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What should I consider for starting my own home server?


Rod at home
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Yet, I know, probably too wide open a starting question. Well, I'm not always the best at coming up with the right question, but I've got to start somewhere. So, starting with the topic title, let me elaborate.

 

I've got an HP Pavilion Elite desktop PC. I work as a Windows software developer, and so I needed a beefy machine for development, testing, etc. My PC is about 4 years old, at least. Recently, it seems to me as though it is becoming quite unreliable. Just today, while trying to print a Word document, the instant I clicked on the Print button my monitor went blank, and what's worse is the Word document didn't print. I figure that if the issue was with the monitor (which also seems to be failing as the black is no longer that black) the Word document would have proceeded to print, but it didn't. Turning the monitor off and back on again didn't help, so I did a hard boot of the system (I hate doing that, so only do it when necessary). So I'm thinking that my desktop PC is giving out on me. In the past I would always replace it with a new, powerful desktop PC, but in today's day and age, that no longer seems appropriate. Plus in December I purchased a powerful enough Song Vaio laptop, with Windows 8 on it, that I believe I can do my development work on there. Therefore, I'm seriously considering the possibility of replacing my desktop with a Windows Server, and naturally I thought of the Windows Home Server podcast, this website, etc.

 

So here's what I need in a home server. I do database development on the Windows platform, so I'm going to install SQL Server Developer Edition database, probably either version 2008 R2 or 2012. I also want to put the free version of Team Foundation Server for source control as well as tracking/monitoring. I also do development with ASP.NET, which runs on IIS, so that has to be on the server. So, for a home server I need something that will support all of that, as well as a Windows server platform appropriate for an individual, and lastly it must be inexpensive (OK, as cheap) as it can possible. Even though I'm posting this question in the Windows Home Server 2011 - General Questions forum, if Home Server 2011 isn't appropriate, I'm sorry I just didn't know which forum would be most appropriate.

 

So, given my constraints/requirements, what options are open to me, please?

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Given all of the Development Requirements, I think you should be looking at a minimum of an i3 with possibly an i5.  Maximize the RAM with 8 GIGS for 2011 (not sure how much 2012E can support).

 

I think Team Foundation is Fairly Resource intensive from what I remember from working with our SharePoint developers.

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The first thing I want to know is whether you've reinstalled the OS from scratch. I can't count the number of times a reinstallation has fixed all kinds of problems for friends & family, even problems that you would swear were hardware related.

 

You may indeed have a hardware issue or issues, but I would reinstall the OS first to be sure.

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I've got to admit that I hadn't thought of reinstalling the OS, ikon. I'm not sure I can, though. I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8, using that $39 upgrade deal that Microsoft had a few months back. If memory servces me, the upgrade was done online, so I don't think I have an .ISO file I could make into a bootable DVD.

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I think you have a couple of options:

  • call MS, explain the situation, and that you want to reinstall; ask what your options are.
     
  • try installing Win7 onto a spare drive; see if the issues you're having with your hardware disappear.

The main concern is to establish whether you really have hardware issues. If you install Win7 and the issues go away, then you can call MS and ask what you can do.

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Should he use existing items on the market or wait for haswell. I ask myself the same question.

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I think you have a couple of options:

  • call MS, explain the situation, and that you want to reinstall; ask what your options are.

     

  • try installing Win7 onto a spare drive; see if the issues you're having with your hardware disappear.

The main concern is to establish whether you really have hardware issues. If you install Win7 and the issues go away, then you can call MS and ask what you can do.

I did have Windows 7 on this machine, before upgrading to Windows 8. The only hardware problem I had was listening to audio via the earbud connection on the front of the PC (when I listened to anything that way I often had a BSOD, so I tried never to listen to anything that way.)

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