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Thread: File Server

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    3 Star Lounger
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    File Server

    Someone suggested to me that I should use an old computer as a file server. Can someone tell me the benefits of this (or the liabilities if there are any) and is there anywhere I can get instructions on how to do this ? Thanks, in advance, for any help.

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: File Server

    1] Is this on a network? - if so, workgroup or domain? - and how many users?

    2] How old is old? And what spec?

    3] What OS would you run on it?

    4] What service is it going to offer? There would be a big difference between two users occasionally accessing a few Word files and 200 users continuously accessing a database.

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    Re: File Server

    Thanks for your response ... if my answers are not computer literate just ask more questions.

    1) To start with, this would just be for my own use and then maybe for my two kids also (if I can figure out how to do that), so max 3-4 users. Could this also be used to play stored music through a stereo system ?

    2) Compaq Presario 5630, PII 400MHz, 192 MB (SDRAM), Sony CD-RW (8x/4x/32x), USB & Firewire, 12GB Hard Drive (I guess I could install a larger one if need be but how large a dirve would a system like this recognize ... I think I have read where new enormous drives installed on older machines are not always recognized in their entirety).

    3) Currently I have WIN98SE, Fat 32 on this machine ... new computer will have WINXP PRO ... here is a long answer ... If knew how to do it, i might try Lindows because I made a donation sometime ago and now can get free software for life (I am not necessarily a Microsoft hater, I just don't mind helping sustain competition)

    4) Probably use it for music, photo, maybe movies for a home entertainment system ... is that possible ?

    Thanks again for trying to be helpful !!!!!

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: File Server

    OK, I think I have a better understanding of what your intentions are! I think I may move this from Servers to General Windows as you should then benefit from a wider range of views.

    1] It sounds like you could be using it more for general storage rather than for sharing. Bearing in mind that accessing files from it will be slower than from a local HD, I'd be inclined to use it as a backup and temporary storage device rather than the prime location of everyday files. It would serve well as a central 'download location' for SP's, updates and utilities etc. - easily located from any other connected pc.

    Depending on your sound card, I see no reason why you couldn't use it as a juke-box - but I'd expect that network performance would take a big hit whilst in use. (From the sound of it, that wouldn't be an issue.)

    2] Adding a larger HD could be problematic, and you may need to refer to Compaq for advice. See:
    126855 - Windows Support for Large IDE Hard Disks
    Perhaps you could add a USB external drive that could be connected to any other pc in the event of a catastrophe.

    3] To quote half the world - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I wouldn't expect you to get any improvement in perfomance, and for what you intend using it for, W98 should be fine.

    4] Don't see why not, subject to space limitations. Moving photo albums to CD would probably be a good move, and the 'server' could be gainfully employed creating those rather than tying up local resources.

    (If desktop space is a problem, it may be worth investing in a KVM.)

    Hopefully others will chip in with their own ideas and correct or expand on my thoughts above!

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    Re: File Server

    Thanks for the help Leif ... more questions ... how do I hook the 2 computers together, through a USB and I hope this doesn't sound too stupid but if I am on the internet would I be able to download to my main computer or this "server" or would each unit have to be online independently ???

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: File Server

    USB networking is beyond me, I'm afraid! I think you may find a simple LAN using NIC's more practical...

    A single Internet connection is all you need - check:
    234815 - Description of Internet Connection Sharing
    and
    314066 - How to Enable Internet Connection Sharing on a Home or Small Office Network Connection in Windows XP
    but you may be better served by raising this as a separate thread in the Networking your Home forum.

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