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Help with Network Storage?

by APyralis / October 13, 2011 10:48 PM PDT

So, the situation is network storage. I have a tower I built from spare parts (probably mostly from 2004) which I put a 250GB external HDD in as it's primary drive, loaded Windows XP on it and connected it to my wireless router. All of my laptops connect to this tower (aptly named Frankentower) to pull and put media and data on (music,movies,pictures). Its been through the network setup wizard and file sharing is on for all computers connecting.

Last night Frankentower would not show up on the network nor Logmein. It was powered and connected. So after an hour of troubleshooting it claimed PCI port 2 had a conflict which is the Ethernet card. This card didn't come with the machine and I had to locate drivers for it. Anyway, I moved it to slot four and reinstalled the drivers. The conflict was gone and it would appear on logmein. However, when I tried to pull off of it to a connected laptop I could only pull one item at a time. If I pull more than one the transfer stops and on the laptop I get an "invalid handle" error (no clue what that is) and on Frankentower the internet dialogue box comes up with network cable is unplugged and severs the Internet connection. All cables are fine.

This issue has been happening on and off but it got better if I just tried later. Later is no longer working. I'm wondering if it's one of three things:

-a software conflict between Frankentowers Windows XP and the Vista/7 I run on the laptops?
-an issue with the router (my router is actually connected to my landlords router/modem)--and if so which point needs adjustment (my router or my landlords)
-an issue with the Ethernet card (which seems to be working fine aside from this) or some Windows XP software preventing network transfers?

I would truly appreciate any help.

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All Answers

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I see 2 issues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2011 1:03 AM PDT

1. XP is not a good "server" OS.
2. The "conflict" you wrote about may continue since the machine is what it is. i.e. "not a server."

It may take time for you to learn the 2 items I offered are true and many do have success but you have reached the point you want better. Let me share my personal server is not a frankenmachine and does not run XP.

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Thank you, but...
by APyralis / October 14, 2011 1:31 AM PDT
In reply to: I see 2 issues.

Thank you for the reply reply Bob. What might you suggest then? What is a good server OS? How might improve my system to be more stable if it "is what it is"?

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Can't tell you that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2011 1:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you, but...

It's a frankenmachine so it is what it is. You might try a server grade OS like Linux (too many to choose from) but as the machine is a mismosh you might want to consider simplifying the machine. Often I find such machines with 21 hard drives and given today's fire sale on drives we'll rip out the drives and place a pair of 1 or 2 TB drives in the server and avoid outright machine replacement as we reduce power consumption and make it more reliable at the same time.

But once in awhile you find some owner that has not learned to retire those small hard drives.

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by APyralis / October 14, 2011 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Can't tell you that.

I would wonder why you cannot tell menthe direct answer but I'll just take what you did give me. I will say there is only one HDD connected. I wanted to connect many smaller drives including the 250GB one in there now but I always encounter problems doing so--either the OS will not boot or it complains about a conflict.
I suppose I will try Windows Server instead of XP. I liked XP because it was light on resources, Frankentower boots in record speeds. I'll also mention this problem with invalid file handle only seems to happen during wireless transfers. If I patch into the router via Ethernet cable this problem happens maybe one in every eight transfers and trying again right after works.

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Sorry about that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2011 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Ok...

There is so much to cover and some of it may upset folk. So I try to point to the usual.

In parting, my best home server is some Emachine Netbook that sits at less than 9 Watts serving up files. I'm looking to see if I can move to a dropbox style system with it being the hub.

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