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Upgrading a network

By Tink! ·
I'm looking into possibly upgrading the current network to all updated softwares. The current configuration is as such:
SERVER: HP Netserver E50, 333Mhz processor, 160? MB Ram, 8GB HD divided into 4 partitions 2GB each, WinNT 4.0, Microsoft BackOffice SBS 4.0

CLIENTS: HP Vectra VL, 333Mhz?, 64MB RAM, 6GB HD divided into 3 partitions 2GB ea, WinNT 4.0, Microsoft Office 97.

As you can see this is an old system and has been in place for about a decade and a half.

To fit our small size (only 6 clients, 5 need upgrading) I think the best option is to go:

XP Professional on all, Windows SBS 2003 Server on the Server, Office Professional 2003 on clients.

Based on the computer descriptions above, do you think these old machines could handle the new software if I add a 64MB memory chip to each?

Thanks for any input.

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by Toivo Talikka In reply to Upgrading a network

The client PCs are a bit low powered for Windows XP, the slow CPU combined with an old 6GB hard drive. If financial constraints force you to use this hardware, XP will run slowly in 128MB but it will use the paging file on the disk all the time. You would be better off with 192MB or 256MB.

Create just one 6GB partition, if you absolutely have to, otherwise replace the hard drive with a faster 40GB drive.

I would recommend full version of the operating system, instead of an upgrade. If you have to re-install from scratch, it is faster if you have the full version, rather than having to start from installing NT first.

You are now fast approaching the limit of overcapitalising in obsolete equipment. You would be better off by building a new 'whitebox' PC - for example motherboard Gigabyte GA-7VM400M-RZ, CPU AMD Sempron 2400+, 512MB, 40GB. Ask for pricing from your corner shop and you will be surprised. Your vendor will be able to sell you the OEM version of XP and Office, saving quite a lot.

The same reasoning applies to the server as well.

On the other hand, if you can convince your management, you could download and install for free Fedora Core 4 with Sendmail, eGroupware and Samba (if you need SMB support for Windows clients) on the existing server as it is (perhaps with bigger hard drive), and Linux desktop of some sort with OpenOffice on the existing old PCs with the RAM upgraded to 128MB.

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by Tink! In reply to

Thanks for the nice detailed answer. I've never repartitioned a hard drive. Can you explain it or point me to a website that would?

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by TechKid In reply to Upgrading a network

the machines are probably worth less than the cost of 128mb dim, let alone the cost of XP for each computer. New computers are very cheap now and would come with xp licenses.

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by Tink! In reply to

You're right. New computers would probably cost less than having to buy the 5-6 licenses for XP. And personally I'd rather have new equipment anyway. These machines are so antiquated!

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by CG IT In reply to Upgrading a network

well your not going to get SBS 2003 on the HP Netserver no matter what you do. Exchange Server 2003 is going to want storage space for mail and people never get rid of mail. Think 17 GB.

All in all, with the full install of SBS plus SP1 and hotfixes you'll need 10 to 12 GB of space and then you have to have room for the page file [virtual memory] which if you have a 1GB of memory you ought to have 1.5 to 2 GB free space.

On top of that, people are going to want to save stuff to the that 8 GB drive isn't going to cut it.

Think a Xeon 3GHz processor, 1 GB memory, 3 36 GB SCSI drives in RAID 5, and your now have a server.

For workstations, think 2Ghz processor, 256 MB memory and 40 GB drives [because XP with SP2 and all hotfixes takes up space around 8 GB plus the page file [virual memory] then there is Office 2003 and all the other programs users will want. Then all the files they have that they don't store ont the server.

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by CG IT In reply to

Don't forget, Windows XP isn't like 2000 where you can buy one and install 5 free. Thought there are ways around product activation [cloning], product activation can stop you cold if you don't get the proper licensing and keys.

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by Tink! In reply to

I didn't know that about Win2000. But at this point I'm thinking we'll just buy new hardware with the new OS included.

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by Tink! In reply to Upgrading a network

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