Mfusick's New HTPC Build !!! (Pictures included) - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I would be interested in seeing it.

I always thought HDD's take about 15-25 watts each.

If I used 20watts- that is about 300watts just in my drives.

Each video card has dual power to it- No sure how much exactly they take- Then I had a crap load of fans, a few external USB3.0 drives- and I wanted room to grow into it.

I also get electricity at .055 per killowatt- and I have never been much of conservationist at anything in my life.

I felt better overpaying for electricity from lack of efficiency than having to find out the hard way I needed a PSU upgrade.

I actually got a 1000watt- but ended up getting the 1300 for even cheaper. If it was not that the case- I would have eneded up with smaller

Please do post the link if you see it.


Anyone know a good PSU calculator?

I probably should have done that before I built. lol. I would be interested in educational purposes to take a look see anyways. Post a good link if anyone has one.

I have a good PSU calculator linked in my FAQ.

I will try to find that article for you. Its an interesting read and very relevant for HTPC servers.
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post #122 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I have a good PSU calculator linked in my FAQ.

I will try to find that article for you. Its an interesting read and very relevant for HTPC servers.

That is my next step. I want to build a dedicated server.

I just can't decide how to do it.

Thinking of starting with 4 drives- and adding a drive every month or so...

Got advice?

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post #123 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 08:46 AM
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Check this out. Its a small stand alone app made by a very respected power supply guy over at overclock.net

I just plugged in your rig. And it recommends a 600w psu. THis guy knows his stuff.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1140534/p...-final-release
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post #124 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 09:16 AM
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Here is a link to the thread where we discussed a very similar scenario: LINK Also, I reference the article written by the PSU Editor at Overclock.net regarding his opinion on amps vs watts for PSUs.

Also I might add that it is an excellent example of an AVS thread where different viewpoints were discussed very professionally and everyone walked away having learned something. I know I learned something.
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post #125 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 10:08 AM
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^^Nice thats from the same guy Phaedrus.
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post #126 of 180 Old 02-20-2012, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Check this out. Its a small stand alone app made by a very respected power supply guy over at overclock.net

I just plugged in your rig. And it recommends a 600w psu. THis guy knows his stuff.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1140534/p...-final-release

Cool link.


Thanks.

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post #127 of 180 Old 02-26-2012, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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SO my second COMSOS II case arrive and was also damaged in the same area.

I am thinking since this is such a new case and new release coolemaster does not have the packaging perfected yet for such a heavy case.

THIS CASE WEIGHS 60 POUNDS!

SO...

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post #128 of 180 Old 02-26-2012, 07:50 PM
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Don't listen to Mfusick... He's lying!

THERE IS NO NORSICAN, THERE IS ONLY ZUUL
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post #129 of 180 Old 02-26-2012, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

SO my second COMSOS II case arrive and was also damaged in the same area.

I am thinking since this is such a new case and new release coolemaster does not have the packaging perfected yet for such a heavy case.

THIS CASE WEIGHS 60 POUNDS!

SO...

60 pounds????????????Empty. Thats ridic.

Ugly and overweight. Why are people buying that thing?
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post #130 of 180 Old 02-26-2012, 08:43 PM
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You need to see if the shipper will double box that thing for you.
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post #131 of 180 Old 02-27-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You need to see if the shipper will double box that thing for you.

Yup, I bought it from TigerDirect because Newegg wanted shipping charge at the time.

They were cool about exchanging it but swapping cases it a major pain in the butt. It's like almost a full days work if I want to do it right.

Sucks.

At least I enjoy this stuff.

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post #132 of 180 Old 02-28-2012, 07:16 AM
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Great build! I have 8TB (7HDD's) HD movies lying around. I definitely need this set up to house all my hard drives, but still reading up more on HTPC (3D and HD audio bitstream stuff). Is there any case that have individual power control to each Hard drive bay with hot swap? I would not want to have all my hard drive active when watching a movies. I prefer to have them completely off if I don't need them to reduce heat/noise and prolong their life. Thanks
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post #133 of 180 Old 02-28-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzb416 View Post

Great build! I have 8TB (7HDD's) HD movies lying around. I definitely need this set up to house all my hard drives, but still reading up more on HTPC (3D and HD audio bitstream stuff). Is there any case that have individual power control to each Hard drive bay with hot swap? I would not want to have all my hard drive active when watching a movies. I prefer to have them completely off if I don't need them to reduce heat/noise and prolong their life. Thanks

Most drives are idle unless working.

Turning on and off the power or installing and uninstalling the drive will burn it out faster and lessen it's life more than just installing it and using it normally.

It's like an engine. Most of the wear and tear is in the first seconds of start up.


Adding and subtracting power to a drive will likely burn out the electronics and boards/circuits faster than the actual drive will die from spinning.

Your idea is flawed.

I saw this proven a few times in forums like these.


Consider just installing your drives and being done. They won't spin or be used if you have them turned off in the OS- or your not using them actively.

Most drives will hibernate until called upon. This is the case in my system.

If I click on a drive that is in hibernate- it takes some time for it to spool up and I can access it.

I never turn off my PC, but my drives don't spin 24/7.

----

That said- This case could easily accomodate even more drives with some minor hacks or tweaks. It already has 2 hot swap bays, and tons of internal drive bays.

You can add another 4 drive bay underneath = and there is enough room for a row of them flat under the motherboard.

I bet you could get 20+ HDD in this case no problem. It's quite large.

Hope that helps

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post #134 of 180 Old 03-05-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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There was also a cliff notes type post about how to set you power management and turn off drives after a period of time.

You can do this in the windows power management settings.

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post #135 of 180 Old 03-05-2012, 12:43 PM
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Nice build! One question for ya, since it's not in the same room as your TV, how are you piping the video out there, just a long HDMI cable? IR remote sensor? Just curious. I have a similar setup, and had to get a 16' USB extender for the remote sensor, and I'm using a 25' HDMI cable. Just wondering if your solution is better than mine.
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post #136 of 180 Old 03-05-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paqmanbiker View Post

Nice build! One question for ya, since it's not in the same room as your TV, how are you piping the video out there, just a long HDMI cable? IR remote sensor? Just curious. I have a similar setup, and had to get a 16' USB extender for the remote sensor, and I'm using a 25' HDMI cable. Just wondering if your solution is better than mine.

Nope. Same.

50FT hdmi cable from Monoprice runs under the floor to my AVR.

Wireless Lenovo Remote (mini keyboard one)

It's not that far so the remote sensor seems to work fine. The walls are in the way.. but since it's not IR it works fine.

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post #137 of 180 Old 03-16-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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anyone know a long range remote?

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post #138 of 180 Old 03-16-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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a story about cracking open external HDD's

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was black Friday.. My wife dragged me out to shop. That lasted about 1 hour before I cried and we went home.

One of the stops we made was office max. They had a table in front with open box and clearance stuff. I noticed a 2TB Hitachi External marked down to $69.97. It was older... but who cares. 2TB for $69 seemed worth it. It was new in the box. I purchased.

Fast foward untill January. I decided to crack it open. I did. With reckless abandon. I ruined the plastic case beyond repair. It was a nice Hitachi 2TB Sata 3G drive inside. I hooked it up. It was formatted FAT32...lol. Wiped it clean with an NTFS format.

I went to remove it from my external USB3.0 HDD dock.. while still spinning I removed it- immediatly dropped it- and it broke.

The corner was dented and when I reinstalled it- it made a CLICK, CLICK, CLICK sound.

Stupid careless me.

Oh well.. I learned my lesson.

Last month I was on WD support site setting up an RMA on a 4.9 year old Raptor HDD. The process was so easy I decided to give Hitachi support a try online.

I entered the serial number right off the drive itself. It accepted my RMA and I sent it back. Cost me $6 shipping.

I shipped on Friday. The following Monday I had a package from Hitachi.

I opened it to find a brand new external. Complete with power cable, USB cable.. manual... inside the external case.. I was suprised.. I only sent them a bare drive.

I cracked it open and found a brand new Hitachi 7200RPM SATA 6G Drive inside

Even better. These things RAID0 like champs.

It's currently in my machine.. with a blu ray being ripped to it.

I love Hitachi.

The end.

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post #139 of 180 Old 04-07-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Built a second PC today..

Asrock Z68, Crucial 1600mhz 8GB, i3, 120GB SSD, ...

Nice system for $400. I will post some pics later

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post #140 of 180 Old 04-07-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Built a second PC today..

Asrock Z68, Crucial 1600mhz 8GB, i3, 120GB SSD, ...

Nice system for $400. I will post some pics later

Nice. What are you using it for? What case?
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post #141 of 180 Old 04-07-2012, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Nice. What are you using it for? What case?

$50 apex cheapo everyone uses here... lol.

It worked nice.

Edit: It was only 37$

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post #142 of 180 Old 04-07-2012, 08:38 PM
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How did you get in under $400 with the big ssd? Already had a psu?
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post #143 of 180 Old 04-08-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

How did you get in under $400 with the big ssd? Already had a psu?

I actually already has the SSD.

But I built two machines this weekend:

#1.

Arock H61 USB3.0 SATA 6G $62 w newegg 10% off coupon.
G630 CPU $61
Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600mhz 10% off coupon new egg. 32$
OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD $155
Case and 500watt PSU $29
LiteOn DVD-RW $20

Total was under $400 shipped.

#2 was a step up minus SSD.
Asrock Z68 $80
i3 2100 $105
Muskin Essentials DDR3 1600mhz $36
Apex case w PSU $37
LiteOn DVD-RW $20
2TB HDD $119

Total was just under $400, and used a step up Mobo and CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

How did you get in under $400 with the big ssd? Already had a psu?

Basically, one of them only has SSD and no storage. Storage is over the network.

That keeps the cost down. I only used 120GB cause I already had it.
Otherwise 60GB would be fine.


I actually already had some stuff... and placed an order. Then I placed another order and mixed up the parts. So it's hard to post my reciept.

I included one recent reciept attached: That's a pretty nice little HTPC with good 2TB storage for under $400 on i3 CPU. It's totally possible to stay under $400 with or without SSD's.
The reciept below is $386 and a complete HTPC with 2TB storage, i3 CPU and 8GB DDR3 1600mhz. Check it out.


LL

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post #144 of 180 Old 04-08-2012, 09:19 AM
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Are these HTPC's for you?
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post #145 of 180 Old 04-09-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Are these HTPC's for you?

The receipt posted above is for my business partner at home.

He wanted a pc to install on his tv.

No DVR or tuner stuff... He only wants to stream and watch downloads.

He won't have a movie collection or rip blurays on it. I doubt he will even use the media browser I install and set up.

He just downloads torrents watches and deletes them.

The other is for my mom at her house. I set her up with movies from my collection she enjoys. Her Athlon X2 5000 is long in the tooth.

I am going to be building a new htpc for me soon too. Probably H61 and G630. Then upgraded to Z77 and Ivy in summer time.

I will take the G630 and the H61 Asrock and make it an office pc replacing a core2 duo. Othewise I might build a server too.

Seems like there is always a need for a pc someplace in my life.

The 2500k CPU build posted earlier was for an office pc.

My main home pc is the one pictured first in this thread on 2600k.

I have recently built a few g620 based pc's too.

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post #146 of 180 Old 04-09-2012, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I just did it again and ordered parts to build yet another HTPC.

I just bought this:

Motherboard:

2 x ($48.99) ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$97.98 (+10% off = 44$) (Bought an extra.. lol )

2 Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor G630 2.7GHz 3MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail G630BOX $61.99 Total for 2 $123.98 (also bought an extra)

1 x ($37.99) Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT51264BD160B
$37.99 (+ extra 15% off = 32$)

1 x ($29.99) Broadway Com Corp 1243MA-BLACK Glossy black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
$29.99 (Free shipping with Newegg business code)

1 x ($17.99) LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM (Free shipping)
$17.99

x ($159.99) OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$159.99- ($-30.00) DISCOUNT FOR PROMOTION CODE
$-30.00 - $20 mail in rebate = $109

Total cost $294 shipped.

This has to be the nicest and most capable sub $300 HTPC.

I might upgrade the case PSU and CPU at some point and use these for an office PC. Not my favorite choices but I went economy.

I was suprised I could get high end 120GB SSD performance with 8GB DDR3 1600mhz, on Asrock w decent Sandy CPU for this price. Even the LiteOn is pretty decent as far as optical drives go.



Guess I got another PC build this weekend. I think I might keep this one for a while for myself.

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post #147 of 180 Old 04-20-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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ok Bit of an update:

I have decided to make a basic HTPC for the Bedroom. My requirements were:

QUIET. It is a bedroom.
Affordable. I want maximum value
Capable. I want decent performance.

It would be installed into an AV closet with my receiver, projector, TiVO HD, Cablebox, Bluray and subwoofer. The room is hardwired with speaker wire in walls, and you can't tell there is any AV equiptment in the room when the screen goes up except for small elegant speakers on wall. It's set up 6.1. My favorite place to watch a movie in house because it is so comfortable. Wife and I use it every night.

Therefore- size was not a factor. Noise was. I won't see the PC box, and I was hoping not to hear it also.


I recently have bought the above stuff and also some other good stuff:

Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($29!! U MAD?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371029


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157252
ASRock Z68 PRO3-M LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $69.99 OPEN BOX

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $40 Shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129042

I also bought this:

COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case
$39.99 + $2.99 shipping. $10 Mail in. Makes it like $33 shipped.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119227

Very curious to see what case is better. Many including Assassin like the Antec - and claim it is quiet. I plan to use that case. Which this case will replace my Thermaltake Armor 10 bay that is at my office, and the Full tower will then become my Server Case. If I like the Coolermaster better- I might just make the HTPC in that and use the Antec300 as the server. Lots of options.




I have used the Coolermaster Case before in a basic i5 build:






It was quiet and easy to build in. Just enough space, without being too big.

I will have a mini case shoot out I guess.


I currently have 5 different cases in my home office, and I am building a few different builds side by side.

I will share my thoughts about all in some future posts.


The HTPC for the bedroom is planned to be:


Antec300 Case $40
Antec Eco 400watt PSU $29
Asrock Z68 motherboard $70
G.Skill RIPJAWZ 8GB DDR3 PC12800/1600mhz (4GBx2) $36
G630 Intel CPU $62
OCZ Vertex3 120GB $109
-------------------------------
$346 TOTAL COST

I decided to go a step up from the previous build stuff because for my personal use if I don't do it now- I will always be pulling it apart or upgrading.

I am hoping this set up will serve me for at least 6 months before I am tempted to change anything or pull it apart.

I will frankenstien the Sata cable + Sata power out the case and install OS from DVD drive- but then remove it. No Optical is needed on this PC. It will be serviced from my server. Any disc gets ripped to that anyways.


That now leaves me with a spare ASRock H61M/U3S3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard.

I am going to use this for a server board with a G530, and a PCI SATAII card, and a PCI-X SATAIII card.

I want to play around with WHS2011 + FLEXRAID.

Can't decide if I should use the $48 60GB SSD I just bought for the OS for that server- or use a 320GB WD Blue drive I have laying around. I also have a 300GB Velociraptor I was going to list on ebay for $60. I might keep that for the OS too... since it's faster. Just wondering if it even matters or not.

Part of me tells me for $48 I should just use the SSD and be done with it once and for all. The only part that has me is if it is hard to install to only 60GB. I keep reading that WHS2011 needs 160GB to install to.

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post #148 of 180 Old 04-26-2012, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well my new Z68 motherboard arrived today

Pic should be up soon of the new build.

I will be doing a WHS2011 server + FLEX RAID (h61/G530)
+
Z68 /G630 120GB SSD HTPC


Also, I will be building an additional Z68 for a friend.


Last,

HEADS UP!


As head up the open box Asrock board is back for $48 (I have a few. Good value for this price. Includes SataIII and USB3.0)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16813157236R

Good board for $48

Also there is a few others, including a mini ITX for $55 and some 67's at decent and low prices:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...13-157-271-Z01

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post #149 of 180 Old 04-26-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Instructions

1. Remove all Hard Drives currently connected to you system with the exception of the targeted SSD or traditional SATA Drive that will be used for either your WHS 2011 Operating System .

NOTE - Remember to insure all previous Data you want saved from the targeted drive is removed before installation or it will be permanently lost.

2. Format an NTFS USB Flash Drive, and create a file on it using notepad in the root called cfg.ini. (Insure there is nothing else on the USB)

3. Open the cfg.ini in notepad or any other text editor

4. Cut and Paste the following into the cfg.ini file below

[WinPE]
ConfigDisk=1
CheckReqs=0
WindowsPartitionSize=MAX



5. Close the file and save it on the USB Flash Drive.

6. Insert the USB Flash Drive with the cfg.ini file into the targeted WHS 2011 Server's empty USB Slot.

7. Power up your Server and insure that either your Windows Home Server 2011 install DVD has been inserted into your Servers ROM.

8. Once your Server has booted off the install DVD the Installer will read the CFG.ini file and begin the automated install process. There should be NO User Input required during this time.

9. When your Server Installer has finished its first part of the Install and goes to reboot for the 1st time REMOVE the USB Flash Drive and the Install DVD from your Server BEFORE your server boots back up ( As shown below). This will allow the Server upon rebooting to find your hard drive and continue the installation from there without further interruption.



10. No Further action on your part will be required and the rest of the install will finish automatically, again without any user intervention.

11. Once the installation has completed please plug in any other drives and continue with completing your server build.


Guys I need help. I am having issue installing with this method. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

I took a USB3.0 8GB stick- formatted it NTFS- then I named a wordpad document cfg.ini and saved it to the USB stick. IT is the only file on the USB stick.

I opened it up- copied and pasted:

[WinPE]
ConfigDisk=1
CheckReqs=0
WindowsPartitionSize=MAX

Then saved it again to the USB stick. I verified it was there, then inserted it into my Server motherboard.

The only drive I have hooked up is a 60GB SSD drive, and also a SATA DVD drive to install the DVD install disc from.

The instructions say no user input required. But when I boot up it goes to the screen asking me for new or existing install.

If I choose NEW then it gives me an error message. I assume the error is that the drive is too small.

HELP ???
Idea?s

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post #150 of 180 Old 04-27-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob B View Post

Been there, done that, have the divorce

It apparantly does not work on all hardware configurations as advertised. I had to use a hack:

Thanks to esullivan here: http://forums.connecteddigitalworld....__20#entry3618

I actually had to combine the two things, i.e. insert the USB stick with the cfg.ini file in the root as well as alter the hardware min requirement file (I changed HDD from 160 to 30 Gb). One without the other did not work for me. It did not run as an unattended setup, but it started up without having to choose OS disk etc.

You might also try adding [InitialConfiguration] to the cfg.ini file, if just having the WinPE lines doesn't work. And, like said earlier, try ALL USB ports before giving up...:

[WinPE]
ConfigDisk=1
CheckReqs=0
WindowsPartitionSize=MAX

[InitialConfiguration]
Language=en-US
Locale=en-US
Country=US
Keyboard=00000409
AcceptEula=true
AcceptOEMEula=true
ServerName=SERVER
PlainTextPassword=Password
PasswordHint=Password hint
Settings=All

Make sure you save it as an .ini file and not a cfg.ini.txt file ;-)
You wrote you saved it as a notepad file. That is a .txt file unless you choose "all file types" before saving!


Another important requirement:
http://forums.connecteddigitalworld....0gb/#entry2963

Last, once you get it going, remember to remove the USB key when the installation restarts the machine the first time!

Good luck!



[quote=Mfusick;21958018]

This look right ?

It is still not working.

Should it be cfg.ini or just cfg and an .ini file ?

When I named it -t shows at cfg. If I change name it shows in properties as cfg.ini.ini and that seems wrong.


-----------------------------------------------------
As soon as you are greeted with the screen asking if you want a new install or to repair a previous one push Shift + F10 to bring up cmd.

Type "notepad.exe" without quotes then click file open and browse to sources/SKU/SERVERHOMEPREMIUM.def (you may have to select all files at the bottom so you can see the .def file).

From inside here you can change your amount of ram, number of cpu cores, HDD space, and processor speed to suit your needs. Save and close notepad.

Type "wpshell.exe" without quotes and hit enter => setup will restart with the new parameters.

---------------------------------------------

That above did it!!!!

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