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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an "older" Windows XP Professional computer comprised of P4 3.0 Ghz processor, 1.5 gig of memory, Asus motherboard, and a 80GB HDD for main driver and a 320 GB HDD for storage of pics, games, etc. I recently purchased a 2.0 TB external HDD on black friday and would like build a new mini-HTPC that will process newer games and movies. I would like to convert my current PC to a Windows Home Server media computer and use the current HDDs and the new external HDD. The system still works fairly well, but just can not keep up with the games and movies that I would like to play on it. I would like to not "waste" the current PC and just add an OEM version of Windows Home Server and begin storing some movie rips (allow mymovies apps to be used) and provide automatic backup for other PCs on my home network. Basically, I am wondering how this would be done and some of the details. Please look at the following questions:

1. Can I load WHS on the external HDD 2.0 TB or should I install on one of the internal HDDs?

2. I imagine I have to wipe the HDDs out and convert to another PC (programs, etc.) as once WHS is installed; the programs are no longer assessible.

3. Does WHS save on duplicate drives - Should I have another 2.0 TB HDD to provide a mirror of information or how would that work?

4. Any other issues in converting a PC to a WHS server - seems better than throwing away a system that still works and is "decent".

5. Does WHS have a complete disc image for each connect PC to save programs, etc. for a new HDD?

Thanks for any input or suggestions.
 

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1. I would install it on the 80gb drive personally. As long as your confident that it's a good drive. WHS will use the system drive as storage last, and 80gb is the minimum size for the boot drive.


2. Yes.


3. Yes. If you want to mirror your files you will need another 2tb drive.


4. As long as it has enough SATA ports, and preferably a gigabit NIC you should be fine.


5. I suppose that's a close enough description. If the drive on one of the backed up PC's die you boot it off a WHS recovery disc. It then connects to the WHS over the network to restore to a new drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Glad to hear the 80GB will work. I read somewhere that the system drive should be "large" as data is saved there first. I would rather use the 80GB for the system drive - so good. My only issue then would be that the 80GB and 320GB are not connected by SATA, but standard IDE. Of course, the external will be USB. Will this cause problems? Will I notice the difference in not using SATA? Will it affect the streaming of videos or where would this be noticed the most?

Thanks.
 

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Having the boot drive be IDE won't be a problem. I've built a couple WHS systems using old hardware and drives I had lying around. You don't have to worry about the size since WHS doesn't use the landing zone anymore. In my experience WHS writes to the boot drive only when it is out of space on the other drives so I like to use the smallest drive I can in there if I have a choice. As for the USB drive the only issue is that you'll be limited to 30MB or so speed. This is a USB 2.0 limitation. It should be plenty for streaming though.
 

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One thing you might want to consider with that setup is power consumption. A server will likely be running 24/7 and those older systems were pretty power hungry. I'm using an old 3 GHz P4 for my WHS machine and it idles at 100W with a pair of 1TB drives vs 50W for my HTPC with a 2.8GHz core 2 duo. Something with integrated graphics would be even less, and an Atom based system would be even less than that.
 

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My WHS is an old Dell GX280 I got off-lease from Dell Direct Sales. I added a SATA controller card, brought it up to 2GB memory and added 4 HDDs (2 x 750TB, 1.5TB and 2TB all added over time). I didn't reuse the 80GB HDD. It runs cool and works great. I keep thinking I want to upgrade it to something but then I remember -- it's not broken don't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion /forum/post/19562391


My WHS is an old Dell GX280 I got off-lease from Dell Direct Sales. I added a SATA controller card, brought it up to 2GB memory and added 4 HDDs (2 x 750TB, 1.5TB and 2TB all added over time). I didn't reuse the 80GB HDD. It runs cool and works great. I keep thinking I want to upgrade it to something but then I remember -- it's not broken don't fix it.

Thanks for the input. I am getting more and more confident in my setup as a very solid WHS. In regards to adding your HDDs over time; what happens when you don't have the exact same HDDs to perform a mirror backup of all data? You have a 1.5 and a 2.0 TB HDD; how does this work for backing up data? For me, I would have the 80GB system drive and a 320 GB intermal and a 2.0 TB external drive. How would this work for saving data? They advertise WHS as not needed same drives as RAID does - would it still mirror data even if there are not 2.0 TB drives, for instance, in case one of the drives on the WHS goes out?

Thanks.
 
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