March 2010


WHS Hardware Support

Ask the Doctor LogoI’m really hoping you can help me with a Windows Home Server build. I’m using an Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard with an AMD Athlon x2 4400+ CPU at 2.2GHz, 1GB Corsair RAM, a 500W Apevia PSU, and an EVGA 8800 GTS videocard, with a 500GB SATA drive.

I downloaded the Home Server Evaluation copy from Microsoft three different times and installed it three times, wiping the drive each time and starting from scratch. Each time it took more than 12 hours to install the OS, and when it finally did, the CPU was running maxed out and extremely laggy. Installing Nvidia’s chipset drivers made no difference, either. Please help! I’m about to purchase a new mobo and CPU but I’m not sure if that’s the problem.


Read the Doctor's advice for Gary after the jump.


Delayed Write

Ask the Doctor LogoI have a Gigabyte 8KNXP Rev 1 motherboards that gave up the ghost. It had a RAID 0 array of two Maxtor DiamondMax 10 drives on the Gigabyte board’s onboard IT8212F RAID controller.

I replaced the dead motherboard with an EVGA nForce680i SLI board. Not wanting to risk the loss of 150GB of data from the last four years, I bought an IDE RAID controller card with the same IT8212F chipset and reinstalled XP SP2.

When I access the RAID drive, I can read the directories and even open the folders within. Yet, Windows XP will give me a balloon in the lower right-hand corner saying: “Windows – Delayed Write failed. Windows was unable to save all the data for the file G:\xxx. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.”

How might I ensure that I can save my data from this drive without risking permanent data loss?

—Paul Andrew

Read the Doctor's answer for Paul after the jump.


Just a Bunch of Disks

Ask the Doctor LogoI have a small collection of PATA hard drives: 4.3GB, 15GB, 20GB, 40GB, and 160GB. All still function fine, even the 4.3GB, but I want to use them collectively for backup or as a server.

I use a 500GB hard drive in a single-drive Ximeta Network Direct Attached Storage device as my server (file access for all my networked PCs) and a second single 250GB NDAS for backup of three PCs (three equal partitions).

Do you have any solutions for these small drives? I’m not too familiar with RAID, if that’s an option, but I’m willing to learn about it, or maybe something like FreeNAS. The only conditions are low cost, low noise, and minimal heat output, as whatever is chosen may end up in my bedroom.

—Cassandra M.

Read the Doctor's advice for Cassandra after the jump.