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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im just wondering if i could be building my HTPC in a simpler or better fashion.


I currently have a

gigabyte ga-ma785gm-us2h mother board

amd athlon x2 240 processor

4 gig ram

300 watt powersupply

1tb caviar blue for OS/music/photos

2tb external for movie rips

2tb external to backup movie rips


What i plan on doing is getting the nmediapc case that allows 6 internal drive bays and a stronger power supply. I want to go from external drives to internal drives. using my current external drives as backup and all media on the internal. Im just ripping my movies and tv series for now but will be adding a cable card in the near future.


I dont share my media, if i do its to an xbox that hooks up to media center easily, no other extenders or anything.


Im just wondering if using one large box to house everything is okay... i dont really have the money for a WHS nor do i have the space for another computer.
 

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If you got room for that big box, by all means it is fine to use one box for everything. If you do ALOT of ripping, you might fill that also, though. I am just a motherboard away from setting up my home server. (I have been using older parts and buying things one part at a time.) My problem is that I got an HTPC case from Silverstone that looks like it fits in with all my other A/V equipment, so I ran out of room rather fast. Nothing wrong with using one computer, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
okay cool, yea i definitely have room for it. And down the road i may go the route of a WHS maybe if i fill this case at some point.


Two more questions while im here:

If i fill the new case with say 5-6 drives of data...and decide to got the whs route. Can i just plug them into the server and be okay? without data loss?


and with my drives in one case, is a raid preferred? and why? i have externals for backup so im considering raid more for ease of use because if i keep adding drives they show up individualy in the finder as seperate drives and it will be difficult to seperate between recorded tv, ripped tv, movies, ect.
 

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I believe as long as you are not using a raid or JBOD, then you can just add the drives to the new computer without a problem. All the data will be transferred with it. I might be wrong though, because I have never used WHS (I will be using Server 2008 R2) and I am new to the server thing, too. If you do use a raid in the new computer, then the data will need to be transferred after the raid is built. I think you can only add blank storage to a raid array.


As for using raid in your current setup, if you are already backing up using an image - and you have got the drives and room to keep doing that as your storage increases - then you probably can get by without a raid. You might be able to configure it as a JBOD to make it look like the same drive. The mantra is that raid is not a backup solution but a way to prevent downtime. Maybe look into flexraid for what you are proposing. (That is the route I am looking into.)


Another thing to consider is that many front ends to HTPC's (Media Center, Mediabrowser, etc.) allow you to tell them where the media is, so having a bunch of individual disks might not be a problem - the program will show only one BluRay tab which will include all your BluRays, even if on separate disks.


Take my advice with a bit of caution, as I said, I am pretty new at the server stuff, too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilwheezy75
okay cool, yea i definitely have room for it. And down the road i may go the route of a WHS maybe if i fill this case at some point.


Two more questions while im here:

If i fill the new case with say 5-6 drives of data...and decide to got the whs route. Can i just plug them into the server and be okay? without data loss?


and with my drives in one case, is a raid preferred? and why? i have externals for backup so im considering raid more for ease of use because if i keep adding drives they show up individualy in the finder as seperate drives and it will be difficult to seperate between recorded tv, ripped tv, movies, ect.
First any drive you add to the WHS storage pool will be wiped so you can't just move them over. They can be in the box and you can transfer the data off them and then add them to the pool. Just be careful you don't add them to the pool right away.


I'd stay away from any kind of raid. It's just not worth the hassle for what you want to do. You should be able to aggregate your media using something like MyMovies or Mediabrowser. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
okay thank you for that info. I currently use my movies to bring all of my media together but when i use handbrake to rip tv shows i try and keep shows all together in the same folder so when the folder gets to big, or the drive gets full i wont have to save them to the second drive and then add another location to mediabrowser. Its just easier say if im ripping 5-6 seasons of one show and then run out of room half way through. season 1-3 are on hard drive 1 and season 3-6 are on hard drive 2.


im ocd about organization in a sense.
 

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I hear you about the organizational OCD. You wouldn't believe the effort I've put into naming and organizing my media collection. The problem is that every method is a compromise. I just think that using raid just to get a single drive letter is to big a risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok great, i dont mind having seperate drive letters. just was wondering if it was worth it.


Now, if i only i could figure out how to really get my music in order in MC. I moved it over from my mac/itunes to my pc and its a mess. Many single songs with no covers (which i dont desire. i only want full cds to have covers.) but they all show up and i hate that. THats my next feat now that my movies are all organized.
 
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