Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Server salvation

So we’re looking at getting a new server for the house. Part of the reason why I haven’t mentioned much about this server before is because there’s much to say about it, other than that it doesn’t work (dud hard drive). And it’s quite old and probably needs replacing.
Being a server, we’d need something like this:

  • Big hard disk, so that it can be used as a central file server. 80GB minimum
  • Reasonable about of memory – 256MB minimum
  • Reasonable processor – we’ll say around 2Ghz
  • Networking built-in
  • Some kind of graphics but nothing too fancy. Built-in graphics would be fine
  • Sound card isn’t necessary but probably inevitable
  • Some kind of CD rewriter would be very useful. Probably don’t need to be able to play DVDs
  • Monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. aren’t needed, we just need the box
  • Needs USB for the ADSL modem but doesn’t need a built-in modem

With this in mind, I searched eBay and found something roughly like what we wanted. And I got within 5 minutes of the auction closing with a good bid price (around £150) when the auction was closed prematurely because the item was “no longer available”. Blarg.
I reckon it was because the seller wasn’t too happy with the price the item was to sell for, especially as it was a company who made custom PCs. But anyway, if any of you know a UK company that can sell us a system like I described for £200 or less than please let me know.


  1. Belive me – it’s the HD price which will kill you. For a server, especially home use, you don’t really need a “killer processor” – my “personal home server” has got a 1.2Ghz processor (if that) and it’s idle 99% of the time. Just get a cheap 2nd hand one from your newspaper classifieds (anywhere between 30 and 200 quid), maybe up the MB+CPU by buying replacements from your local computer shop (that’s how I ‘refurbished’ my old box) and then hard drives…
    I know I use my “home server” just for file storage – and it’s got 3x200Gb HD drives configured in a RAID0 Linux set up (running RH Fedora 1:easy as anything to setup an configure-it even prompts you if you want to create a RAID setup!). Maplin’s the cheapest for HD’s I’ve found – around £120 for a 200Gb HD (a few months back)

  2. i do believe ebuyer has 200Gb HDD for about

  3. If you can’t be doing with putting it together yourself, I’d highly recommend Savastore’s Configurator service (Look for the image on the bottom right which opens a pop-up). You can customise every component and they’ll build it for you and it will be covered by a warranty should anything go wrong. You’ll comfortably be able to get a Athalon 2000XP, 256Mb, 80Gb, LAN etc for £200. Much more reliable than buying something potentially shoddy out of the paper/eBay.