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I want to setup a Windows Home Server in my house, however I want to have the hardware that consumes the least amount of energy (having a pc on all day long can get expensive!), and also with most flexibility regarding location.

I live in Mexico and unfortunately I havent seen any of the prebuilt small WHS machines, so I thought maybe a netbook could do. I know it doesnt need much CPU power or RAM, but I dont know if a netbooks way too weak for it (im thinking a netbook with 1gb of ram or something around that).

For the storage I would add external usb hardrives that I already own.

Would this setup work?

If not, do you think it is possible to built a ultrasmall, wireless enable pc that spends as much electricity as small laptop/netbook?

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There's something called a nettop that might suit your requirements better than a netbook. It's a small desktop computer that runs off the same low-power processor as a netbook, and would probably work as a home server. – ephilip Dec 3 '09 at 16:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Technically, it should work...

Personally, I wouln't.

For half the benefits of WHS, you want RAIDed hard drives that are connected 24/7, not USB ones.

Again, it would work... but there is little point when you can use something such as Freenas if you just want to backup a few files... WHS is a lot more than that.

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well the USB drives WOULD be connected 24/7. And I want it to automatically do incremental backup on all of my family members'PCs. – bangoker Dec 3 '09 at 16:28
I understand, but USB drives are terrible in comparison to hard drives connected through SATA..., for a start, a lot of the caddies keep them powered up all time and have no power save features which is counter to what you want... I just haven't seen really good ones. – William Hilsum Dec 3 '09 at 16:44

I just purchased an HP LX195 which has netbook spec hardware in a small footprint tower.

They are only about $250 and can be expanded with usb hard drives.
More than adequate for my modest requirements.

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Why not do it? Actually some good hard drives can power down, like the ones I use (Samsung 3G) - these are highly efficient and power down when not needed.

They cost around €89 for 1.5TB, which should be equivalent to roughly $100.

You could also make use of a Nano-ITX or Pico-ITX board: these small platform are even less power hungry. My main PC is an Atom dual core and the netbook a single Atom. These processors are fine for modern day use - for gaming I just use my PS3.

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i'm running WHS on a Eee pc 701 8G (Celeron M, slightly overclocked to 1035 MHz with 2 GB RAM), works like a charm.

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