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Help me build my server

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8y, 6m agoPosted 8 years, 6 months ago
I was going to order this HP server (link in second post), but it would appear to be out of stock, i can wait but thought i might have a go at building one. I'm not fantastically knowledgable about computers but i reckon (with a little help) i'll be able to do it.

My first question is will i be able to build a similar server for the same price, or have i got no chance? If the answers is yes i can, and if you can be bothered can you please list a spec for me (with links where to get the parts from) Rep will be left for all those that leave useful responses

Thanks

G
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8y, 6m agoPosted 8 years, 6 months ago
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#1
1 Like #2
What operating system do you plan to install on it?

If it is Windows then you really need to install Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008
(Windows XP or Vista cannot really act as a "proper" server).

If that is the case you need to make sure you can can get drivers for Windows Serrver for your hardware, not all hardware ships with Windows Server drivers.

I guess you could also install Linux but never installed it myself so not sure how good driver support is for server boxes. (Linux is installed on plenty of web servers, so there must be some driver support, but you may need to check driver support on a linux specific forum).

Update: Just remembered, Microsoft have recently released a product called Windows Home Server which may do all you want. As you can guess from the name, this is for people in a home environment who want to build a small server at home for backups and to hold their digital images, music, vidoes etc. The hardware specs are quite low.

PC Pro magazine did an article about building a Windows Home Server PC in the December 2007 issue.

More here
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/default.mspx
#3
I did a search in Google for "Build a server" and found a few sites, like this one (a couple of years old but may be useful).

http://www.pcmech.com/byos/

If you have decided which operating system you are going to install maybe you can do a more specififc search, such as "build a Windows server" or somrthing like that..
#4
probably going to go down the Linux root mate, haven't really decided with flavour yet though, will try them all out once ive got the machine,
1 Like #5
Run XP - for home/small office it's fine and Server Ed is a little bit of a learning curve - linux more so...

If you're not familiar with building a computer you'll do well to read up on it and really take your time. Places like Novatech can save you lots of time with their bundles and barebones systems - I worked for them and know computers inside out but get them pre-built as it saves so much time!
#6
don't mind investing some time in it, don't really need it till im back at uni in september, that's why i can wait for the deal to come back in stock. just thought it might give me something to do other than bum about the house all day.

as for the OS i have used linux distributions before so im confident i could get along with it fine
1 Like #7
You could probably build a 'server' using regular desktop parts (non-ECC ram etc) for a comparable price (the HP server is pretty cheap mind)...

Depends ultimately what its for but a dual-core CPU, mATX motherboard and 2GB of ram
+ HDD will start at a little over £100 from the likes of ebuyer, scan, aria, microdirect, dabs etc. That said, the HP is a very competitive price and you will probably struggle to get the above with a decent case for the same price...
1 Like #8
You don't say what you'll be using the server for? That may make a huge difference to any advice I'd give :-).

I'm actually just finished specing up a couple of ProLiants myself. Although they are a lot more hardcore than your requirements, they'll be running Ubuntu 8.04 server, as it's the latest LTS release.
#9
so you reckon just stick it out and wait for the HP to come back in stock? it does seem very cheap and come with a three year warranty. the 'server' will mainly be used as a file server and maybe connect to an modded xbox once i get back to uni, might do other things once i get there though.
#10
guerilla
so you reckon just stick it out and wait for the HP to come back in stock? it does seem very cheap and come with a three year warranty. the 'server' will mainly be used as a file server and maybe connect to an modded xbox once i get back to uni, might do other things once i get there though.


How important is this data likely to be? Might be worth getting a decent RAID setup if it's important.

If you're going to be using it for media take a look at these:

http://lifehacker.com/software/streaming-media/how-to-build-a-linux-media-server-244735.php
http://www.xbox-linux.org/wiki/Media_Center_HOWTO
http://www.linuxmce.org/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/x360mediaserve/
#11
the data is not likely to be hugely important will probably be mainly media and my uni work but that should be safe enough being on my machine and being backed up onto the file server
#12
The fact it is for mass storage makes self-build a bit more tempting IMO as you could buy a 500GB hard drive instead of the 160GB... Got to dash now but I'll price something up this lunchtime for you if you want.
#13
it would be greatly appreciated mate!
#14
This http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1005985 may interest you.

TBH if it's just going to be a file/media server you don't really need anything at all powerful, you could buy something cheap and cheerful from eBay or your mates if they have a spare lying around (being something of a geek I have several old machines around doing that sort of thing, lol) and stick a few big HDD's in......
#15
#16
megalomaniac
This http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1005985 may interest you.

TBH if it's just going to be a file/media server you don't really need anything at all powerful, you could buy something cheap and cheerful from eBay or your mates if they have a spare lying around (being something of a geek I have several old machines around doing that sort of thing, lol) and stick a few big HDD's in......


i was going to pinch my mates spare computer but it has IDE drives in it, i was under the impression these weren't around anymore?
#17
guerilla
i was going to pinch my mates spare computer but it has IDE drives in it, i was under the impression these weren't around anymore?


Naw you can still get IDE drives quite easily: http://www.ebuyer.com/search/?intStoreID=2&intCatID=4&intSubcatUID=379 :thumbsup:
#18
The only problem with IDE drives (and its not a very big problem) is most new motherboards, particularly intel, only have 1 (or sometimes zero) IDE channel so a max of 2 devices...
#19
so it isnt very expandable then?
#20
guerilla
so it isnt very expandable then?


All he's saying is that it wouldn't be a good idea to buy IDE drives for a new machine, which it wouldn't be, as they don't tend to have many IDE channels. But if you're pinching an old machine off a mate then IDE isn't going to give you any problems as it was the standard for many many years and it'll be around for a while yet.
#21
Yep, thanks mega, exactly - I wouldn't buy a new IDE drive but they still work fine! Looking around, it seems at the moment you will pay pretty much bang on £70 for the bottom-of-the-range Intel (non-Celeron) or AMD dual-core chip, heatsink and motherboard, which leaves only £40 to buy HDD, memory and a case/psu to make it the equivalent of the HP system. This is for the AMD X2 4600+ (2.4GHz) CPU or the Intel E2180 (2GHz) which are both faster than the CPU in the HP.

2GB of DDR2 ram will cost about £25, a 500GB hard disc £45 and a decent enough case/PSU around £25, so you would be looking at around £165 total (without optical drive).

If you really wanted as-cheap-as-possible you could save a bit by getting a dual-core celeron, 1GB ram, a smaller hard drive and a **** case, but even then you would be looking at around £130...
#22
so would you wait for the hp to come back in stock and slap a bigger HDD in there?
#23
guerilla
so would you wait for the hp to come back in stock and slap a bigger HDD in there?


Thinking purely of what I'd do in that situation; I'd save the money for something more important (like beer seeing as you're a uni student :thumbsup:), steal that spare machine off the mate (assuming the spec is reasonable) and stick a couple of these: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/113430 in a RAID1 config. Even if you only buy one of those it's still more storage for less money than the HP, and tbh I doubt they'll be back in stock anytime soon at that price.
#24
There is a 500GB/16MB Samsung drive for £45 at the moment at ebuyer (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130454) which is probably better value (both samsung and seagate drives are very good - 3 and 5 year warranties respectively)...
#25
jah128
There is a 500GB/16MB Samsung drive for £45 at the moment at ebuyer (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130454) which is probably better value (both samsung and seagate drives are very good - 3 and 5 year warranties respectively)...


Even better....more GB for your £ :thumbsup:
#26
if i can find the spec of my mates machine will you be able to tell me whether it will handle streaming video?
#27
just noticed your in Nottingham, coincidently that's where i'm at uni!
#28
Anything PIII era or newer should be perfectly capable, it's the network that tends to be a bottle neck for streaming media.

EDIT: This guy's using a PIII: http://rubbervir.us/projects/ubuntu_media_server/
#29
it only has 512Mb of ram in it, will it need upgrading?
#30
guerilla
just noticed your in Nottingham, coincidently that's where i'm at uni!


Cool, Trent or Nottingham? You studying anything exciting?
#31
nottingham, and no not really lol! im studying mechanical engineering.
#32
guerilla
it only has 512Mb of ram in it, will it need upgrading?


Wouldn't hurt, but you shouldn't need to If you're using Linux. It's a lot less power hungry than Windows. In that tutorial I pointed out the guy was using a PIII with 256Mb RAM with Ubuntu running on it.
#33
i suppose once its up and running i could upgrade if necessary. I'll be able to get the tower off my mate next week so if you wouldnt mind keeping an eye out for this thread re-emerging i almost definitely will need more help!
#34
next question, anywhere that explains, simply, how to set up a RAID setup? its my understanding that RAID is something that sort of automatically mirrors your HDD. is that right?
#35
guerilla
next question, anywhere that explains, simply, how to set up a RAID setup? its my understanding that RAID is something that sort of automatically mirrors your HDD. is that right?


You'll need a RAID controller, either on the motherboard (fairly common these days) or via a separate add on card. I wouldn't worry about it if there's no RAID controller in the machine already, seeing as you said the data's backed up elsewhere.

What RAID actually does depends on the configurations. There's a nice explanation of RAID on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks but actual set-up varies system to system.
#36
Yeah, it mirrors (copies same data to multiple drives) or stripes (copies blocks of data to different drives and reads them in parallel) or does both...
#37
Hi,
Can you send me the link so that i can check what exactly you are looking for or i can also arrange for an installation as well for you...
#38
eh???
#39
guerilla;2298377
eh???


indeed :giggle:
#40
well anyway jah i picked up my mates spare computer this weekend so im going to try and get it up and running, there are lots of wires inside its scary! lol!

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