Friday, November 6, 2009

Home Server, Part 1 - Hardware

So begins another saga of large projects. This time, though, I’m in the domain of computers – something that I know a little more about.

I’ve wanted a server for the house for a while now. I periodically scan the Dell site looking for a good deal. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled into the PowerEdge T110 Tower Server. I picked one up with a quad-core 2.4 GHz proc, 2GB RAM (single DIMM) and one 160GB SATA hard drive. I typically purchase the minimum amount of RAM and hard drive that I can get. I’ve found that I can purchase them much cheaper after-market.

What I didn’t realize was that this machine used a Dual-Channel architecture and, as I understand it, operates optimally with matched-pairs of memory modules. The invoice from Dell didn’t say much about the configuration of the DIMM that I purchased, but between the user’s guide for the machine (yes, I read the manual) and Crucial,  I was able to identify the configuration that I needed.

With that information, it was just a matter of checking all the usual online sites. I ended up a (I know – shocking isn’t it!). Newegg had a really good deal on a 6GB  Tri-channel kit from Mushkin that was the correct configuration. I hadn’t heard of them so I checked out their forums. The moderator was really helpful. I gave him all the information that I had and he felt that the memory would work. He also offered to verify it with the engineering team. I like good service so I gambled and made the purchase.

The hardware arrived after a week and a half. After unpacking  the server, I fired it up to verify that things seemed OK. I shut it down after a couple of hours and installed the new memory. Then fired it back up. The server recognized the memory and everything seemed OK. After a couple more hours, I shut it down and installed the new hard drive.

Now I had a new server, eating electricity and doing nothing.

Next: Installing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

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