Thin Client as all in one media/print server + download manager

Q

qs6685

Guest
Hi, I bought a HP t5720 thin client (not yet delivered - bargain price), due to its low power consumption, was wondering if its possible to turn it into an all in one network media server device, possibly connecting several usb HDD.

Some of the features I'm hoping to get are:
-print server
-file/ftp server
-web server
-download manager (like azureus etc.)

Any help would be much apreciated!
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
:oops: Oh dear. You do know what a thin client is, don't you? It's 'thin' because it's low spec and all applications are run remotely on a server.

As it runs Windows XP Embedded from Flash RAM I've no idea how you would configure it to do what you want.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Yeah all seems feasible enough, i've given thought to a similar setup myself on a few occasions.

I've never actually tried hooking up an external HDD to a 5720, but I'll see if I can get my hands on one tomorrow for a play.

Obviously you could always use NAS as an alternative though..;)
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
Thanks for the reply guys, yeah I know it could pose a challenge, but seeing the 5720 has a bit more power in it, I'm hoping :D that it would be possible to run it independently with some skinny apps.

I did look at a couple of NAS and brand new they cost the same as my 'bargain' 5720.

The Dude: Thanks let me know if you find anything.

Also anyone know about running Linux on this thing (ubuntu perhaps??), again any help much much apreciated.
 

mark.carline

Active Member
I did try and do somthing similar with one of these HP thin client devices but I really didnt have the time to play around with it much.

Whats interesting is that inside the one I had was a 512Mb flash card which actually had a laptop style IDE connector on it that when I looked in this BIOS the card "looked" like a 512mb hard drive.

I would imagine that in theory you should be able to disconnect the 512Mb flash card (or even disable it in the BIOS) and then just install XP (maybe even XP MCE 2005) via a USB CDROM drive onto a connected USB hard drive.

You might even be able to disconnect the 512mb flash card and connect a laptop hard drive to it.

Its certainly worth exploring as a device that could be used to extend a media centre PC around the home (as it looks like we'll never get these media centre extenders).
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
thats very interesting news, and I have an extra 40g laptop drive gathering dust.... it'll be at least another 2 weeks before I get my 5720, so if anyone else have any idea or suggestions please feel free, and if you've already got one working independently even better! :D

thanks mark.carline, in the mean time i'll check with some of the techs at work to see if they know anything.... :)
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Couldn't find a HDD to play with.... but you can certainly boot from USB on a 5720. :thumbsup:


I would suggest when it turns up, that VLC ('anything goes' media player with streaming) and Utorrent (no prizes for guessing that one) should be the first 2 apps you try adding.. :)

If you can get them 2 working, you've cracked it, basically.


My NAS suggestion was actually more of an 'alongside' than an 'instead of'..... shouldn't be any problems with USB drives from what I've seen today though.


If I get a chance next week, i'll have a fiddle with those apps myself and see what we get..
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
thats awesome! I was starting to think that I might have made the wrong choice... I'll find out on monday if the techs have anything similar for me to play with.... :thumbsup:
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
forgot to ask... what was it that you got going from the usb? winxp? also thanks for the update and if you find anything new... :D
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Yep, I booted XP pro, XPe, and Suse Linux from a USB key on a HP 5720. :)
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
If anyone is still reading this thread... just an update, been busy lately. Anyway, the 5720 works just like a regular pc once an OS (xp in this case) is installed.

For anyone wanting to do the same, couple of things that I had difficulty with...

1. the m/b has a 44pin ide (for laptop hdd), therefore needs a 44pin ide cable, easy enough in theory, but a PITA to get one :confused: . manage to get 2 at a laptop recycling shop for 2 bucks! :)

2. the 2.5" hdd does not fit in the casing w/o some mods (cutting etc. - not pretty). so in order for it to fit, it needs an 'expansion module', which comes with a pci riser card, bigger cover and a 50w power brick, it is however not stocked even with HP, needs to be ordered in.... takes approx 1 week! :(

The expansion module would give enough space for an eSata low profile card, which I will have a external eSata drive running.

In the end this little project went over budget slightly, but well worth it i think, its low powered (50w max)and silent cv to the mamoth server (350w) I'm running now... it'll soon be doing all the downloading as well as some lite ftp/vpn and web server duties.

perhaps some pictures when I'm all done (if anyone is interested). thanks again to all that helped, your replies were greatly appreciated.

Shan

ps. btw I found out that a guy over at mp3car.com also used the 5720 as a carpc :)
 

mark.carline

Active Member
thanks for this and looks interesting. I did try and do something similar but due to lack of time I abandoned the project. Perhaps the main areas I guess we are all interested in are:

- total cost and links for suppliers for all bits
- actual usable CPU / Graphics power (can you run MCE ?)
- OS build - Any special drivers etc ?
- Pictures of build

Its certainly something I might look at again as a deadicated media centre, windows home server, web server, TV recording etc pc.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Did you try running VLC/Utorrent from within XPe?


I'm going this route too, it's time.. :devil:


The plan, is to run XPe from flash, using the box as a true thin PC, with all my data stored on existing NAS drives.

I'll be ordering at month-end, a big :thumbsup: to you, for the kick up the backside!

:)
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
at this stage as I'm still waiting on the "expansion module" I just have all the parts and stuff sitting on the side, not fully installed everything yet.

ran xp pro just fine... safe mode though... didn't get display the 1st time, should be easy to sort out (I hope!), did not launch any application (hmm... didn't know why). but I assume everything that would run on a regular pc would run on this too.

don't have a copy of MCE but I'm guessing due to the fact that its not a really powerful PC that it probably would only do regular bitrate stuff (ie. no HD/ h264 etc.) - actually if I get the time in the next few days might try coreAVC to see how it copes with 720p/1080p stuff :)

have not tried Utorrent, can it be controlled remotely (ie. http?), guess I'll look it up...

the plan from the start was to use the 5720 as a file server, bt download manager, ftp/web server running 24/7 in the study serving the lan @ home. As for running it as a media centre... I guess it would be ok, its a spiffy little machine but I dont think it will run my HD stuff... we'll see!

mark.carline <- I'm in Aussieland,
got the 5720 for aud 255,
expansion module EK530AA for aud 55 (not delivered),
hitachi 40gb 2.5" aud 50,
samsung 500gb 3.5" sata aud 179,
coolermaster xcraft aud 59,
44pin Ide cable aud 2
(not including stress, anxiety, phonebills etc.)

the 44pin IDE was the hardest to get! - try a laptop refurbish/recycling shop, I got mine from a place call laptop world. Any questions - I'll try my best to answer (will be quite busy next few days).

:thumbsup:
 
Q

qs6685

Guest
quick update...

xp pro working now... had to download some drivers (no big deal), currently still installing whole bunch of MS security update stuff.

Utorrent works, tested the webUI as well.... (might switch over from Azureus!)

ran 720p H.264 (anime: ergo proxy) seem to run ok... will try 1080p (elephant dreams) downstairs later :)
 

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