how to make a server

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Craig Aguiar, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Craig Aguiar

    Craig Aguiar Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey all. I just bought a new computer which is the main unit for the house. I thought I'ld put the old one in the basement and use it to store all of my recorded TV programs and music.

    The computer intended to be the storage device is a Pentium II 300mhz, 512megs of ram and a hard drive(s) to be named later. I thought I'ld start with a 250 or 300 gig HD.

    On my main computer (located in my office) I'm using XP Pro, Snapstream Beyond TV 4 for PVR and I-tunes for music. My Sat receiver is connected to the video card on this computer and Beyond TV controls it via a USB-UIRT. The plan is to get a couple of those D-Link media extenders to attach to the two home theaters I have in the house. The house has a hard wired network with access every where I need it.

    Is it as simple as installing the new HD in the old computer, load the opperating system (XP PRO), and attach to the network? Do I need to have My PVR software on this machine as well. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Craig
     
  2. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    You'd better check first if that old Pentium II computer can even handle a 300 gig hard drive. The manufacturer may have stopped updating the BIOS years ago, which could prevent you from installing ANY large hard drive in the system.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    That's a very good point about the HD. If it doesn't support it, I think it should support up to about 120GB.

    Assuming everything works out with the HD, you should be able to just load the OS and setup filesharing permissions. You might also consider buying two (or more) HD's and a RAID controller and setting up a RAID-1 or RAID-5 array if this is going to be your main storage area. This will reduce the chances of data loss.

    Another thing to consider if you're going to be moving lots of large files is moving to gigabit ethernet. This would require a new wired routher and a new ethernet card for the older computer . . . the newer computer will likely already have it.
     
  4. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    Could he just partition it?
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Chances are that old Pentium II PC will not be fast enough to fill a gigabit ethernet pipe. The bottleneck will probably be elsewhere within the setup.
     
  6. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    For what purpose? RAID of any type requires multiple hard drives. Redundant Array of Independend (or inexpensive) Disks"

    I have my doubts whether the bios in a PII motherboard will support even a 120Gb Hard Drive without an overlay utility. I would find out the exact model and bios version of the motherboard and do some research before you buy.

    Scott has a good point about the gigabit. This machine might do just fine for simple file sharing...Word, Excel, etc. but it's going to be problematic with large media files. And if any files on this machines are ones you can't afford (or would be extremely put out) to lose, then it needs to have redundancy of some sort...either in the form of RAID or an external hard drive to backup. A tape drive to hold that capacity would be overkill, not to mention expensive.
     
  7. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    He just wants it as storage and has said nothing about a RAID. I have a similar setup here and I just transfered a 350MB file in about 7 minutes, regular LAN not gigabit. That is a long time for transfer. I then played the video file back through the network without a hiccup. There are about 7 computers here all using the network at the same time too. Maybe use the server as a backup, leaving the video and audio on your main PC.

    I do agree about checking to see just how big a drive that board supports.
     
  8. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The real issue is whether it saturates a 100Mbps pipe. There's a good chance it could, so you upgrade to gigabit, and maybe cut the transfer times in half.
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I was consdiering building a similar box for that purpose but really for what I need its easier to buy a NAS shell like the Thecus N2100 or add a Linksys NSLU2 and just plug in an external USB harddrive (or in your case buy a USB shell and drop the hard drive in that) The N2100 has iTunes built in as well as RAID if you want to go down that path. The Linksys unit can be hacked to run iTunes as well but it requires flashing a new firmware and interfacing with it via Telnet.
     
  10. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    add an ide controller card that works usually as does partitioning the drive.
     
  11. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    One easy way to do it would be to get an USB2 card, add that to the machine and then you can add drives externally with no fuss at all - just plug in another when you need more space. You could also transfer files to the machine via a high tech solution called a Sneakernet... ie, you pick up the drive and walk it from point A to point B and transfer files directly over an USB2 connection. [​IMG]

    There are many ways to solve this problem, it hinges mostly on what you want to do and how much you want to pay.

    The high-tech solution would be getting a nice SATA RAID card from 3ware.com for instance, then connecting three or more harddrives to that and creating a RAID5 array. You lose one drives worth of space, but on the other hand any one of the three drives can fail without you losing any data at all.
     

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