best way to turn old computer into file server?

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I have an old computer with a P4 1.8ghz cpu. I have 3 HDD's that total
250gig. I have a linksys router and plenty of cable. I have only one
monitor, although I guess I can set up the file server on the home network
with one monitor initially by sharing and then just disconnecting the
monitor from the file server after it is set up.

But I have never used a file server before, and I plan to also use it to
back up my main comp which my wife and I share. Any ideas or advice on my
plan? What's the best way to do it, or do I already have the basic plan

Re: best way to turn old computer into file server?

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Re: best way to turn old computer into file server?

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I didn't need you to tell me this. Go take your personality problems
somewhere else troll.

Re: best way to turn old computer into file server?

"What's the best way to do it, or do I already have the
basic plan right? "
There really isn't much to this idea.  I'm doing exactly
the same thing.  It's also easy to use the server as a
print server.  then if you ever do connect another
computer on the network, it will be able to print also.
I'd suggest you make your boot partition smallish.
Like 10 gig or so.  You shouldn't have many apps
on the server and you'd probably like it to be as
stable as possible.  so minimize the apps, and make
an image backup as soon as it is working.  when you tidy
up small things, make another backup.

you probably will need to hook a monitor to it once
in a while so keep the back accessible.  i would just leave
an old keyboard & mouse plugged in all the time.
and, in fact, an old monitor is nice too.  doesn't have to have
high resolution or good quality.

as a basic system i'd suggest:
o/s, firewall, av, spybot, adaware, winzip, i.e., and VNC server.  your
printer drivers may be required also.

Re: best way to turn old computer into file server?

On 1 Jan 2006 05:29:26 -0800, wrote:

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With VNC you do not need KVM except in an emergency.

Why not add Kingwin KF-23 3-fan removable HD bays and make it a backup
server. If you get hyge disks you can partition them for all users on
the LAN. Use small disks for each OS and map their partition on the
big disk to their machine. Make periodic backups and store the archive
drive(s) on the shelf.

Re: best way to turn old computer into file server? says...
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There are several ways to do this, but you didn't give a lot of

First, lets talk about how to get a keyboard, mouse, monitor working
with the unit without having to purchase another set. There are programs
like PcAnywhere, VNC, TightVNC, Remote Admin, etc... These programs are
Great when the computer is working, but, when there is a problem they
won't help you. A KVM switch, a simple two port version, runs about $40
many places - Iomeag, Belkin, etc... they all make clones that work
fine. The KVM allows you to have a real k/m/m shared with two computers
(or more) so that you can actually get into the BIOS, etc... Get a KVM
switch, you'll be glad you did later.

Next, we need determine how you're going to setup the machine for
backups. Since you didn't say what OS version, you could just enable the
GUEST account, create a network share called BACKUPS, and then map the
computers to the share and then do all your backups. While I would never
enable the Guest account, it's the easiest method. If you want a better
method, created complementary user accounts on the backup computer, they
have to have the SAME user/password as the accounts on the other
computers, so that they will properly authenticate the remote users.
This is more cumbersome, but it maintains security.

Now comes the important part - how to ensure that the data on the backup
server is also backed up and protected - enable a quality Antivirus
solution, purchase an External USB/Firewire drive and backup the backup
computer to the external drive.... Don't forget, unless you use a RAID-1
or RAID-5 type solution for the drives, if you have one drive die you
will be out everything on that drive...

As in THIS thread if you need more info.

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Re: best way to turn old computer into file server?

Thank you everybody!

I have xp sp2 on both computers and was thinking about trying Remote
Desktop. The main desktop with the monitor is upstairs and I was going to
run a cable from its router to the desktop (file server) downstairs. The
file server has no monitor; it is just a case with hard drives in it that I
was going to leave on all the time and hidden underneath a table.

The more I get into this though, the more I think I should just use it for
manaul backups. Now I am thinking when I want to backup, I will just go into
the other room and turn the computer on. Then I will run Nero's BackItUp so
I can see and verify that the backup is taking place.

I will go look into the kvm switch.

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