Re-Buidling Media PC

The Dewaneya Media PC has been running for a good 6 years, and I think the age is showing. Since I have made some major changes to the dewaneya I was going for a bit of a hardware upgrade, starting off with the media PC.

New Specifications

  • Intel® Desktop Board DH67CF – Mini-ITX – Media Motherboard
  • Core i5 2300 – 2.8 GHz
  • 8 GB Ram (2x4GB)
  • Corsair 90 GB SSD – Sata 3 (For The OS)
  • Pioneer BluRay RW

Total 187 KD From Professional Computer

What I Already Have

  • Thermaltake Case
  • Power Supply
  • 2TB HD – Sata 3 (For The Media)

I almost store nothing on my PC’s these days, everything is stored on a network storage device which in this case is the Netgear 24TB Storage Unit. This little Unit is gonna pack a punch with the upgraded hardware and will be able to handle everything that I throw at it. Gonna install Windows 7 on it and from there I’m going to configure XBMC for my network, gonna take some tweaking and getting used to but I’m sure it will work perfectly. Other hardware upgrades are taking place in the dewaneya but that will be forthcoming in another post.

Windows Home Server – Stage 3

Due to complications with the setup we had to change the server case from the Alienware case to the Thermaltake Kandalf which is large full tower case that handle all the drives I was looking to install. The main issue of the Alienware case was that we weren’t able to install the Silverstone 1200 Watt PSU and the Athena Backplane, they were pushing against each other without allowing any of them to fit in.

The Athena Backplane was holing 5 Sata Drives 3.5″ in the place of 3 5.25″ Drives, so basically 3 CD-Roms for 5 Hard Drives. The PSU fit in the Alienware, and the Athena Backplane fit in the in Alienware case but just not together.

The Thermaltake was the only highquality full tower case available in Hawally at the time that we picked up for 75 KD, and even though it is overpriced the case was worth it and needed to continue our work. So we transplanted everything in the Alienware case to the Thermaltake case. I was dismantling while K was putting it together which was going smoothly.

It took us sometime to take off a few pieces from the Thermaltake since they weren’t needed. The hardware wiring was cleaned up, we removed the extra USB/Firewire/Sound connections of the case to fit the 1200 PSU, its a large one so it takes up space. It fits vertically rather then horizontally which makes things very accessible when connecting all the items for power. We fit the Athena Backplane, and everything was going very smoothly. We removed the LED fans and installed quiet fans on this case, these fans would provide ample cooling by pulling cool air from the front and the back to would pull out of the case. Even though there were four fans (1×120 mm & 3x92mm) running, the machine is extremely quiet, this isn’t even including the fan of the PSU.

Then the wiring came into play, we had a total of 7 SATA connections, and one IDE. Then there was the Addonics SATA controller for more SATA connections at a later point. This will help support a total of 15 hard drives if I wanted to fit them in the machine. Right now I have a total of 7 Hard drives in the machine which are enough to start off with.

After all the hardware configuration we started it up, it started which was good without shorting so everything seemed to be connected correctly. We started the Windows Home Server installation but we were too tired to continue except the next day. When we did continue it was only about mounting the new hard drives on Windows Home Server Share pool. It is going to take some time to tweak everything but overall everything is very straight forward in this machine, can’t wait to fully utilize it. There are still some steps to take.

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