth do you move files from my client PC's. I have Recorded TV Files on my HTPC, I have downloaded content on my laptop and HTPC, I have music I want to move from a portable 250GB drive. I just spent several hours trying to Port Forward the various ports you need to use Remote Desktop.

     Do I use Home Groups or what? 

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 9:03 AM
  • Moving files: Your server has shares. Copy the files from the clients to the shares.

    Remote desktop: while not supported, and not recommended for remote server access due to security considerations, you can connect locally without any port forwarding. When you connect, if you're asked about credentials, choose to use another account, then log in using the administrator account and the password you set for the dashboard.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 10:34 AM
  •  Okay I started to do that. Over Wireless G its SLOW (1.7-1.4Mbps) vs USB 2.0 transfer (20-25Mbps)

     75GB over USB 2.0 (20 mins)

     96GB over Wireless G (full signal) = (14 hours!)

     At this point I would be happy with USB 2.0 speeds over WiFi, upgrade is coming.

     I was able to log onto the server when wouldn't see the shared folders on my laptop, now its connected, its all good.

     The HTPC is now the problem child, it doesn't see the server. I could put in the IP Address or the Server name and it would see it. But say it can't connect to it because the server is down (not true) or my client needs a reboot. I did that already, there were some flags from Action Center, right now I'm moving files and don't want to stop that process, so it will have to wait until a bit later today.

     I moved about 150GB of Recorded TV files into Recorded TV Folder on the Server. How come it doesn't show up in Recorded TV or TV Archive on the laptop? I thought it would see them one way or the other.

     Another question,  TV Archive if set to save all to server, any recent recordings will be moved automatically right? I assume this sort of a "watched folder" thing right and if I moved previous recorded files into the main Recorded TV folder on the HTPC, they should be moved to the server automatically right? Does this happen when the server is set to back up the client?

    Just getting the kinks ironed out. Remote Desktop isn't all that important though I would like to keep stuff off the laptop, especially if I switch it to smallish SSD (96GB-128GB) and the HTPC when I disconnect the externals and sell them as originally planned.

     

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 5:18 PM
  •  Seems I've having the old Computer Connector won't install because it says it has one in progress (not true) or I have pending reboot (rebooted 6 times already). The computer name of my media center pc had a (-) in it so I took it out and made it one word "MediaCenterPC". OH but it get better, after that the old PC name shows up under Network. It doesn't show up on the router, or the server or the laptop, just the desktop/htpc. While the renamed computer shows up and my previous share folders appear the old name says I need to log into it (Remote Desktop). None of my passwords work BTW, not sure that's causing that.

     Not sure what to do next, I can post logs but I doubt that would help.

     I will eventually do a repair install of my Media Center PC because of other reasons. I really didn't want to do that yet. The Connector works on all the other clients so I know its something screwy.

     

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:00 AM
  • Not sure what you mean by old computer connector....hopefully not the connector from WHS v1.  Access the WHS2011 connector by clicking on your server name under other devices in your network display. 

    If you have any older Logitec webcam software installed uninstall it (all of it...drivers, vid, etc.), reboot, and retry the connector installation. I had the connector install failure problem on a couple of my machines (I have 9 pcs connected to the server) and that was the problem as identified in another forum thread.  You should be able to reinstall the webcam software after the connector intallation is completed.

    In your advanced sharing settings area of the network and sharing center be sure that network discovery is on, file and printer sharing is on, password protected sharing is on for all your networked PCs,  Also each PC must have the same username and password for that user to have access to all.

     

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 9:39 AM
  • Try this for the Pending Reeboot:

    1. Open Regedit
    2. Find the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager"
    3. Rename the "PendingFileRenameOperations" value to "PendingFileRenameOperations2"


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 11:57 AM
  • Its a good thing you got the gx280 as the 520 takes ddr2, not ddr.

    As for the file transfers, I had a local used hardware place change a long network cable over into a crossover cable and direct connected my various machines for faster throughput. They charged me $5 total. (Nice place)

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 2:43 PM
  •  As in the Old Connector FAQ of why it won't install, won't work, whatever the problem is (more than a few threads about it). I didn't think I needed to add a modifier. I thought I established I am using WHS 2011, have no experience with or have used WHS v1 before.

     I'll check all you have mentioned but I believe its the same settings as the laptop and the laptop had no issue with installing the connector. I did have to install some updates and reboot, but once that was done the connector installed, TV Archive shows up in Media Center, all is well but for Shared Folders, server is slow to bring up the Server Settings Window.

     My HTPC is still complaining that it can't find the Server. "Your Server Cannot Be Located" "Enter Server Name or IP Address"

     All my sharing settings are correct, the same as the laptop. I didn't have to enter the Server Name or IP Address with either of the other clients.

     

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:10 PM
  • Try this for the Pending Reeboot:

    1. Open Regedit
    2. Find the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager"
    3. Rename the "PendingFileRenameOperations" value to "PendingFileRenameOperations2"


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

     I didn't find this folder. I had planned on doing a repair install of Windows anyway because Media Browser got messed up when I tired to make a small SSD from my RAM and load the metadata and images. Forgot when you did that you need to set it to reload or all the links would be messed up and sure enough, Media Browser doesn't work like it should anymore and anyway I need to centralize all my media to make it easier to deal with, which is why I built the server. :)

     We'll see if that works.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 7:36 PM
  • Its a good thing you got the gx280 as the 520 takes ddr2, not ddr.

    As for the file transfers, I had a local used hardware place change a long network cable over into a crossover cable and direct connected my various machines for faster throughput. They charged me $5 total. (Nice place)

     According to Dell's web site the Optiplex GX520 is EMT64, but I couldn't get it to boot, video output wasn't working. I can make my own crossover cables :) and cable is cheap I just lack the tools. I studied A+ and have been broke or should I say what little money I have been earning I have spent it on upgrading my machines, built the server (I originally wanted a Acer EasyShare WHS v1 Server for $250 but missed out on that deal) and now looking to upgrade the network to Wireless N (300-400Mbps).

    I can actually just keep moving around files to my various external drives and transfer them that way for now.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 7:46 PM
  •  The frustration IS OVER!

     I attempted a repair install of W7 on my HTPC. Umm, well when it restarted I forgot I had a bootable USB still connected and basically the install came to a halt. So I rebooted and it went back to Windows like nothing happen. Well just to be curious, I tried to install the Connector again. Well, it installed NET 4.0, then the Connector and then I was asked for the Server's password and BAM! it finished and its done!

     Hallelujah!

     I decided to try rebooting the Laptop one more time and Hallelujah, I can move files to the Shared Folders and I'm logged into the Server. Woo Hoo!

     Now that all my clients are connected to the server, I need to tackle Remote Access. I will updated that when I have success.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011 8:06 PM
  • Grats!

    How are you making out with Remote Access?

    Sunday, August 28, 2011 10:21 PM