What to do with old Windows Desktop?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MSFT, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. MSFT macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2013
    Since I got my MBA I really don't use the desktop that I built about 2 years ago (because Windows 7 crashed big time).

    Unfortunately, the hardware is pretty good and still modern. I forget the specifics but its a fast computer capable of running multiple monitors.

    I'd rather get some use out of it. Anyone have any ideas? Home theatre computer?
  2. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Throw a decent video card in it? Gaming machine. Just reinstall windows with the disc, it isn't difficult
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    You could make it an WMC7 OTA DVR and possibly cut your cable TV. That's what I did (with an HDHomeRun dual tuner)
  4. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    And oh yeah, if you read the OP.

    He already has a Mac, he needs something to do with a PC that isn't used much anymore.
  5. three macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington State
    As mentioned before, reinstall Windows and make it a gaming machine.
  6. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
  7. MSFT thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2013
    I don't game. The last game I played was Americas Army. Now that I do it in real life, it's not as fun on a computer. :D

    Media server sounds interesting. Though I don't really have much media (~100GB)...

    How hard is Hackintosh to install these days? Is that discussion allowed here? If not, just ignore...:p
  8. oldhifi macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2013
  9. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    That's what I did with my old desktop: a media server & backup server.

    I have Crashplan set to back up our laptops & my mom's desktop. iTunes serves DVD-ripped movies up to the AppleTV and the desktop is also functions as the dedicated ripping machine (DVD Fab & Handbrake).

    I installed Microsoft Remote Desktop on my Air, and now the Dell sits headless in the corner.
  11. MSFT thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2013
    I think I am going to go for the media/backup server. It will be a waste of the nice graphics card and the two monitors, but that is OK.

    Any good guides for setting this all up?

    Thanks for everyone's help.
  12. jdechko, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Step 1) Configure the desktop for remote access.


    Also, download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the App Store.


    Step 1a) Install Teamviewer for remote access while you're away from home. Remote Desktop & Teamviewer are complementary to each other.

    Step 2) Install iTunes & turn on home sharing (I assume this step is already done?)

    Step 3) Decide how you want to back up your Mac. You could go the Time Machine route or you could use something like Crashplan. The free version of Crashplan includes the ability to back up from one computer to another. If you want to combine that with offsite backups, go ahead and sign up.

    Next Steps

    Step 4) Install OpenVPN to create a more secure network when you are away from home.

    Step 5) DVDFab for ripping DVD's & BluRay.

    Step 6) Handbrake for converting the DVD & BluRay Rips to .m4v files for playback on just about any modern device: Mac, PC, USB (direct TV input), iPhone, Android, AppleTV, Roku, etc.

    Step 8) If you're into Minecraft, download the standalone server and host a local, private server for you & your friends. Use a Dynamic DNS service and port forwarding to allow them to connect from anywhere.

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