Server build and tweak thread
I've posted a few threads here with regards to this, and am now a few steps further on, so will start a small thread that may help others, and hopefully help me tweak my set up.
I have added some questions if anyone would like to throw some advice I would appreciate it.

So this is the kit:


Coolmaster Centurion 590

Intel Mobo DG41TY

Atrix Extreme Power 650W (650T)

2 x Kingston 2Gb Ram 800Mhz DDR2 Ram

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66Ghz Processor

750GB (Holding the OS, Win 7)
2x 1.5TB
2x 2TB
1x 1TB
1x 320GB (This will likely become my cache drive, before files are moved to their proper location. Or I may just dump it.)

I found that the OS drive needed to be on SATA port 0, as when I swapped it to port 4, the PC didn't boot into Windows, so if anyone has this issue, check the connections maybe.

The drives were a mix of external Sata drives, and external USB drives that I have now removed the drives from to fit to the server. Only the 320GB drive is not sata, its IDE. (OLD!)

The plan is to add another 2TB drive as backup, and run FlexRaid to protect the data. I would like to replace the smaller drives with 2TB drives if and when money allows, or space becomes a premium.

I have a Movies # and a TV Shows # folder on each drive, and share these folders over SMB to my Acer Revo running Live. This was very easy to set up using this guide: and have had no issues yet with this.

I would've liked to split the server and have drives A,B and C for TV Shows and D,E,F for Movies, but as I am recycling already full drives, I have no easy way of moving everything around yet.

The mobo only has 4 SATA ports so I can't hook up all of the drives yet, so I plan on buying this expansion card asap:


Also, I need a 2 more 4in3 cages, and advice on how to hook up the fans. There is a rear fan connected to the mobo, and the CPU fan. On the HDD cage there is another fan, connected to the PSU. I have 1 more fan connector free on the mobo, but plan to add another case fan, and 2 more cages which will both have fans.

Huh How do I wire all of these?? Special fan connector splitter? Answer: or this sexy bit of kit:
Huh Recommend a good quiet case fan? Answer: Does this seem too cheap to be any good?

I have added Ember, Couch Potato, Sickbeard etc to the server, as this is going to act as my downloader too. I may need advice on getting Sickbeard/Couch Potato to properly pull files, rename properly (TV Show SxxExx) and move to correct folder on the correct drive with NFO.

Huh Is it possile for Ember to "watch" my files, and automagically scrape any new additions?
- I've spent ages scraping and getting everything 'just right' so want to keep it that way, but without a lot of manual input. Ember also only adds the URL of trailers, whereas I prefer to download best quality available as streaming is not always perfect.

Huh Why wont Ember download them for me?

I will up some pictures soon, showing my meagre efforts at cable management?! To finish off, a few more questions I am yet to fully research:

Huh I can monitor core temps using a desktop widget, how can I easily monitor case / HDD temps?

I cannot get the Win 7 server to WOL. I have checked all the settings, told the network card to stay powered, enabled WOL in bios, added WOL to XBMC and given the MAC address of the server (found in XBMC settings area) yet still, once asleep, it will not be woken by XBMC.

Huh How is this best acheived?

I will try to add some more details and pictures soon.

Thanks and merry christmas.

So I've seen what looks like a good Freesat HD card (Dual tuner):

It fits PCIe x1 slot, which I have spare.

On the site it says "TBS6981 is ideal for building HTPC under Linux MythTV, VDR, XBMC and Windows 7 Media Center." and I would add it to the above Win7 server, but how would I best serve this to my TV?
I know PVR branch is way off yada yada, and thats not what I'm asking. How best to use this as a viable TV tuner (Pause live tv, record etc) on my main TV? (I have just cancelled sky and so only have regular freeview)

The server is only connected to the HTPC (via router), so I would need something inside the Revo taking the feed over ethernet? I'm confused how to set this up. Anyone got a similar set up without running testing branch, or is it getting stable enough to try?

Hmm... MediaPortal looks very nice for TV... but appears would be a pain to get to work with XBMC live front end.

After a bit more reading, Mythbox on XBMC seems to work great (from youtube vids) but I haven't seen a good way to get Myth backend running on Win 7, which I would need. Argh, going in circles.

Not a lot of replies here guys... Undecided
I'm currenlt trying to build and server with Linux and TV Tuners. My first choice is unRaid but its customized and striped kernel isnt support tv tuners. So FlexRaid with Ubuntu server is second choice

I have currently have this parts.
4 x 2 TB WD Green drivers.
Asus mobo with 6xsata
2.5 120 GB IDE disk for OS and writing cache driver
Sempron 140
4 GB Ram
2 x Technisat SkyStar2 DVB-S (I will buy Dual DVB-S2 HD card or 2x One tuner DVB-S2 cards. Probably new card will TBS product.)

I'm trying TVHeadend on several mounts. Thats very exciting program. I wanna use that.
My HTPC client installed on Win7 and i will stick that.

Sorry i dont have any good answer for you but we can discuss about that. Our targets is same but my first aim is live tv and media server. Second stage is Jdownload, Torrent and automatic episode download.
I would look into Media Center Master if you want the scraping process automated. Ember does not really automate anything:

Speedfan is a very nice tool for monitoring cpu and HDD temps.
1. HDD Boot order can be changed in BIOS. OS doesn't have to be on SATA port 0 but BIOS will default to that port.

2. Best long term solution is to think unRAID for storing and protcting your data. I recently build a server for my father and the parts cost about £70 off ebay + old case + $50 license. Really cheap and you can expand easily to 16-20TB of parity protected data.

3. I used the Y splitters for my fans and connected them into the MB. This way their speed is regulated by the MBs thermal control which may be available in your BIOS.

4. Xilence is a good brand and make good quality fans. I have the 4 x 120mm in my server and they are quieter than the Intel CPU fan.

5. I use Media Companion to organise my media and I admit I didn't spent too much time with Ember. You may want to play with both to see if the other has something extra to offer.
I second the vote for Unraid- it is awesome media serving software. How it easily lets you monitor temps and make parity protected folders that span drives is worth its cost easily. Bonus of how easily it lets you add new drives.

As far as fans I love Antec Tri-Cools because you can easily control the speed (and therefore the loudness).

As of Dharma I don't use Ember or Media companion. The XBMC scraper has gotten better for movies IMHO, and Sickbeard does everything for my TV. I just share my primary frontend's thumbnail folder on the network, and run a single MySQL xbmc database on my Unraid server, and enjoy life.
If this server is only going to be used for Media, I agree with the Unraid.

If you are going to use this for something that you value, home videos, etc. I'd suggest something in the ZFS flavour.
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `xbmc_%`.* TO 'xbmc'@'%';
IF you have a mysql problem, find one of the 4 dozen threads already open.
It can also be an idea to use "freenas" as an OS.
It all depends on what your gonna use the server for.

FreeNAS has almost no hardware requirments.

I've been pondering on building a small micro atx NAS with freeNAS os, a friend
of mine did and it has a super lite footprint with many functions. A perfect
NAS in your home if you ask me Smile
PointOfView Nvidia ION Atom 330 - TRANSCEND 2GB DDR2 DIMM 800MHz - G.SKILL 64GB SSD 2.5
Open Elec Beta4 1.95.4
XBMC Online Manual - HOW-TO post about a problem in a useful manner - Create/View Bug Report
Setup/Fix correct resolution on XBMC/Ubuntu - Usefull linux terminal commands
Woo, replies! Big Grin

I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay with Win 7 and Flexraid, as the hardware is far too powerful to 'waste' on only UnRaid. I'd like to be able to use the machine for other things when needed, maybe even a little image work, making cleararts, jpgs etc as I'd like to get into that if possible Nerd

Flexraid seems to do everything I want, its unobtrusive and protects the drives from what I've read. (I haven't used it yet though)

I prefer ember over XBMC as it stores all of the images with the files, so if I need to rebuild my xbmc library, its a much quicker process and I know what images will be used. I'm sure Sickbeard can cover the TV show side of things.

After doing some reading, I'm trying to figure out if running MythTV backend on my Live HTPC, in conjunction with the MythBox addon, and the TV cards in the server, accessed over the network will work. I have a USB TV tuner which I may be able to experiment with. Live TV and PVR is not essential, but I would like to get Freesat HD working if possible, so will have a go.

The Intel monitor is telling me the 4 cores are running at 37-43'C,this is when idle, is this too warm? The case exhaust blows cool air out, so think it seems cool enough.
If you are gonna stick with Windows 7 Mediaportal is the best XBMC backend. I use it myself. MythTV support in XBMC currently is way behind Mediaportal support.

As far as temps are concerned case temps and HD temps matter most- be sure to monitor those. Core2Quads run hot.
t2ffn Wrote:The Intel monitor is telling me the 4 cores are running at 37-43'C,this is when idle, is this too warm? The case exhaust blows cool air out, so think it seems cool enough.

Considering there are 4 CPU's in very close proximity, the temperature is more than adequate. The CPU will be ok most of the time but as mentioned earlier, it will get very hot (and noisy) when you'll start doing multithread transcoding.

I forgot to mention the Xilence fans run on hydro-bearings which not only make them quiet but have longer life than traditional ball or sleeve bearings. Ideally you would want a fan with little noise (dBA) and lots of airflow (CFM) at low RPM.
Excellent, thanks. Time for some fan shopping.
I've installed speedfan, hdd temps at idle are around 17'C, after 90minutes of streaming hd video to xbmc, the drive used was 35'C, which is still quite low. There is a lot of air space in the case as it only has a few drives in it, so i expect temps to rise when i add drives, but i think i will add 2 more exhaust fans, and each new cage will have an intake fan.

What do people recommend, 80mm or 120mm fans?
I have noticed the grill of the intake fan has already accumulated some dust, so think i'll add dust shields.
120's....they move more air with less noise.
Always 120mm fans.
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