Media Server


Distinguished Member
OK guys, I'm thinking of having a dedicated server to hold my media files. These are mainly my MP3's and DVD's ripped to HD. Plus a few application downloads etc.

I've just bought my first house and now that my 2 comps will be in different rooms and also cos I just want to, I was thinking of building a dedicated server.

Now my 2 machines are XP1600's running on a 10/100 network. I can play a ripped DVD on my HTPC whilst simultaneously playing a ripped DVD from the HTPC on my other machine over the network. I don't get any stuttering at all.

For the new server I was thinking of another XP1600 and and Asus nForce mobo. The mobo has built in graphics card, which although not needed for the server is handy for setting up/maintenance. It also has built-in 10/100 ethernet. I can get the mobo and chip for a shade over £100. I've already got an old case, power supply, heatsink, etc. I can then just add hard drives as and when.

I'm trying to keep this cheap (remember the new house :) )

Can you guys think of anything I may have missed? Any other problems I might come across. I'm sure the spec of this will be fine for serving both machines and multiple files at the same time.

All comments welcome.


Well-known Member
Take a look at

There are lots of ideas for small media servers using mini-itx form factor mobos. Small in size and low noise.


Distinguished Member
Damn you Retro :(
Now you've given me more ideas that will cost me more money. I could use a couple of those and have them dotted around the house as mini PC's. One in the second bedroom, one in the kitchen, etc.

Not sure they're what I'm after for a server though. I'm not worried about the size or the noise as it will be in a mostly unused room. And they'd be too small to hold lots of hard disks.


Active Member
I'm doing a media server too :)

Mines a Athlon 1.4 with 1gb ram (not sure if I need that much, but what the heck :D). I'm running redhat 7.3 with Samba as it's free. The HDD for the OS etc. is an old 4gb I had lying around, and I'll be buying HDD's as and when I can afford it and putting them into a software RAID 5 configuration (which also comes free with linux). I'll be using Maxtor ATA 133 controller cards which I got from Ebuyer for about £24 each. Using a 2nd hand graphics card, and a £3 keyboard from ebuyer.

I have got a posh £com 10/100 nic with the onboard processor, but can't get teh drivers workig so I've settled for a bog standard 3com 905TX. Like you I can play DVD files from the server no probs at all :)


Active Member
My file server is;

AMD 1.333, 512Mb PC133, AHA 29160 with 1*18Gb Seagate Cheetah (10K) and 3 * 36Gb Seagate Cheetahs (10k) which are currently up for sale on ebay ;) , 4* Maxtor 120Gb 5,400rpm ide drives, 1 3Com 3CR990SVR97 Nic.

This machine shares movies and music to my main workstation and to my shuttle media (almost a) cube. It also runs DC++ 24*7.

All three machines use Win XP pro and are usually quite stable although there are a few codec issues with the workstation.

The file server is in a supermicro 750a server case (full tower) and the only three bad points iare noise - from drives and fans, heat - the back room the server is in is noticably warmer than the rest of my flat even with a small window open & IDE cable length - with the 4 IDE drives in the case the max IDE cable length will be a problem if I wish to add more.

I control the server using VNC which is free and password protected to access to another machine. I also picked up a 4 machine KVM switchbox for around £12 on ebay.

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