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File Server hw & sw recommendations please

By SteveAK
Dec 29, 2006
  1. I'm running a Windows XP p2p network and am using an old PII 500Mhz computer with about 128MB of older SDRAM and a 120 gig PATA 7200 RPM drive as a pseudo-file-server. I say pseudo because it's still a peer, but I don't use it other than as extra storage for the other computer. Anyways, I'm using it to store large binary files which I access often, MP3's movies and such. Now my network is only 100Mbps Ethernet which is probably the bottleneck. But even pulling smaller files around 30KB are taking at least 30 seconds to load up. I'm upgrading my one system and I'll have a P4 2.4Ghz with a 500GB SATA drive and 1 GIG of DDR400 (3200) RAM to use for a new file server. Do you think this will remedy the problem of a 30 second delay? Or am I just crapping up a wall because I'll still have the bottle neck of the 100Mbps Ethernet?

    Also, I've ordered SUSE Linux 10.2 to use for one of my computers. I'll be breaking my Linux cherry with this install. Should I use it for the server or for the main computer that I work off of? I really do want to learn as much about Linux as possible with this OS. I also have a version of FreeBSD which I was thinking about using for the server, but I have no idea if it would even be compatible with the hardware I'm going to have. My other choices that I have are using Windows NT 4 which I know for sure would not support the hardware without some major driver digging and chopping up the harddrive into small partitions (which would defeat the purpose of it's size), Windows XP Professional, or Windows Server 2003 evaluation copy which would only run for about half a year. I was thinking of trying to get a copy of Windows 2000 Server and change my p2p into a client/server network. What do you all think would be the best idea at this point?

    Thanks for anyone and everyone's help.
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    For me, a file copy from a P2-233 128MB RAM is limited only by the network speed (10Mbit ethernet (I'm not in a hurry :) )). A 30K file gets here (over wireless) pretty much instantaneously. My server is not Windows though.

    So your problem with Windows either on the server or the client most likely.
    How exactly are you accessing the files on the server? Do you have a network drive mapped?

    Reinstalling Windows from scratch on a more powerful machine may fix your problems of course :)

    SuSE will not install on the 500MHz - too little RAM for the installer. BSD should run just fine.

    http://www.us-webmasters.com/FreeBSD/Install/Samba/
     
  3. SteveAK

    SteveAK TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have the network drive mapped. I'll have to try a reinstall of Windows on the client. The server machine, I haven't touched it since I first installed Windows and configured it for networking. I was thinking it could be a problem with the hard drive because I had bought a second hand batch of 160 GB Western Digital drives off Ebay and that's what that computer is using. Recently on my client system, the one local drive is stalling during file transfers between it and the other local drive. I will have to do some testing tonight and see if I can pinpoint it and if anything I'll just reinstall Windows on the client.

    Is BSD very hard to configure? I couldn't even figure out how to install it wth just looking at it.
     
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,683   +86

    The problem with those old MOBO that they tend to have HDD controller errors unless you can find a BIOS update for it. I ran two systems like that for some years until they just failed to perform. I know it fun to keep the old girl running still, but in time they will stop working.

    PIII 500 MHz/768MB of SRAM 5 HDs - died (not the cPU the mob0..
    PII 333MHz/512MB of SRAM 4 HDs- died (not the cPU the mobo_
     
  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    try setting the server for background services
    check the nics set them to auto or all full duplex what ever works best
    add some more memory
    try to use a defferant user name and password to log in
     
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