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If you did then you're like me a few weeks ago. I'm posting this to give my decision and experience for what it's worth.


I knew I wanted some kind of network storage. I started googling and searching. I learned about Windows Home Server, about software and hardware RAID, about rack mounted servers, etc, etc. I found the AVSforum "Guide to Building a Media Storage Server" post and over several weeks I read the whole thing. I really couldn't decide what to do, I had information overload. Then I sat down and asked myself what I really wanted to do with this network storage.


1. I'm not going to rip commercial DVDs, I rarely watch a movie more than once or twice, I have a Blu-Ray player connected to my home theater and I'm happy with that setup.


2. I have lots of home videos of my family and a recent video conversion of my father's 8mm films from my childhood, about 1.5 tb total, and I'd like that accesible from a hard drive.


3. I have about 50 gb of digital pictures, growing larger each day, that I want accesible from a hard drive.


4. I have about 50 gb of music ripped from CDs that want accessible from a hard drive.


5. Backing up my pcs would be nice, having a mirrored backup would be better.


6. Having documents available to any pc from the network was important so that a project isn't tied to one pc that might be in use by someone else in the family.


I finally decided that WHS offered everything that I needed. I thought about building my own WHS server so I started looking at prices and hardware, planning but still not completely convinced that was what I wanted to do. I looked at the HP home server and liked the concept but the price seemed high and I didn't like the relatively small hard drive shipped with the unit.


Then I learned about the Acer Aspire Home server, it seemed to be what I wanted but I still couldn't decide until I saw it for $350 and almost free shipping at Tigerdirect.com and found out that I could save another 4% by using a ************** account to buy it. I took the plunge and bought it.


After 2 weeks of setting up, transferring files and learning I've got to say I'm completely pleased with the purchase. It's small, quiet, capable and cheaper than I could have built my own. I thought the hot swappable HDD capability was an extra that I could live without but the first time I added a hard drive and didn't have to unplug everything, open the case, fish the cables from the motherboard to the drive, etc, etc, I realized that hot swappable drives are really nice to have and something I could never have built on my own for this price.


If you don't want to rip 1000 dvds, if you just want storage for pictures, home videos and other files, and if you don't care to become a network specialist to accomplish that I would really recommend the Acer home server, I think it's the best solution out there for those needs.
 

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Congrats, great to hear everything is up and running. I have an HP MediaSmart Server and it has been great for me so far. I think you will start seeing more HP/Acer type WHS products coming to the market, which is only good for the consumer!!!
 

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I know those nice front plug/unplug cases are meant to be hot-swappable, but in reality is, the typical home user don't need it Hot-Swap (change drive(s) WITHOUT powering down the system). What we really need is just able to mount/unmount drives without opening up the case


I have built PC with HDD caddies, they sell 5" caddies that one can stick in a 3.5" drive in there, then slide the whole caddy into the 5" slot. Not as nice and compact, but something in the middle that don't break the bank.
 
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