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Using XP, Vista, & on a server

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New Member
Apr 22, 2011
It has been a long time since I have been on here (Back when I was overclocking AMD XP2100's and crunching seti)

I have built quite a business and am in need to get a server setup for handling files.

New is out of the question so I have been searching ebay. The servers I have found that offer SATA Raid are missing any operating system. I am using a basic desktop with XP right now as a file server.

Can I run XP, Vista or 7 on something like dell's poweredge servers or HP's equivalent? There is no way I am going to spend $700+ on server software when I don't need it.

I can buy a decent 2u server with dual operton 250 2.4ghz cpus and 4 400GB SATA HDD in raid 1,0 config for $200.

Anyone doing anything like this? What problems would I have? Thanks in advance.

I may have to get my office turned into a farm on the off season. Would be 6 computers and maybe 1 server crunching again.
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I have an extensive server project, which is linked in my signature below.

For me to help, I need to know what you are going to use this server for and how much data you need to store on it. In addition to that, what hardware do you have now and how much are you looking to spend.

If this is for a business, you may be better off buying a new server (such as a Dell), which allows you to configure it how you want and gives you a warranty. If you build them a server, expect to be the one supporting it from now on.
It is all tax software and files. Really I have 7 years of tax software and files in about 10GB of HDD space. Problem is, it is running on an aging desktop and I am fearing for my data. This is why I would sleep better if I had some kind of data redundancy.

All of my other computers, I hesitate to call them terminals as they are full operating computers run from XP to the newest running 7. hey run the software directly from the main computer, no software is installed on the "terminals"

Because of this, I can bring up client files from any computer.

Only other thing is printer sharing.

I am the business owner so I am my own tech support, makes it easier. :comp:

I looked at buying a new server, but they run well over $1000 after you figure in software, and I just don't have the funds to do that at the moment.

If you don't need much processing power or memory, you could easily go with a lower end system or even second-hand. I would use RAID 1 for reduced chances of data loss through hardware failure, combined with a good backup solution (external drives and offsite storage), which would go a long way. Is this information that is absolutely critical?
vitally critical. My worry is the OS. I would prefer to not spend an outrageous amount of money on a server OS
If it is just a file server, you can use pretty much whatever operating system you want (2000, XP, 2003, 2008...linux).

I'm sure you know this already, but if something is critical to your business, you are probably going to spend a bit of money making sure that you will always have it. Cheap servers work ok (most of the time), but you seriously need to set aside some money and do it proper. And I don't mean dropping 5k on the server; I mean doing it for what you need/want.

Either way, RAID is a good start, backups are also extremely important.

I don't feel comfortable giving advice when it comes to mission critical information, as I have no work experience, training or schooling in this field. I do mine as a hobby.
as long as i know I can use any OS, the rest is gravy. I understand the worries on giving advice, but I will never hold anyone to the fire who is giving advice in good faith. I have hard copies of almost everything but in a massive failure it would still be a long week putting everything back together.

The hope with a raid 1 system is that if 1 HDD fails while I am gone, I can show an employee how to hot swap a drive at the end of the day and everything will be statis quo by morning. Never missing a beat. As it is now, if that happens, we are closed down until I reload everything.

It is funny, I bought this business from a man who retired out of state. They have been using a desktop as a file server and terminal for years. The same desktop has been used since 2001. I don't see how they have not had a serious problem yet. I have now owned the place for my second year and have decided to upgrade.

I appreciate all the help.