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Windows 7: Spare computer, what OS to put on it?

14 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 
Spare computer, what OS to put on it?

Hey folks. I have this spare machine laying around (AMD Athlon X2 5000+, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB HDD, GeForce 9500 GS) and I was wondering what OS I should put on it. It's not going to be an everyday usage computer but I don't know whether to make it a server or a media center. My primary machine has Windows 7 Pro x64 and my roommate's machine has Vista x64, and while 7 is obviously a fantastic OS, I wonder if something different might be better. Any advice?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

How about Windows Home Server?

If it does have a tuner card i would also vote for Media center and share what it tapes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You can also try Linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Away with you and Linux, make it a Server. The handiest thing around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DarkXeno View Post
How about Windows Home Server?

If it does have a tuner card i would also vote for Media center and share what it tapes.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by echrada View Post
Away with you and Linux, make it a Server. The handiest thing around.
+1

It's a spare, you already have Windows 7. IMO Windows Home Server is an obvious choice.

Kari
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14 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Definitely make it a Windows home server. You don't know what you are missing until you try it.

Only issue is AV. It is a server so you will want/need an AV for it. There are no free server AV's that I am aware of but Avast sells their Windows Home Server AV for a reasonable cost.

Unattended backup, bare metal restore (without having to reactivate), shared/streaming media folders, and multi-drive folder duplication are only a few of the benefits available.

With your WHS you recieve a website from Microsoft that you can use to access your pc(s) remotely provided you run Pro/Ultimate Windows 7, Business/Ultimate Vista or XP pro (because RDP server is required for this).

More info at: http://www.wegotserved.com/get-started/
and here: Top 10 reasons to use Windows Home Server
also here: Windows Home Server, Windows 7, Xbox 360 and Windows Me

Using WHS with my home network and love it. There is not enouph money to pry it from my fingers. I can also turn off restore points on all pc's connected and backed up by this server gaining more disk space on the pc to use as I want it instead of in case of virus restore if it is not corrupted by said virus.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

#1). Do you have legal licenses to use to install licensed software onto this computer? This may impact greatly what you want to run on it.

#2). As far as Windows Home Server goes, it's a good product...but I think it's much better when you have something like the HP Media Smart Servers which have removable/swappable hard drives. You can sometimes pick these things up for less than $400 with 750GB+ drive space in them and 3 available slots.

If you want to install Windows Home Server, the license cost is only like $100 from NewEgg to put on your own machine. Pretty reasonable.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by echrada View Post
Away with you and Linux, make it a Server. The handiest thing around.
Of course, 1 of the things that Linux does best is make a server. So, your statement didn't make much sense to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Go for Windows Home Server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #9

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
why not try one of these "Hypervisors" like vmware ESXi. You get a real lean OS to try running Virtual Machines on. As it's a spare machine this would make a good test platform --you could also use the local HDD's as a data store for the Virtual Machines.

Note if you go for this type of OS You'll have to have a separate machine (which you have) to define and control the VM's. ESXi is also a bit fussy on the NIC (network) card so it might not work -- the Microsoft Hypervisor is not so fussy but I haven't played around with it so I'm not sure how easy it is to configure.

Both these products are FREE BTW.

Linux / vmware server (both free) is also a good combination to use on a spare machine.

That's my main setup at home -- with the vmware server running around 5 different VM's.

If you use Linux and vmware server there are some issues with release 2.0 / 2.01 and the current kernel. Install vmware server release 1 if you want to use linux and vmware server and don't want to "manually compile" and patch the setup script to get version 2.0/ 2.01 to work.

Cheers
jimbo.
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