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I want to turn my old computer into a file server over wifi network what opperating system could I use?
10-15-2012, 01:08 PM
Post: #1
I want to turn my old computer into a file server over wifi network what opperating system could I use?
I need to find an opperating system that will act as a file server on my old 1GHz computer. I am going to fix some USB hard drives to it and I need a lightweight opperating system that will run efficently over a network to communicate with Windows Vista computers.

Any advice?

Windows server? or any linux solutions?
Also needs to be able to work with belkin wifi card driver issue?

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10-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Post: #2
 
There are several really good NAS (network attached storage) programs that do just what you want. I have used both of the two listed and both work very well -- One http://freenas.org is very solid and works with nearly everything I have loaded it on.

The other http://www.serverelements.com/ NAS Lite has several versions for different configurations, you can install it a a USB stick and boot from the USB without ever even loading a computer! (OR a CD or Floppy or hard drive etc)

I will say that finding a belkin wifi driver with either of these may be an issue. However, I would never, and I mean never, use a wifi connected server! Since the file server doesn't move around too much and doesn't need a monitor or keyboard, I would use ethernet and connect it to the router directly. Otherwise you will find several issues that are really hard to track down. Even if you load Windows and use basic workgroup and shared files, wireless is not a good solution for your storage computer / server! (You really don't need windows server for this to work - your just file sharing not really a full server so don't waste the money for Windows server - good ol Win2K pro or XP pro will work just fine!)

Me, I use Linux and the two NAS programs have there own version of linux.. I have used them just fine with Windows, MAC, Linux and some other OS's the files sharing just works!

Heres another one worth a look - looks good but I haven't tried them
http://www.openfiler.com/
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10-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Post: #3
 
Use a Linux variety. They are really lightweight and most support 90% of devices out there today. And if there isn't a driver with it, more then likely you can find one.
Red Hat seems to be a very good Linux version if you ask me. You can set it up as a server or anything else you would like to.
This also helps you out in the money department also since it is a free OS. You do not need to shell out houndreds for a Windows license.

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10-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Post: #4
 
Not the operating system problem
what important is ur computer Ram, Processor, Hard drive, Modem, Etc
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10-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Post: #5
 
It depends how you want to use the WIFI

I recommend you physically locate the file server near the wireless router, and then connect the file server using an Ethernet cable to the router. All other wireless computers on the network will be able to access the server, but the server does not have to be wireless compatible. Doing this removes the need for the server to work with wireless cards, which is a sticking point for Linux.
But Linux thrives on Ethernet cables and this would allow you to use your old machine and Linux to make a file server, which is what I do.

My setup uses an old Gateway with 500Mb of RAM, a 640MHz Athalon processor, a SATA PCI card and 2 150 GB drives configured as RAID 1 (Mirrored)
I run OpenSuse 10.2 and SAMBA to service a Windows network. The system stores files, streams video and music and is my print server as well. The network services wired as well as wireless machines over a wireless router.

You specified Windows Vista, so make sure you are using the latest version of SAMBA, which supports Vista networking. (not the same as XP networking. (Gee, was Der Bill trying to make life hard on the open source world? Hmmmmm)

Anyway, that would be the best solution I can think of. Your only other solution would be using XP and trying to make it act as a server using shared drives. It might do the job you want, but would be slow on a 1Ghz machine unless you have a lot of RAM and the shares will be open to all. You will not be able to configure private shares or implement good network security.
I have not tried this and do not know how well XP would handle multiple file access requests. You'll have to load patches from MS to make it work on a Vista Network
Server 2003 would be a heavy load on that machine and I am not sure about WIFI and Vista compatibility, as well as cost and availability.
Server 2008 is a non starter - your hardware will not support it.
E-mail me if I can help with the project
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10-15-2012, 01:16 PM
Post: #6
 
Hi,
But really the easiest way is that if you are running xp on the old pc then just setup and share folders over a network, rather than trying to setup up a whole file server, especially if you are not sure how to do it.

If you need anymore info just e-mail me.
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