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Old 06-14-2015, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Turning an old tower into a home server

i wanted to use my old tower as a file server to stream videos and music to a different computer running kodi media centre what os would anyone recomend on very min specs
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

I'd recommend Nas4Free, Its great for low spec and old machines. Another is FreeNas but that needs at least 2GB of ram.

Turn an Old Computer Into a Do-Anything Home Server with FreeNAS 8
Turn an Old Computer into a Networked Backup, Streaming, or Torrenting Machine with NAS4Free
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Thanks for the reply I have been reading about free nas I stopped reading about it because i read about two problems

1) it has problems supporting NTFS formatted drives
2) there is little to no support for WIFI

And thanks for the link I love a link I had already read it tho lol

---------- Post added at 03:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:30 AM ----------

My old Machine is an old HP windows XP tower it has just under 2gb ram system shows it to be around 1.9gb for some reason
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

There should be a licence sticker on the side of the machine, what OS is it for?

If you have a licence sticker, then you can get a Windows Operating System for free, legally!
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

It's a windows XP tower with a windows xp home edition sticker

It's a HP UTOW QUA

---------- Post added at 03:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:41 AM ----------

I was also just thinking of using XP as a media server but have heard about a problems forgetting shared folders when sharing to newer computers like 8 8.1 10
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

I'd have thought XP would work fine as a media server, I'm sure if XP does inded have those problems, then somebody will have made a third party software application that'll do the same job more effectively!
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Windows is prob easier to stick to do you think it will be able to handle the load of sharing video files in various formats and different quality like 1080p on the small specs in the tower it's only got 2gb ram and a very old AMD processor
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

XP should run fine on 2GB RAM, I'm guessing you have an old Athlon 64 chip or better, (possibly a 3200 or similar?). As long as you have the hard drive space for 1080p film etc, then I'd anticipate the PC should be able to handle it okay!

The PC itself doesn't even have to recognise the file format if you're simply sharing the files, as long as the PC that is using the shared files can view them, then you're good to go!

Hope this helps a little, if you need anything else just shout!
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

At this moment I aren't exactly sure what processor is in the tower I haven't looked at its specs for quite a while it's lust lying about being unhelpful all I no is that's it's a old AMD SEMPRON processor

What would you say the min requirements are for the processor I will have to boot the tower and look

Any help is always appreciated thanks
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

The Semprons were the budget chip back then, so the PC won't be winning any speed medals! Should do the job okay though.

As long as it boots XP (which it should, I've built XP machines with 1GB RAM and Sempron chips and they run fine).

As long as the network/hdd combination is up to the task of copying movies etc, it should work well. From the overall picture I've gathered then it should work! Nothing to lose anyway, XP won't cost you anything as you already have a licence, and theres nothing to upgrade, so its worth giving it a shot!
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

I have just booted the tower it will definitely boot windows XP I have a copy of windows vista ultimate installed on it at the moment

It says

Windows vista ultimate
Amd SEMPRON 3000+ 2.00 ghz (k7)
1.93Gb ram (1983 mb)
Standard VGA graphics adaptor
32 bit os

So what would you do
Thanks again

---------- Post added at 05:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:59 AM ----------

Let me make it clear that this computer would do nothing other than download torrents and share files audeo and video I would not be using this computer for actual work or games or anything it would just be put away running itself
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Anyone else's opinions welcome

And thanks joe I use a newer laptop at the moment a dell Inspiron 1545 exact same set up I would just swap newer laptop for the older tower and stream to the newest laptop downstairs running kodi my hdd's at the moment are all NTFS 1tb external USB drives and my internet streams them perfectly the only reason I was wondering was because of the extremely low specs on the old tower will install XP and try will I need a certain edition of XP or will any have the features I need
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Looks like you don't have the proper display drivers installed, BUT, that doesn't really matter if you're just using it as a server.

If I were you, I'd actually have a go at using the PC "as-is" with Vista on it, and see how it works as a file server, Vista should have slightly better sharing capabilities than XP to be totally honest. It's a bit of a heavy lump of an Operating System, but again, for simply sharing files it's okay.

tl;dr: If Vista works fine, then use it! As long as Vista physically runs on the machine, then you may as well keep on using it! No point messing if it aint broke!
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Vista works on the tower but it's very sluggish it couldn't be used for much running on vista I never used this tower as a computer it was more of a play thing I always used the dell laptop

And I think there is a graphics card issue never really looked into it tho it was more a tower to mess with now a want it to have a decent use instead of running the dell 24/7
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

If you're going to use it simply as a file server, just disable all the visual styles (so the start menu and taskbar is grey etc, and it looks old... ), put the music, films etc you want on it, and just forget about it until you want to add more films! It may run sluggishly when you're on it, but for streaming movies, the HDD and network is more important, and won't really be affected by whether you're running XP or Vista!
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Yeah XP or Vista should do the job. To get the best network performance you'd want gigabit, That's if your tower and router has it. Do you know if the integrated NIC is gigabit or not?
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Yes I have just removed all the visual themes for vista and it looks very windows 95 is there anything else I can do to improve the computers performance at this job without upgrading and how would you this up through the share option or different software thanks again joe

---------- Post added at 06:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:19 AM ----------

I haven't got much idea about what type of internet speeds it is capable of bk

---------- Post added at 06:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:21 AM ----------

Is there any services I can uninstall that the computer runs constantly that I wouldent need and could recover a few recourses
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

You don't necessarily even need extra software, you can just share the directory that the files are in on Vista over the network (you can usually right click the folder, click properties, then sharing options, and advanced sharing. You can then set "Everyone" to the share I think, so anyone on your network can access the files.

You can see what services and programs run at startup by running msconfig (just type it into "Run"), and selecting the startup tab.

EDIT: This might be somewhat useful for networking...
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/w...dows=windows-7
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

That's how a have set it up joe was set up the same on the dell laptop I was just wondering it would be better to use a different program instead of just using windows options

Another thing what security software would you recomend that will use as little resources as possible

On the dell I used a collection of avast anti virus online armour and Comodo program moniter n various others

---------- Post added at 09:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:52 AM ----------

Thanks for that link joe I will have a read of that later could have some useful tips
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: Turning an old tower into a home server

Windows own built-in firewall is surprisingly good, so you probably won't need a third party one, something like AVG Free or Avast should be fine I would have thought in terms of an Anti-Virus program!
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