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Old January 24, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Default Custom Server Build or Acer easystore h340

I have a htpc that i could turn into WHS. I would install my sagetv server service on it and planning to buy the HD extender to play on tv. I have the nmedia 6000B case, and i was wondering about the heat? This small case can accomodate 5 HDDs. Do you guys hide your server somewhere? The htpc turned into whs would still be in the living room.

Now, what do you guys think about the Acer easystore H340 (4 HDD bay and esata for extra storage)? Are pre-built nas server a better choice for home user? I've seen that it come with either 1TB or 2TB preinstalled OS. If i buy the 1TB, would i be able to switch to a 2TB later? How am i supposed to reinstall whs on headless server? Do i install on a computer then switch HDD in the acer once installation done?

Would it be possible to install some application like virtual pc/wmware on WHS and install a virtual windows 7 only to run sage tv UI on the WHS that would output directly to tv? Is my Htpc, Athlon II X2 250 with 4Gb ram and integraded radeon 4200, strong enough? Would the performance be a lot worse than my currently setup plain windows 7 and sagetv?
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Old January 24, 2010, 08:56 AM
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wow, thas a lot of questions. here we go.

The NMedia case, with 6 hard drives, could most likely lead to hard drive failure. Even though it can physically fit 6 drives - having them jam packed would create a lot of heat. too much heat = drive failure. You could put two 92mm (? - can't remember exact size, mine takes 92..) fans in a push/pull in the case for extra air flow. Having 4x fans in the HTPC would make it louder, something that you may not want in the living room.

I personally hide my NAS - mainly because it has 6x 80mm fans in it. Even though they are Vantec silent ones, they still create enough noise that would be annoying.

The Acer easystore is a neat little unit. It is great for the home user, easy to setup and admin. Easy to expand your data storage and soforth. If you wish to expand, you simply add another drive and add it to the setup in WHS.. very easy to do.
It is a headless operating system (no monitor) and you reinstall it from another PC over the network. WHS comes with a few discs to do this with if you ever need to reinstall.

I would not recommend installing a VM on WHS. I wouldn't know if someone has done it before, but WHS is very finicky when it comes to things you can install. I've heard many stories of people 'breaking' the operating system by just installing third party programs.
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Thanks you for answering my post!
Sorry for all the questions , I didnt want to create multiple threads !

For the nmedia case there is 2x 80mm fan in the back and 1x 120mm on the left side HDD cage which is the louder one ( I could replace it). There is room to install another one on the right side of the cage. I was thinking about getting green drives which seem to run cooler. What is the degree that would be optimal? Sure the nmedia will prolly be a bit louder but it would be the cheapest way as i already have it.

I am trying to avoid having 2 pc on 24h/24, as i cant put my htpc to sleep because HD-PVR doesnt support it. I need to get a kill-a-watt to know exactly how much it would cost to leave them both on ;) Maybe the HD extender would consume less watt and i could put it in standby but then im not exactly sure about the update of futur codec...

Isnt the Acer easystore HDD too jam packed as well? I havent seem review with full 4 green HDDs in it. I was wondering about the heat...Just making sure it will be worth 600$ over my already paid htpc ;)

Oh cool! I didnt know that i could install the os from a computer directly to the headless server. It seem to be an Acer version of WHS thought...which i dont think you get with the server?Does WHS need to be reinstall as often as windows os?

Sure, i wouldnt want to break WHS but i've seen many "add-ins" that bring new features. Thats why i was asking for a VM one, maybe it exist? :)
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Old January 25, 2010, 10:45 AM
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If you do put that many hard drives in the HTPC case, i'd recommend getting two 120mm fans in a push/pull across the hard drives, you shouldn't have any problems then. I was unaware the case was that big to put 120mm fans in! :) I have a smaller nmedia case that takes 92mm fans.
I would suggest getting two Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm fans - they can be slowed down with their extra resistance cables if you find the stock too loud, and even though they are ugly brown you don't see them in the case.

Running the Acer Easystore + a Media Streamer such as the ASUS Oplay/Patriot Box Office/WD Live would be less power consumption overall. The Acer model runs off a 200W power supply, much less than most HTPCs. The media streamer could be shut off. The only downfall from switching to that setup is cost + you would not be able to record TV with the media streamer (I don't know if you need that or not)

And the Acer Aspire Easystore H340 does come with Windows Home Server pre-installed. The added bonus of having the WHS is you can easily backup any windows workstation on your network with ease.. and can setup file duplication of shared folders for redundancy.
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Old January 25, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Thanks you!

Im still unsure which way to take... I sure want to record on my htpc cause my shawdirect pvr isn't network friendly :( Too bad ....
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Old January 26, 2010, 04:46 PM
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I''ve read that microsoft virtual pc or wmware server could emulate a windows 7 or even linux with whs.. Anyone have tried it?
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