Windows Home Server – Stage 1

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Windows Home Server has had some interesting developments over the past couple of months and how it can work with all the PCs on your network. After looking into WHS it seems that its very promising and useful for a central server need. Mostly I got convinced by my friend to work on it.

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I have this 8 year old Alienware case which is perfect for the job, I stripped it of all the old items.

By the time I am done with the retrofit of the case I will be able to install at least 11 Hard Drives and one optical drive which is very large. I just install the 1200 Watt PSU, DVD Writer,and One 320 GB Sata (OS Drive)

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What I will be needing:

  • New Motherboard
  • Processor
  • Ram
  • Basic Graphics Card
  • Hard Drives (Raid Pool)

I had to use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the guts of the case, it was dusty as hell.

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A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

14 Comments

  1. Nice :D
    I’m curious what motherboard/processor you’ll use and why you opt to use Windows?

  2. 3baid:
    WHS is easier to deploy with a ton of features out of the box.

    1. Its built on Server-2003 (stable!)
    2. Does software RAID and can pool any size/type of drive.
    3. Handles full backups (Boot from restore CD and pull data from server over network)
    4. Web panel for accessing files and computers (rdp manager).
    5. One-click connectivity with upnp devices (Xbox) for Music/Videos.

  3. sinner

    I usually take my PC to the mechanic, the air compressor does a pretty GOOD job at ridding the dust and crud.Its effortless, safe and the machine ends up looking brand new.

  4. I was thinking of having some control and management over my household network since we added a new PC but WHS can do so much … curious how this project will go for you. Keep updating :)

  5. Hmm, does it support all OSs? or just windows OS?

  6. punky

    the word of the day is “tarsheed”, Z you are pulling way to much electricity from the grid, and i get very aggravated without A/C:P

  7. N.:
    The auto-backup/restore is only supported on windows machines .. you could setup a network share and auto-sync other systems tho.

    punky:
    Electricity is last year .. This year its all about water, and we support them by not running liquid cooling.

  8. Oh, this is really gonna be awesome!

    LOL @ “Electricity is last year .. This year its all about water, and we support them by not running liquid cooling.”

  9. DVLz

    few recommendations to help you with your project

    1- needs a very good cooling system for performance and protecting your HDD from failure. Most external HDDs fail due to cooling problems, especially when many use Aluminum cases which they say absorbs heat and cools your HDD which is false statement. When heat builds up inside the case you start losing data and you have a slow performance and the life of your HDD slowly decreases. Now too much cold could kill your entire PC and that I mean freezing point.

    2- I was going to recommend using hot-swappable bay especially for maintenance and upgrading, but after looking at your Alienware case I don’t think you would need it.

    3- make sure you use something like Surge Protector, cause you don’t want to fry your server when electricity power fluctuate. This is a simple backup wont cost you much.

    from my own experience HDD capacity is never enough especially if your a leecher. Good luck with your project

  10. Thanks K that makes sense :|

  11. 3baid: Gigabyte P35, its a really good mother board for all the ports.

    K: yup!

    Sinner: I’m thinking about getting it!

    maryam: I will keep updating, now I have a few ideas in mind for it!

    N: yup, all OSes

    punky: hhahaha! not that much power! loool

    K: yup, hahaha!

    Shaymaa: hehehehe!

    DVLz: 1) I think there is ample cooling in the case, it does have hot-swappable drives for sure. Got one surge protector for it.

    N: :)

  12. Nice! I wish my home built WHS looked as good as that. Alienware with space for 11 drives is awesome!

    It’s true, WHS is a great tool for a home network even if you love linux.

    Good stuff!

  13. It’s funny that both the WHS blog and the on10 blog link to you and say that it’s an Alienware case :)

    I have a case like that myself and it’s 100% Chieftec (http://www.chieftec.com/dg-01sld-u.html).

    You prolly got the Alienware logo from the fan…

    Anyway, good job on the server and maybe you can post some power consumption charts.

  14. Daniel: Very true, I do love Linux, but they have built a very good product on top of Windows Server 2003

    Ovidiu: It is an Alienware case when I bought it, it was an Alienware case from 2000 but I gutted the machine since it has long died. I will be posting info about the setup and the all the info people request!

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