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  1. #1
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    My Windows Home Server Project

    I had a bunch of spare computer parts and decided to build a WHS. It was a really cheap simple build and an OS that's easy enough for even the least computer savvy user. The interface is basically the same as WinXP but adds the Home Server Console. I can't take full credit...I got the idea for the case and Icy Dock with hot swapable drives from an issue of CPU. The only problem I had was the power supply wouldn't fit in the case's unusal location since it had modular cabling and the plugs stuck out too far, so I had to buy anoyher one. The case is pretty cheap quality, but I liked it for it's size. It's a midtower but is the size of a micro ATX...you can see how small it is next to my full tower.

    Besides having a central storage location for all comps on your network it also provides useful features like automated backup and remote access to the server or any machine on the network. The OS also has its own drive redundancy feature so there's no need to setup a RAID array. It actually allows you to select which data you want duplication on as a way to maximize storage space. I, for example, chose not to have duplication on my system backups since it's very unlikely to have a drive failure on the server and another network attached system at the same time. The OS comes with four disks: Preinstall disk, OS install, install disk for connecting other systems to the network and a recovery disk for restoring systems from the server. I know many people still don't like Vista, but Mr Softy got this one right.

    • Rosewill RZS01 Case $38
    • WHS software $149 (just saw it on Newegg for $99)
    • Samsung DVD/RW $27
    • 3 Western Digital 1TB $345 (3x$115)
    • 1 Western Digital 500GB $65
    • 4GB(3GB useable with 32 bit OS) Corsair 800mhz RAM $70
    • Icy Dock $74
    • ATI PCI video card $20 (cheapest one I could find)
    • 400w power supply $28
    • USB keyboard $8
    Stuff I aleady had:
    • Gigabyte P35-DS3R motherboard (I would advise chosing one w/integrated video to avoid buying vid card)
    • Intel E6850 Core2Duo 3ghz (a bit overpowered for this build)
    • Zalman 9500 CPU cooler
    • 19" widescreen LCD
    I also upgraded my router to the Linksys WRT610N because it offered simultaneous wireless-N. I use the 2.4 ghz band for my laptops and the 5ghz band for streaming HD video to my media extender.
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  2. #2
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    not bad, whats streaming media like over wireless you say HD s h264 and higher without jitter etc...?


    i really need to get off my ass and do a media box for here, thanks for the ost it was very motivating.

  3. #3
    axgrider73's Avatar
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    Glad too see I'm not the only nerd on here.

  4. #4
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izz0 View Post
    not bad, whats streaming media like over wireless you say HD s h264 and higher without jitter etc...?


    i really need to get off my ass and do a media box for here, thanks for the ost it was very motivating.
    I've been busy working on skis for the last week so haven't yet tried the media extender. I chose the D-link DSM-750 since it streams media in 1080i and can be used on the 5ghz band so there will be less interference from other wireless devices in the house. A friend of mine uses an Xbox360 as a media extender and says it works great...supposedly streams 1080p content.

    Glad too see I'm not the only nerd on here.

  5. #5
    steve45's Avatar
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    Sorry, I just can't do Western Digital hard drives anymore. Each of my computers has 3 or more hard drives (I'm a fanatic about backups). Every drive I've had fail was a WD--3 or 4 of them.

    Never lost a Maxtor or Seagate.

  6. #6
    mjh3ides's Avatar
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    I chose them mostly on price. The Seagates would've added another
    $60 to the build, and with the level of redundancy I have I'm not worried about losing data. The cooling fan on the Icy dock should also help prevent failures. I've been using WD's for yrs and have only had 1 failure. 3yr warranty and they cross ship RMA's. My main system is on a mirrored RAID 1 backed up to a 3rd drive and to the server...I guess I'm a fanatic about backups too.

  7. #7
    King_Of_Fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Sorry, I just can't do Western Digital hard drives anymore. Each of my computers has 3 or more hard drives (I'm a fanatic about backups). Every drive I've had fail was a WD--3 or 4 of them.

    Never lost a Maxtor or Seagate.
    I've had good luck with Maxtor drives too. I'm running 4 500-Gb drives on my Compaq and will update to 1-Tb drives when the price is down below $100/drive... Ron

  8. #8
    mrbtd's Avatar
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    I think I am going to do something similar to this....

    Things are getting way to crazy @ my house with music,pictures and video on 5 diff computers.

    I tried to read through the marketing stuff @ the Microsoft website and have a couple questions.

    For the automated backups - I am guessing it will wake up the other PC's for the nightly backups ? Does it only back up the files that have been added/changed ?

    Does the server have to be hooked up to a monitor or is there some kind of client side software to access via laptop (within the home network) ?

    Also outside of the OS and the Server Software is there any advantage to running huge amounts of RAM (8gb+++). In other words do I get better transfer rates or back ups etc.. ?

  9. #9
    axgrider73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbtd View Post
    I think I am going to do something similar to this....

    Things are getting way to crazy @ my house with music,pictures and video on 5 diff computers.

    I tried to read through the marketing stuff @ the Microsoft website and have a couple questions.

    For the automated backups - I am guessing it will wake up the other PC's for the nightly backups ? Does it only back up the files that have been added/changed ?

    Does the server have to be hooked up to a monitor or is there some kind of client side software to access via laptop (within the home network) ?

    Also outside of the OS and the Server Software is there any advantage to running huge amounts of RAM (8gb+++). In other words do I get better transfer rates or back ups etc.. ?
    There is no need to have that much RAM in a server for what you are wanting to do. 1 GB will work fine as long as you dont plan on doing anything fancy with it.

    You can access the server with Remote Desktop right from Windows. No extra software required. You could also use an aftermarket software like Real VNC (it's free.)

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