My home server is running on an ancient 700Mhz PIII machine with Windows 2000. In addition to the web site I linked I use the machine as a file server for the family and (small) database server and source control repo for hobby dev projects. I really want to get the data off the old hard drive (already replaced once, but even the replacement is old now) and onto a pair of new external drives. To that end, I'm looking for advice on the best replacement options. Here are some thoughts/concerns to use when looking for suggestions:
- I'm looking for drives about 1TB in size.
- If you want to consider the enclosure and the drives separately that's fine.
- They don't need to be incredibly fast: the network is more often the bottleneck and most anything you find will already be an upgrade over what's in there right now.
- The are two available USB ports, but I'm pretty sure all the ports on the machine are only USB1.1.
- There's no firewire or eSata, so the USB1.1 or ethernet are about my only connection options.
- I'd like to use the disk manager to set up a single raid 1 volume. Is this possible for usb drives?
- The server is in a cabinet with limited space and limited power, so bonus points if I can run the drives directly off power from the usb port or at least set it up somehow so both drives only use one outlet.
- The server is in an out-of-the-way place so noise isn't a concern, but heat might be (the cabinet already gets warm at times).
- The server is an old re-purposed consumer grade HP, with no room for add-on cards. Yes, I know I should replace the machine as well. That's coming eventually, but part of what I'm hoping to achieve here is putting off that purchase just a little longer.
- I'm thinking about splitting mirrored volume into two partitions and keeping change history on the 2nd parition. Since the machine is running windows server 2000, the basic backup software that comes with external drives will often refuse to function for licensing reasons. I'm more than capable of writing my own backup script if need be, but if I could use an existing program that would be better.
- If I go the NAS route, I really want something that will let me use NTFS with security users/groups from the server (it's a domain controller).
Update: My hand has been forced. My server started throwing bug checks at me on friday, and now crashes every 4-8 hours or so. It usually comes right back up but sometimes something doesn't work. The diagnosis is almost certainly just a bad stick of ram, but replacing the old ram isn't a very efficient use of my money.
So instead of a nice new raid array I'm going for a whole new system. It's what I need to do anyway. I'm going the ultra-low power route, and so ironically the new server will cost less than the pair of hard drives, ultimately save me even more money in electricity, and open up some space in the cabinet. I still get to add disk space, and because it'll be a new drive it should be reliable enough until I can revisit this in a year or so, and by then I should be able to get the drives for even less.
Thanks to everyone who helped.