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Microserver Form Factor


Tyberious Funk
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Much as I'm really enjoying my HP N40L, I'm starting to run out of hard drive space.  I've looked at a few options, such as replacing the 2TB drives with 3TB drives (which would be expensive and time consuming) or trying to use the ODD space for an array fo 2.5 drives (which would be expensive and a really tight squeeze), or adding an external HDD enclosure (which would require more cables and clutter in an already cluttered space).

 

Then I thought about moving the guts of the N40L to a larger case, and adding a cheap SATA card. 

 

Is the motherboard on the Microserver any kind of "standard" form factor?  Or is it completely bespoke?  I can't find any information on the internet, and I don't really want to have to pull the motherboard out completely and try and take measurements.  Just the thought of trying to manoeuvre in that case gives me cold sweats.

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That's a good question. If anything, I think it would be a mini-ITX or micro-ATX.

 

If it was me, and it was necessary, I would modify a larger chassis; drill some holes, thread them, and mount standoffs. The biggest issue I see is getting, or making, a plate to adapt the external connectors to the new chassis, while also ensuring the PCIe slots line up with the case's slot openings.

 

EDIT: just thought of something: the mobos in the MicroServers are mounted on a tray. I would look into just mounting the whole tray into a bigger chassis. It might not work, but it's worth a look anyway.

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The N40 & 54 are passive cooled so in this case (no pun) it wouldn't matter.  At least I don't remember a fan in the back of that case.....it's been a while since I opened it.

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What is your MicroServer configuration currently? How much storage do you need?

There are several ways to add external drives with a single cable, neat and clean.

If you don't want to go with external drives, I would consider building something new and sell or re-purposing the MicroServer. The limitations of the MicroServer, ports and slots, really don't make it a board to put in a custom case.

Tells us more about what you have and were you want to go.

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What is your MicroServer configuration currently? How much storage do you need?

There are several ways to add external drives with a single cable, neat and clean.

If you don't want to go with external drives, I would consider building something new and sell or re-purposing the MicroServer. The limitations of the MicroServer, ports and slots, really don't make it a board to put in a custom case.

Tells us more about what you have and were you want to go.

 

Good point about the MicroServer. While it would simplify things to the extent that the OS wouldn't have to be reinstalled, it's not that big a deal to reinstall WHS2011 on a new box.

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Good point about the MicroServer. While it would simplify things to the extent that the OS wouldn't have to be reinstalled, it's not that big a deal to reinstall WHS2011 on a new box.

What makes you think he is running WHS2011?  <_<

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