Turning an old desktop into a home server?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Chuushajou, May 20, 2010.

  1. Chuushajou macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2010
    So, I have an old Dell Inspiron sitting in my garage not doing much, and I was wondering how I can turn this into a little home-server just to store some music & movies, preferably without spending any cash?

    The specs aren't exactly amazing, but they should do the job;

    Intel Pentium D Processor- 2.8Ghz
    512MB DDR[1] RAM- 533Mhz
    2x80GB IDE hardrives

    ... Couldn't I slap Ubuntu Server edition onto this, configure and away I go?
  2. danielcox macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    You could, although 160gb isn't a lot of storage space for a home server.
  3. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    More than quick enough for my home server; mine is a P4 2ghz with 2gb ram and a gbit NIC. I have SABnzbd+, Transmission server, irssi running under screen, SMB, ProFTPD, and a basic LAMP setup running on it. My Wii is soft modded and has a 10/100 usb adapter - works great to play anything less than 720p off my server over SMB in MPlayerCE.

    You can install ubuntu server on it and run headless, that is how I go. Pretty easy to setup. Toss an extra 1.5tb hdd in there for like $80 bucks.
  4. danielcox macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    When building a server you should concern yourself more with memory, disk speed and network speed rather than the speed of the processor - it's largely irrelevant unless you're crunching numbers all day.
  5. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    He's probably on 10/100, so he's not going to have any issues maxing out anything but the NIC. I am on gbit and I am maxing out my hdds at 390Mbit/s.
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Have to do it via USB as I doubt his computer supports sata.
  7. rajendradhakal macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2010
    Its very nice

    i'm also trying too.
    the new system new configuration
    good system works
  8. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    PCI SATA controller is $15 ;)
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Good point. :p
  10. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    I am considering something similar except for using one as a home server but rather as a web host. My ISP seems to be OK with it i am sure there might be a few small added fees switching from residential to business, but I'll have total control though.
  11. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    My personal server (serves files and my website) is a 7 year old Dell P4 with 2GB RAM and 500GB IDE Drive. It's a perfectly speedy machine for those tasks, but it surely gets really loud. You'll be fine with your machine; just add some more RAM and hard drives. The 1.5TB drives are around $99 each; why not pop two in?
  12. djdavidgallant macrumors member


    Jul 11, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Ubuntu works very well for this. It is also nice to install SFTP so you can drag n drop files right onto the box, without remoting into it.
  13. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Any Pentium D based PC will have SATA ports.
  14. Love macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2007
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    If it supports it, I'd recommend you throw in a decent drive and slap Ubuntu on it.

    Or chuck it off of a roof and buy a Mac mini server, but I doubt that's as cost effective as the first option. ;)
  15. DC Boy macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2010
    Hi im also thinking of turning my old PC into a home Server

    I have a 2006 HP Pavilion desktop:

    -it runs XP media center editon SP2
    -has an AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual core processor 4200+
    -991MHz 1GB RAM (4slots 2used need to look up max cap for upgrade purposes)
    -NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Le graphics
    -4 usb2.0's, a VGA port, 1 ieee/firewire, 1 Ethernet jack, mouse and keyboard input(not usb! old school green and purple/pink depending on the brand), and a fully digital audio output as well as all the standard PC speaker outputs.on the back of the tower integrated directly into the CPU Board (no PCI needed).
    -300w adjustable to 115w power supply/fan as well as two additional fans one on the case and one on the CPU Board
    -3 PCI ports(used) and 1 PCI Express port(free)
    --PCI(1) dial up modem(will probably chuck if need space)
    --PCI(2) TV tuner with A/V component, S-video,and a Coaxial Cable/ANT in as well as an out, plus free DVR software.
    --PCI(3) D-Link Wireless G LAN device [*1]
    -2 Large Drive Bays(1 used) and 4 Small Drive Bays(all used)
    --Large Bay(1) CD/DVDW drive with light-scribe.
    --Large Bay(2) Free
    --Small Bay(1) universal flash memory reader and 1USB 2.0
    --Small Bay(2) HP Pocket drive bay(IDK it seems to be like a passport drive bay but i have never used it)
    --Small Bay(3) head phones and microphone jack plus one other jack dk what its 4 but symbol kinda looks like a Antenna
    --Small Bay(4)primary HDD 224GB and recovery HDD 8.83GB(really one drive just came partitioned from manufacturer for reboot instead of sending me a windows OS disk.)
    -And a windows remote that works with TV tuner as well as Media Center

    [*1]WLAN adapter was the only upgrade I added to this system because I don't have an ethernet jack in my room and needed a good wireless connection. router is in my basement.
    (I'll be using ethernet when I transform it into a server)

    I really want to turn this PC into a home server dedicated to a few functions. I want to work as a print server. I have a big laser printer in my room that i stupidly bought without a networking feature and i checked it cant be moded to network. so to print on it from my laptop i would have to attach it to a desktop that stayed on and never went to sleep and by that point you might as well go full server conversion. I would also like it to work as a media server that could push media over my home network for everything from Stereos to home theater systems as well as have access from other PC's. the third thing I want it to do is have remote access over ISP or VPN getting a Cissco VPN client is no problem for me my school gives them to students for free. ISP would be preferable though VPN's tend to slow down networks. I don't need commercial over ISP capabilities it will just be me and a few family members using the server.
    I would like the Server to have a least basic pc capabilities web browsing gchat ect...
    I plan to have a keyboard/mouse and monitor hookup attached to the server for convenience of those who just need to look something up real quick and don't have there laptop with them.

    what I really need advice on is software/firmware. I have heard great thing about Ubuntu as well as other Linux based solutions such as BSD. and every where I go it seem someone is trying to push Windows Home Server On Me. but WHS is a lot of money i could be using to upgrade hardware for the long haul. and although I have a natural almost genetic ability to get along with commuters and understand them I have not spent much time with Linux based softwares and most of it was spent fiddling with early versions of android back before they before the broke away from Linux based OS completely. so there may be a bit of a learning curve there.

    I really don't know what to do about the software issue. so many options so little information about each. and so many bias on the subject (this seems to be the least bias form I have found so far;) ) I don't know what to believe.

    any advice?
  16. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
  17. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    If you have to ask how to then Ubuntu Server isn't for you.

    Cause have fun running it. :) [​IMG]

    Though if you choose ubuntu server I would suggest you install Webmin. Then after that install a ftp server, and there ya go you can store all types of files.
  18. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    Ubuntu is about learning and the server setup is pretty set-and-go, very easy. Just go with Ubuntu since you have no linux experience (also, BSD is not linux).
  19. DC Boy macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2010
    LOL!!! I called BSD a linux based solution??? Funny I know its UNIX based, However I had been up 4 like over 24hrs when I posted that. LOL!!MyBad!! xp

    THX 4 the advice though! ;)

Share This Page