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using old pc

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi all,this is my first ever post, i was wondering if someone could help me, i built my first pc at the start of the year, and was wondering if i could turn my old xp pc into a media server to store photos, music, dvd movies and blu-ray movies on. any help would be much appreciated
post #2 of 38
Specs on both machins please.
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
new pc E8400 cpu, 4gb memory, 1tb hardrive, 4870 ati graphics card blu-ray drive, vista

old pc pentuim 4 cpu, 1gb ram, 500gb hardrive, 9800 ati graphics card, dvd drive,

would i be able to leave the old pc as a media server up in the loft, left running 24/7, thanks for any help
post #4 of 38
That is more than enough to feed files. The network is typically the bottleneck when it comes to accessing data on a server.
post #5 of 38
that old hdd is going to get eaten up quick with dvd and bluray rips...

i have just dvds and i went through 500g in about 2 mos. now im halfway through a 1.5tb drive, i don't even plan on ripping BR when i finally get it...
post #6 of 38
Take a look at the unRaid thread - that "old" box might be just the building block to get one of those up and running. (Love mine, btw...)
post #7 of 38
I did exactly what you did. Got the old pentium 4 that runs 24/7. Connect to it via remote desktop.

I dont need all the fancy raid that some people have. Works great for my needs.
post #8 of 38
Mine is really old in comparison.

Celeron 1.8 (18x100)
512MB DDR
onboard graphics (who knows what chipset)
Foxconn socket 478 motherboard (IDE only)
promise SATA controller
80GB HDD as the boot drive (IDE) with 59gb free.
XP Pro SP3
750GB WD Green SATA
1TB WD Green SATA

Streams Blurays no problem in full ISO form too. I read somewhere with Vista you need to have free space on the boot drive equal to your largest file you transfer over.... not just if that is the case with XP though. Mine is XP and runs fine.

I think the most importand thing is to KISS (keep it simple stupid). I went with XP as it does everything I need it too. I have a program that auto backs up important data and the rest.... if it goes, I can always reload it.

Some people will push Unraid or WHS and they are fine solutions. The nice thing about XP Pro is (you may already have it) and remote desktop makes everything much easier. Remote Desktop is so easy to use for even noobies like I was.

I personally went with XP over WHS because I sometimes like to run a dedicated lan server on there from time to time for house parties.

I may end up eventually upgrading the board to an AM2 with one of those new 45W processors and a green power supply. As it runs 24/7, the cost saving may end up paying for itself. It is hard to just power usage for the most part by specs as most of the time it sits idle.

Another thing you can do is set up wake on lan.... haven't figured that out myself... and I don't think my PSU supports it anyway.
post #9 of 38
Thread Starter 
thanks for all your replys, much appreciated, could i plug external hardrives into the pc, and could i rip blu-ray movies on my new pc and transfer them over to the old pc(server) because it hasn't got a blu-ray drive in it,

it has xp home on it how do i set it up to store dvd's on it and stream them across my network, and is there any other software i need on there, thanks again for all your help
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie26 View Post

thanks for all your replys, much appreciated, could i plug external hardrives into the pc, and could i rip blu-ray movies on my new pc and transfer them over to the old pc(server) because it hasn't got a blu-ray drive in it,

Yes and Yes.

Quote:


it has xp home on it how do i set it up to store dvd's on it and stream them across my network, and is there any other software i need on there, thanks again for all your help

U got alot of reading ahead of ya.
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
do you know the best place to find the information to read about it
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie26 View Post

do you know the best place to find the information to read about it

Networking: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/813936

Ripping: http://elliottback.com/wp/how-to-rip-a-dvd-a-tutorial/

Found both with less than 10 sec of googling. There are lots of guides for doing what you want to do. All you have to do is look for them.
post #13 of 38
Its not that hard. You aren't looking to stream your movies to other computers; you simply want to make those files available on the network for the other computers to access. This is why server requirements for this type of application are not that demanding.

I will assume you are starting from scratch so skip the steps that you have already done.

1) Create a home network. It is alot easier than it sounds. You will need all the computers connected to a central network either directly or through a switch. If you have a router, and they are all connected to it, you have already done this step.

2)Set up the network. Each flavor of windows is a little different. You basically need to go on each computer run the network wizard. Make sure you allow file sharing when it comes up.

3) on the server click on the folders that you want to allow others computers to have access to and choose sharing options. Check the box that says share on the network.... and allow others to change its contents.

4) you will now see that folder show up on the other computers under the network or My Network folder on the computer folder page.

5) You would then set up the relevent applications to look in those folders for media... and you are basically set and now have a basic server.

Now this is very skimpy and vague and not really meant to be a guide.

To get more specific, what OS do you plan to use on the "server". What OS(s) are the other computers using? Are they connect via ethernet wire or wirelessly?
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
im using xp home on the server, and vista on the other computers,
and would it be at all possible to play dvd from the server through an xbox,
there all connected to a router/wired
post #15 of 38
Add about $10-20/mo on your power bill for leaving the computer on 24/7.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

Add about $10-20/mo on your power bill for leaving the computer on 24/7.

No way, mine didnt even go up 5 and sometimes I have two running all night.
post #17 of 38
@whiteboy
servicetech is correct. Do the math, a 100w light bulb running 24/7 will consume
24x100/1000 = 2.4 kwh/day = 2.4x30 = 72 kwh/month
Depending on where you live power costs 12 to 25 cents per kwh
So $8.64 to $18 per month.
(Unless you live in Norway where power costs 4 - 5 cents/kwh)

That's why people turn of lights switch to CFs that use 15 -20 watts. I don't understand why so many people who would never leave a light on will run a 100 or 200 watt pc 24/7 as if it doesn't consume the same power as a light bulb(s).

An old pc like OP has will probably pull a lot more than 100 watts, but give it the benefit of the doubt and call it 100 watts. No matter what you think or want to believe, your server costs it is really costing $10 to $20 per month if it is running 24/7. If you don't believe me and/or want to prove it, invest in a Killawatt meter and plug your server into it and measure it for day or month.

BB
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbird999 View Post

@whiteboy
servicetech is correct. Do the math, a 100w light bulb running 24/7 will consume
24x100/1000 = 2.4 kwh/day = 2.4x30 = 72 kwh/month
Depending on where you live power costs 12 to 25 cents per kwh
So $8.64 to $18 per month.
(Unless you live in Norway where power costs 4 - 5 cents/kwh)

That's why people turn of lights switch to CFs that use 15 -20 watts. I don't understand why so many people who would never leave a light on will run a 100 or 200 watt pc 24/7 as if it doesn't consume the same power as a light bulb(s).

An old pc like OP has will probably pull a lot more than 100 watts, but give it the benefit of the doubt and call it 100 watts. No matter what you think or want to believe, your server costs it is really costing $10 to $20 per month if it is running 24/7. If you don't believe me and/or want to prove it, invest in a Killawatt meter and plug your server into it and measure it for day or month.

BB

Hafta agree with you there. A server that runs 24/7 will be under load... what 10% of the day? If you use the extreme power supply calculator, you come up with 156W for a computer who capacitor are aged 50% and 115W for a brand new one. AND that is using a 50% load. You won't be near that with 90% of home servers.

You are really looking at a draw of 90-100W. My rates are pretty high at 15 Kph. So it would use 2400watts per day. That is 2.4 kW per day. At $.15... that is $.36 per day... or $131 per year... or about 11 per month.

But that is assuming it is actually on 24/7. You can have it turn off the hard disks, and even go into standby when not in use. You could even go out, get a wake-on-lan psu and card if wanted.

That being said $10 isn't going to make or break anyone. I wouldn't run it 24/7 though.... after all you aren't up 24/7.

There are alot of different options. I mentioned the wake on lan thing. That may or may not be an option. Another option is to have the computer automatically turn off and on at different times of the day.If you only let it run from 6pm-12pm and the morning from 7am-10am. You are cut that cost in more than half.

Here is one example of a way to do it

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/954351...your_computer/

there are many different options. I wouldn't worry about it for now. Find out if it is something you will actually use... or just a cool idea running through your head that will tire quickly.

I really would recommend atleast XP pro for the remote desktop feature though I think there is a hack for xp home that will allow you do it.

there are other programs that run like this though.. for example ultraVNC.

http://www.uvnc.com/index.html

I really should do the the alarm clock thing on mine. I am never home during the week from 9am to 7pm.. sometimes later.
post #19 of 38
My power bill was just the reason I needed to upgrade my 24/7 PC. It went from 90W to 40W at idle. I have a full-size 790GX board w/5000+ and a few HDs along with a 80+ PSU. I cut more than 50%

The best part is it only cost me a few dollars since I pieced off the old MoBo/CPU/RAM. The upgrade already paid for itself with the power savings (for me the summer is ~.20/kwh)
post #20 of 38
OP has a P4 so I bet it will idle at +75 watts and be +100 watts when he is watching video on another machine. He said he is going to run it 24/7. So, like servicetech said:- $10 - $20 per month. Can he reduce this by using sleep mode (if he can make it work) or shutting it down and starting it up by RTC every day? Of course, but the reality is that when you have a server in the basement, etc. and your spouse wants to put on Barney for the kid or show somebody the photos of our trip, and the server is off or won't wake up on LAN, the all important WAF takes a nose dive and the only way to get it back is leave it on 24/7. $10 to $20 a month to sleep in a comfortable bed instead of the doghouse is cheap.

BB
post #21 of 38
I am just saying that it is possible. It isn't hard to set up a power up alarm if the bios supports. And the hybernate / standby function should work just fine.... assuming it is not loaded with junk. This is a server we are talking about so there really should be any apps loaded on it.

The thing is he would have to replace the motherboard, cpu and maybe even the ram. Who knows if the OS is transferable or it is one of those on the HDD nontransferrable dells

I don't think you are really going to see a power savings of 50% going with a more efficient chip as the other components add to the total. Probably more like 30%-35%. So if you had a saving of 3-6 per month. that is 36-72 per year. CPU and motherboard will run you 80-100 alone.

Depending on the BIOS, you may even be able to undervolt/underclock the cpu. you really don't need probably much more than 1-1.5GHz from a P4.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

I don't think you are really going to see a power savings of 50% going with a more efficient chip as the other components add to the total. Probably more like 30%-35%. So if you had a saving of 3-6 per month. that is 36-72 per year. CPU and motherboard will run you 80-100 alone.

My numbers are correct, bjmarchini, as I used the same components from one build to the next (except for MB/CPU/RAM) and I dropped over 50% as measured by a kill-a-watt. Considering that you can get a decent and reliable board, low-powered CPU and 4GB of RAM for ~$120 and then piece off the old hardware to recoup ~$40 you look at an upgrade cost of ~$80. At a power savings cost of ~$8/mo. it takes 10 months to pay for it

Of course, those numbers all depend on the power requirements of the old MB/CPU/RAM.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by video321 View Post

My numbers are correct, bjmarchini, as I used the same components from one build to the next (except for MB/CPU/RAM) and I dropped over 50% as measured by a kill-a-watt. Considering that you can get a decent and reliable board, low-powered CPU and 4GB of RAM for ~$120 and then piece off the old hardware to recoup ~$40 you look at an upgrade cost of ~$80. At a power savings cost of ~$8/mo. it takes 10 months to pay for it

Of course, those numbers all depend on the power requirements of the old MB/CPU/RAM.

Are you using onboard graphics? I guess that would take out the cost of that. If you spin down the drives are an hour or so I guess there isn't much else running.

I don't even know that you would need to spend $120. You could probably get a very efficient chip off ebay for alot less. Especially for a server app where you don't really need much horsepower.

Makes me wander. If you underclocked the 45w cpus even more, would you even need a cpu fan or do you think you could get away with a heatsink and a single exterior fan moving air in and out?
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

Are you using onboard graphics?

Yup. The old server was using an old low-powered card though. However, the new, but low-powered (electric wise) PC is now also doubling for HT duties where previously it was just a server.

Quote:


I don't even know that you would need to spend $120. You could probably get a very efficient chip off ebay for alot less. Especially for a server app where you don't really need much horsepower.

Very true.

Quote:


Makes me wander. If you underclocked the 45w cpus even more, would you even need a cpu fan or do you think you could get away with a heatsink and a single exterior fan moving air in and out?

I'm currently using 2 low-powered 120mm fans (1 in front of the drive cage and 1 for exhaust) plus with the CPU fan speed being regulated via the BIOS I have plenty of air flow with very little noise since there is such low heat. Though, I have thought about that

Also, my data drives are WD Greens and the OS is on a 2.5 HD. Not much heat being generated there either
post #25 of 38
I'm thinking of upgrading an old PC too. I'm wondering if a new EVGA GeForce GTX 275 video card would work in a 6 year old PC? The old motherboard (Gigabyte K8NNXP) has PCI 2.3 slots at 33MHz. Eventually will stick this newer card in a new PC but for now just want to boost the old one.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterclones View Post

EVGA GeForce GTX 275 video card
...
(Gigabyte K8NNXP) has PCI 2.3 slots at 33MHz.

Not even close

There is a really big difference between PCI and PCI Express. No new card is going to work with that MB. The best you can do is get an older AGP video card like this one. It's not the best, but it will certainly do for HTPC purposes.
post #27 of 38
Ok, thanks very much Candre. I knew it was a long shot but thought I'd ask. :-)
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by video321 View Post

Yup. The old server was using an old low-powered card though. However, the new, but low-powered (electric wise) PC is now also doubling for HT duties where previously it was just a server.


Very true.


I'm currently using 2 low-powered 120mm fans (1 in front of the drive cage and 1 for exhaust) plus with the CPU fan speed being regulated via the BIOS I have plenty of air flow with very little noise since there is such low heat. Though, I have thought about that

Also, my data drives are WD Greens and the OS is on a 2.5 HD. Not much heat being generated there either

Those WD greens are the only thing I ever buy any more for storage... except a boot OS. I used to us maxtor years ago and then seagate. WD seems to be the current brand of choice for many.
post #29 of 38
Thread Starter 
hey all thanks ever so much for your help, could anyone answer me this, would i be able to stream movies to an xbox 360 from the server
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie26 View Post

hey all thanks ever so much for your help, could anyone answer me this, would i be able to stream movies to an xbox 360 from the server

Yes, but your codec and container support would be limited unless you use a transcoder. The old hardware might struggle a bit to transcode and serve anything in HD in real time.
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