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Converting Desktop Computer to a Network Storage Device

3458 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  oldmn
I'm doing a community service project at a local nature center, and it involves installing network storage into their computer network. I'm not sure of the details yet, but they have told me that they have an "old" desktop computer that I could use to convert to a network storage device. Their computer network consists of around 4 or 5 computers, and is a peer-to-peer network. If I had to guess I would say the desktop I would be converting is running Win 98 or ME. Does anyone know a way to convert a desktop into a network storage device? I would greatly appreciate any help.

P.S.- I'll have more details on this soon.
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A "network storage" device can be nothing more than that W98 machine with File/Print sharing installed and some shared disks.
New Specs, New Questions

Hi, sorry for the long delay, I had to get my project approved first. I finally got the specifications of the network situation and computers at the center.

The network is composed of one DSL connection (1 Mb/Sec Bandwidth) connected to one router with five host computers (directly connected). The router has WLAN capabilities. The center's director had no idea what kind of cables or router he was using, evidently he had contracted a computer company to install it. I'm guessing they're your standard Cat5e cables. The host computers are relatively outdated- they're P III 500 MHz machines with 256 MB's of RAM and 6 GB Hard disks running Windows 98 SE.

The system I will be converting into a server also has these specifications. Obviously, I will need to upgrade the hard drive. I'm thinking two 80 GB Hard Disks ( should probably do the trick. Is 7200 RPM good for access speed? The data will be lots of small files (power point presentations, documents, membership access information). If I am to use the limited RAID on one hard drive and a backup on the other hard drive, will I need to buy a specialized hardware controller?

Should any other components of the server computer be upgraded too (Ram, OS)? I'm trying to compile a list of all needed equipment and its costs so I can see how much fund raising I'll need for the project.

Also, would it be possible to password-proect the folders on the server?

Thanks for your help.
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Almost any hard disk will have more bandwidth capability than your 100mbit Ethernet connection to the machine, so you don't have to get too concerned about the precise drive specs. :smile: You might consider the fact that machines that old are likely to have a BIOS that will only support a 32gig drive directly. I'd check and see if there's a BIOS upgrade for the machine in question to support at least 127gig drives.

I'd forget the RAID and just do some sort of automated backup to the second drive, much greater data security.

If you want real security, don't use W98 for your server, use 2K or XP.
My solution was An This Its not super fast. Was easy to setup and will use any ATA HDD up 250 gig.
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