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  1. #1
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    Rethinking my server hardware... help?

    Hi gang... haven't been visiting much lately. For the past 4 years I have been running LMS under Windows Home Server 2011 on HP Proliant N54G hardware. Which I LOVE for the "set it and forget it" client computer backups and other features. However I have been having hard drive problems left and right, and now I am starting to suspect the cause is with the server hardware. Power supply or motherboard... I don't know. I don't have the patience for figuring out tech stuff as much as I used to.

    I can't seem to find these machines for sale or parts for them, so I am trying to figure out what to do for an LMS and home server. Besides running LMS, this is what I use the server for:

    Automated backups of all other computers in the house (4)
    Running Calibre server (including remote access)
    Redundant shared files storage for the household with remote access.
    Currently have 5 hard drives including the system drive. Could whittle it down to 3 if I had to.

    Ideally, I'd like to keep going with the WHS, but I don't know what small footprint microserver systems are available. Don't want to spend a ton either.

    Will entertain other options if they sound simple and easy to maintain.

    Thanks for your suggestions!
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
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    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  2. #2
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    You said 5 drives, but didn't mention what size they are.

    I recently swapped out 6x 2T for 3x 8T. I'm very happy with them. I ended up researching the WD Red 8T, which is a low-power version of the HGST enterprise helium drives.

    Anyway, back to your question. You may want to consider a NAS server, like https://www.qnap.com/en/product/model.php?II=196

    In addition to running many of the apps you wan to use natively to the NAS, it has the option to run Windows in a VM on the NAS.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    The drives are
    2 x 4TB (WD Red)
    1.8 TB
    1.5 TB
    250 GB system drive.

    It's using Stablebit Drivepool for pooling and duplication.

    Thanks for the lead on the NAS. Will investigate.
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iPhone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue View Post
    The drives are
    2 x 4TB (WD Red)
    1.8 TB
    1.5 TB
    250 GB system drive.

    It's using Stablebit Drivepool for pooling and duplication.

    Thanks for the lead on the NAS. Will investigate.
    .
    .
    Hi Sue, My son is using the HP MicroServer at home and at work. We bought two from this guy on Ebay. They are refurbished and have been working flawlessly:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-ProLiant-...3D182590234764

    Also not having seen your symptoms first hand, it does sound like a drive issue as MOBO and CPU issues tend to come and stay, where as drive issues tend to show up intermittently then keep getting worse until they finally fail. So an upgrade/update route looking at saving some money might be better to back everything up, buy a new SSD System drive and three 6TB or 8TB hard drives (this will also increase your available storage space) and try that in the server you have now since you like the setup/OS. If the issues all go away, it was the drives. If the issues don't go away, add the HP-ProLiant Ultra Server and you will have all new drives in an all new server. Your current OS drive would go right into the HP-ProLiant again keeping the programs you currently like. Just some quick thoughts.
    iPhone
    Media Room:
    ModWright Platinum Signature Transporter, VTL TL-6.5 Signature Pre-Amp, Ayre MX-R Mono's, VeraStarr 6.4SE 6-channel Amp, Vandersteen Speakers: Quatro Wood Mains, VCC-5 Reference Center, four VSM-1 Signatures, Video: Runco RS 900 CineWide AutoScope 2.35:1, Vandersteen V2W Subwoofer

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  5. #5
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPhone View Post
    .
    .
    Hi Sue, My son is using the HP MicroServer at home and at work. We bought two from this guy on Ebay. They are refurbished and have been working flawlessly:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-ProLiant-...3D182590234764

    Also not having seen your symptoms first hand, it does sound like a drive issue as MOBO and CPU issues tend to come and stay, where as drive issues tend to show up intermittently then keep getting worse until they finally fail. So an upgrade/update route looking at saving some money might be better to back everything up, buy a new SSD System drive and three 6TB or 8TB hard drives (this will also increase your available storage space) and try that in the server you have now since you like the setup/OS. If the issues all go away, it was the drives. If the issues don't go away, add the HP-ProLiant Ultra Server and you will have all new drives in an all new server. Your current OS drive would go right into the HP-ProLiant again keeping the programs you currently like. Just some quick thoughts.
    I've replaced about 4 hard drives in as many years, since I've had this server machine. Exactly one year ago, I bought the 2 4TB WD Red drives to replace a 3TB that went bad out of warranty. Now one of those is totally dead (won't spin up anymore - I was getting a warning when I was going through a bad time and I didn't address it right away), and two days after arranging the RMA for it, the other one I bought at the same time is reporting bad sectors by Stablebit Scanner. So that's the history on why I suspect something wrong with the machine itself.

    THANKS for the eBay link. I might have to nab one of those, although it is less powerful hardware and I'm not sure a simple HD swap would work without reinstall. I did find an N54L on eBay [strike](mine is a N54G--not sure of the difference)[/strike]. Hmmm. EDIT: Derp! Mine is an N54L according to my order history. I don't know where I got G from.
    Last edited by MeSue; 2017-06-05 at 10:21.
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    It's an awful big can of worms. I suppose it depends on (a) how much you want to spend, and (b) how much you want to roll up your sleeves and build yourself. Less (a), then more (b), and vice versa. Seems to me that if you can buy or reinstall WHS 2011 on the new server, that's going to be your biggest headache saver. Otherwise, you may have to start over again from scratch for a backup solution for your computers.

    You might give some thought to energy consumption, but for your needs I wouldn't give too big a priority to box size. You want something that can house those and possibly additional hard drives, as needed. No sense in painting yourself into a corner.

    BTW, consider using a small SSD for your system disk. Makes a big difference in system boot times, LMS scan times, and any other server app using a database.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MeSue's Avatar
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    So my husband just tested the power supply and it is putting out what it should be. I think for now we are going to wing it and see what happens with the replacement hard drives without changing anything. They still have 2 years warranty. Meanwhile, I'll keep investigating and researching for the next step because sooner or later I will want to do something different. If I do end up having to start over from scratch I will definitely do SSD for the system disk.

    In a couple of years we will be out of this house with all its weird power issues. Can't wait!
    Sue
    "If you're happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out."

    In Use: 1 Touch | 1 Booms | 6 Radios (Sold: 1 Boom | 1 Duet | 1 SB2)
    HP Proliant N54G | Logitech Media Server 7.9 | iPhone & iPad w/ iPeng
    Find me on Last.FM | Twitter | Rhapsody
    My Journey to Musical Bliss | Squeezebox is Dead. Long Live Squeezebox.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Do you have the server on a good UPS? If there are power issues in the house, that would be my first upgrade. Having lost two hard drives in a short period of time, it might also be a good idea to buy a spare and keep it handy. I think the 4TB Reds are under $140 now. If things seem to stabilize after a while, you might then add the drive to your storage pool instead.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iPhone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue View Post
    In a couple of years we will be out of this house with all its weird power issues. Can't wait!
    .
    .
    Speaking of power, are you running your server off a good sized UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)? A UPS can solve many power issues plus add protection to the equipment plugged into it and the top brands offer equipment insurance if a surge or lightning strike take out your connected equipment. That doesn't save the data (we all need true backup for that), but it does at least replace the damaged equipment. Also, one doesn't have to buy a fancy expensive true sine wave UPS because PCs/Servers are ALL run off DC because a computers power supply takes residential AC and output multiple specific DC voltages for fans, drives, MOBO, etc . . . . Buy the largest UPS you can afford with the most insurance coverage and least amount of exceptions.
    iPhone
    Media Room:
    ModWright Platinum Signature Transporter, VTL TL-6.5 Signature Pre-Amp, Ayre MX-R Mono's, VeraStarr 6.4SE 6-channel Amp, Vandersteen Speakers: Quatro Wood Mains, VCC-5 Reference Center, four VSM-1 Signatures, Video: Runco RS 900 CineWide AutoScope 2.35:1, Vandersteen V2W Subwoofer

    Living Room:
    Transporter, ADCOM GTP-870HD, Cinepro 3K6SE III Gold, Vandersteen Model 3A Signature, Two 2Wq subs, VCC-2, Two VSM-1

    Office: Touch with Vandersteen VSM-1s
    Kitchen: Touch in-wall mount w/ Thiel Powerpoint 1.2s
    Bedroom: Squeezebox BOOM
    Bathroom: Squeezebox Radio
    Around the House: SliMP3, SB1, SB2, SB3
    Ford Thunderbird: SB Touch, USB drive
    Ford Expedition: SB Touch, USB drive

  10. #10
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    More on the software / OS side but I'd always recommend unRAID if you don't mind ditching Windows and moving to a Linux NAS with a bit more flexibility (not as frightening as it sounds!)

    I've used it for years and it gets better and better every version. I run my LMS in a Docker container which works really well. It's also a great NAS with parity protection across drives of different sizes plus can run full VMs with hardware passthrough (if your systems meets certain specs).

    There's a great community around it as well. Certainly worth looking into if you're considering a change, though if you have hardware faults, theywill follow you regardless of the OS.


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