• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by bennt

  1. bennt

    Compaq/HP Drive sleds

    I bought some trays from here recently with good results:
  2. bennt


    About a year ago I spent alot of time trying to figure out some sort of home server setup. I found an HP server with Windows 2003 Small Business Server for $899CAN (dual core xeon, 1Gb, and room for 4 sata drives w/ raid). I picked that up, put my own 320Gb drives in and set it up. Gives me all the services I need including Exchange server and 5 CALS. I couldn't touch the price trying to build it myself, as Windows 2003 SBS is about $600 on its own.
  3. bennt

    Vista Sucks!

    For the upgrade issue, just call MS. When I've had license issues in the past using legitimate keys, I've just called MS and they have provided a new code. I've probably done that a dozen times and every time it was quite painless. #2. I would guess that the wifi driver is the culprit - check for an updated version. #3. The are some patches from MS that are supposed to deal with that exact issue. Don't have a link for you but look around and you'll probably find it. #6. Not sure if it can be done natively, but I stumbled across this free tool today that looks interesting. Haven't tried it yet.
  4. bennt

    Looking for a print server

    2 usb plus 1 parallel:
  5. bennt

    When is SATA III expected?

    Does it really matter? Current day drives aren't saturating SATA I. Maybe when SSD drives mature a bit and start entering the mainstream but that won't be for another year or two.
  6. bennt

    Thinking about a home server

    Have you considered Windows 2003 Small Business Server? It's a proven platform with plenty of information on the internet, and obviously good compatibility in terms of drivers, software, etc. For a long time I looked at network attached storage, Linux storage servers, etc. Nothing ever seemed ideal, at least for the price. Eventually I came across an HP server for $899CAN that included SBS. I don't have the storage requirements you do, but I picked up a couple cheap 320Gb drives and slapped them in, and have been running that setup for the last couple months. It has 4 SATA drive bays (not hotswap, but easy to change), so you'd need to add some sort of controller and use an external HD enclosure, but it may be a good starting point. Basic spec's: Proliant ML110 G4 Dual-core Xeon, 1Gb ram with room to expand, built-in RAID 0,1 for the 4 SATA drive bays, 2 5.25 bays, gigabit lan, PCI and PCI Express, etc. There were only two things that annoyed me... First that it took about a month to arrive after I ordered it. Second that there is no floppy controller at all (still needed for installing RAID controller drivers during Windows installation). I got around the second issue easily by finding a USB floppy drive, but it was still annoying. Now I have my own little domain at home, along with an Exchange server. I might just have to get myselft a static IP...
  7. bennt

    Weird Monitor problem

    I had something similar with my older ATI 9250 with VGA and DVI outputs. Sometimes the monitor connected to the DVI wouldn't get a display in the same way you are describing. After fighting with it for a bit I just put a DVI to VGA adapter on the DVI port and ran both monitors on VGA. Not the ideal solution, but it worked. I tried all sorts of things to make it work on the DVI but for some reason it just didn't like it.
  8. bennt

    Which HD is Good?

    I did a bunch of research a few weeks ago in the hunt for a 500Gb drive for my HTPC that I am currently refreshing. I settled on the Samsung. Noise and heat were first and second priority and the Samsung is by far the best for those. Performance was important as well but not paramount. However, I was impressed with the Samsung's performance in that it was near the top of the charts on every single benchmark. Many of the other drives are the fastest on a couple of the tests, and then not so good on others. I prefer consistently decent performance across the board. I've done most of the initial setup with the parts sitting on my kitchen table and I have to say that it is definately a very quiet drive. Once I'm ready I'll strip down the old HTPC and put all the new stuff in the case at which point it'll be interesting to see just how quiet the system is. I think it'll be noticably better than the old one. Hopefully the vibration of the Samsung won't be an issue, but even if it is I can resolve that.
  9. Before I got to your parts list I was thinking PS. Then you list a generic PS.... I'd say 95% chance that it is the PS. PS is one of the most important parts of a computer, and cheap or faulty PS's will almost always result in flakey computers. I've seen that exact symptom a number of times before.
  10. bennt


    SAS and SATA are not the same internally. In terms of the guts SAS is an evolution of SCSI, and SATA an evolution of IDE. They use the same connectors, and SAS controllers can also recognize SATA drives. So, if you have a SAS based system, you have the option of using larger/slower/cheaper SATA drives.
  11. I don't completely agree with that. Otherwise, how do you explain the success of the Raptor? Major OEMs haven't spec'd the Raptor in high enough volume to make an impact. You may call the Raptor a niche market product, but it's a high margin niche product. An SSD in a similar price and capacity range as a Raptor, with better performance would be a hot item for computer enthusiasts everywhere. The question goes back to the original poster's thread topic... How long until that happens? I for one would love SSD's for both of my home PC's. I have a Raptor in my main PC for it's high performance. I would love to replace that with an SSD with better performance, and cooler and silent operation. For my HTPC an SSD would be perfect, again for it's cooler and silent operation. In both cases I have network storage for most data storage, so the SSD doesn't need to be huge. Another area I could see the SSD having huge success is with corporate laptops. The two major points of failure with laptops are the hard drive and LCD. Eliminate the HD as a major failure point, while dramatically increasing performance and power efficiency and I expect sales of SSD's to OEM's to be quite substantial. Also, laptops are becoming much more common with home users and even gamers. Get rid of the major bottleneck in the laptop (the HD) and a laptop becomes much more appealing to many people.
  12. bennt

    Seagate or WD... once again :)

    Perhaps the 2:1 ratio is related to the following??? Seagate sells twice as many drives as Western Digital. Info is a bit dated, but my guess would be that Seagate has probably increased relative to WD over the last year or so.
  13. bennt

    Self vs HP populating storage server

    Also, most hot-plug drives from HP/IBM/etc. come pre-mounted in the hot-swap tray. So, if you want to buy something else you're also going to have to find and pay for the hot-swap trays. Getting them is not that easy, and they are expensive, so in the end it probably costs about the same if not more than just buying them straight from HP.
  14. Here's another reference regarding DDR2 speeds and AMD cpu's:
  15. While Intel may have the lead at the top of the pack, AMD is still a better bang for the buck in the low to mid range. So, unless you are buying a cutting edge PC, AMD is still the way to go. When you look at most CPU reviews, they focus on the latest and greatest. I don't think I've ever bought a desktop CPU that cost more than $300, most probably costing less than $200. In that segment, AMD is still the performance leader. Also, the AMD platform is generally more energy efficient. If you compare total system power consumption of equally performing platforms, the AMD is still more efficient. I'm not entirely sure why as the Intel CPU's are supposed to have lower TDP's, but it's probably partly due to the integrated memory controller. With the Intel platform, the memory controller is part of the chipset on the MB, so the TDP of the CPU appears lower. Also, it was just a matter of time before Intel finally clued into the fact that Netburst was a bust. They finally dropped that and completely changed their whole CPU philosophy. That only happened because of AMD. Give AMD about a year, and they'll have something at the top again. In a competitive market, the leader is always going to bounce back and forth.
  16. bennt

    Simple Vista Question

    Yes, it looks pretty much the same. I have't played with it much yet so I can't comment on functionality.
  17. bennt

    Swap or pagefile on my second drive

    Windows is supposed to be smart enough to use the least-busy pagefile on a system with more than one pagefile. If you have 2 or more pagefiles on separate disks (not just separate partitions on the same disk) Windows monitors the drive usage and is supposed to use the pagefile on the least busy disk. So, my recommendation is to have a pagefile on each physical drive and let Windows determine usage. I'm sure you'll get other opinions on this, as there are many people out there that swear by getting rid of the pagefile completely. Can't say I've tried that very much, and there are some applications that will complain or maybe even have problems if there is no pagefile, so your mileage may vary.
  18. Can't say I have software RAID5 on anything, but that doesn't surprise me. RAID5 needs a fair amount of CPU for both reading and writing, as it has to do parity calculations, etc. Perhaps with more modern equipment it would only be a moderate percentage of CPU, instead of 100%. I'll assume you are also using the onboard NIC which probably uses a bit of CPU as well. What happens if you transfer across the network from a share on the Raptor? If it is much faster that would support the suspicion that it is a problem with the software RAID5. If that has problems too, it might be something else (NIC driver, chipset driver, etc.).
  19. Used to do white box earlier in my career. Worked some with Dell and HP, and now exclusively IBM. Given a perfect environment, white box can work. However, while they may be cheaper up front to buy, experience has been that you end up spending much more time configuring/troubleshooting/fixing which very rapidly negates the initial savings. Think about it... if you save say $500 up front on hardware, how many hours does it take to make up that difference? Over the course of 3 years, if you spend an extra 5 hours on that server you're back to even. I can almost guarentee that you'll spend an extra 5 hours in just the first couple months (initial setup plus some extra fine tuning/troubleshooting). Also, as already mentioned, when you buy a server for IBM/HP/Dell with a 3 year warranty, you are guaranteed that spare parts will be available for that period of time. With a white box, you'll be lucky to easily and quickly get your hands on spare parts after a few months. The only time I've found Dell to be a better deal than the others is when they have promotions running. For example, once they had 25% off all software purchased with a server and that particular customer needed Server 2003, Exchange 2003, and SQL Server. Ended up saving a few thousand dollars. Another thing to consider is long-term supportability. A white box may work great for you. But when you get a new job and someone else comes in and has to support it, it will be much easier with a brand name server than a white box.
  20. Don't know what server you are looking at, but a hot-swap drive from IBM probably comes pre-mounted in a tray of some sort. If you're going to buy bare OEM drives you'll also need to buy some hot-swap trays. You'll have to dig around to see if you can buy those and how much they are.
  21. bennt

    Best hard drive setup for Photoshop?

    Sure, you create multiple pagefiles on each disk, and Windows will use them as it sees fit. Yup. Windows is supposed to monitor disk usage and use the pagefile on the least busy disk. In multi-disk systems I always create a pagefile on each. Keep in mind though, this only applies to multiple physical disks, not multiple partitions on the same disk.
  22. bennt

    Ghost & Trueimage images

    MB or Ram may be faulty. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen a bad PS corrupt Windows, and damage other hardware (HD, MB, Ram, etc.).
  23. We purchased Ghost Solution Suite 1.0 a few months ago, and it worked very well in the traditional sense (use a bootable floppy/CD/etc to either create or restore a drive/partition). Recently, Symantec released version 2 which adds support for Vista, and has a much better Windows implementation. However, after playing the the Windows GUI I resorted to the classic bootable CD configuration and a Ghostcast server. I used it about a week ago to image one of our newest batch of Vista workstations, and have restored a couple computers using that image and it all seems to be working very well. If you run the Windows agent on the workstation, you can create/backup and restore the computer without touching the computer. I didn't try it, but apparently you can roll out Vista upgrades this way. Ghost server will backup the user XP profile/settings/files, push out an image of Vista, and then restore the user profile/etc. I read through the tutorial on that and it looks pretty slick. We're not planning to do many Vista upgrades so I don't expect that feature to be especially useful for us. In terms of cost, the Solution Suite made that most sense for us. We purchased 100 licenses, and if I remember correctly that worked out to about $22CAN per user. As for dynamic disks, I avoid them at all costs due to the increased complexity of backups/restores. I did a bunch of research a couple years ago on the use of dynamic disks, and couldn't see any advantage unless you have to use Windows RAID (again, something that I avoid except in very specific circumstances).
  24. bennt

    Cloning Windows Vista

    I recently purchased Ghost server for work. I looked at Acronis as I had heard good things about it and figured it would be cheaper. It turned out to be more expensive though. Given that I've had pretty good experience with Ghost over the years and was already familiar with it I had to stick with it. So far it has been working quite well and I haven't had any problems with it (including SATA). I just got an email the other day saying there was a new version (will be free for us).
  25. Don't have much recent experience with HD recovery software. However, I have a comment about the cause of the problem. I would definately suspect a ram problem. It was likely that the new piece was defective, that the new piece wasn't compatible with the other piece, or not compatible with the MB. When you run defrag, I assume that it copies files from the old location on the HD, into ram, and then back to the new location on the HD. That process probably resulted in data corruption, which became apparent when you started running a few things. Good luck!