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GUE Instructor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know, I know, I should stick to software, I know nothing about Hardware.

Anyhoo, i thought it might be fun to have a shared external drive so
i picked up a cheap PC off ebay (not exactly high spec, very old and slow)
i picked up a spanking new 1.5 terabyte external drive (USB)
Setup the Pc upstairs with XP,
connected PC to the wireless network with wireless card
plugged in the hard drive
shared it
mapped drives to it from the other machines on the network

Result..I should stick to writing SQL :(

All machines can see the new external drive, but access is truly catastrophically slow....is this the performance of the very old pc...the processor seems to be fairly maxed just running the OS. Is there a way to share the drive with a decent access speed. the router doesnt have a USB port for this, but I'd buy one if it wasn't prohibitively expense and someone could recommend one...or is there another solution.
 

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Is access to the local (internal) drive on the machine just as slow? What about access to the USB drive directly from the machine.

Initial thoughts are.

1. Does the machine have USB2 (you say it's old and slow) if not try sticking a USB card in it that supports USB2
2. Wireless can be unforgiving if it's busy or poor quality connection. For testing purposes can you get it on a wired LAN connection and see if that improves things.
3. What are the performance stats like on the old machine, it could be as simple as getting some extra RAM in the old machine.

Danny



I know, I know, I should stick to software, I know nothing about Hardware.

Anyhoo, i thought it might be fun to have a shared external drive so
i picked up a cheap PC off ebay (not exactly high spec, very old and slow)
i picked up a spanking new 1.5 terabyte external drive
Setup the Pc upstairs with XP,
connected PC to the wireless network with wireless card
plugged in the hard drive
shared it
mapped drives to it from the other machines on the network

Result..I should stick to writing SQL :(

All machines can see the new external drive, but access is truly catastrophically slow....help. Is there a way to share the drive with a decent access speed. the router doesnt have a USB port for this, but I'd buy one if it wasn't prohibitively expense and someone could recommend one...or is there another solution...
 

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GUE Instructor
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9,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I put a USB 2 card in the machine, sorry forgot to mention that.

It's just speeded up dramatically now that I have killed pretty much every service on the machine. I think it's just a crap pc, and ready for the bin. Accessing the drive connected directly is fast as F*ck.
 

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Stick some more RAM in it, by accessing the drive directly connected do you mean accessing the internal disk across the network or accessing the USB drive from the machine that it's connected to?

If it's the first then it's the USB that's slowing it down, see if the drive can connect internally to the machine might need to get a SATA card for it.
It it's the second then it sounds like the wireless is the problem, prove it by putting a copper connection to the machine. Might be worth looking to see if any neigbours are using wireless on the same channel, try changing the channel on your access point to something different. Also don't use default wireless SSID's, if someone near has the same router and the same SSID it causes loads of issues.

Danny
 

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GUE Instructor
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9,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stick some more RAM in it, by accessing the drive directly connected do you mean accessing the internal disk across the network or accessing the USB drive from the machine that it's connected to?

If it's the first then it's the USB that's slowing it down, see if the drive can connect internally to the machine might need to get a SATA card for it.
It it's the second then it sounds like the wireless is the problem, prove it by putting a copper connection to the machine. Might be worth looking to see if any neigbours are using wireless on the same channel, try changing the channel on your access point to something different. Also don't use default wireless SSID's, if someone near has the same router and the same SSID it causes loads of issues.

Danny
Accessing the drive directly connected to my laptop is very very fast
accessing the drive directly connected to the pc upstairs is very very slow..i think its the machine.
 

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Accessing the drive directly connected to my laptop is very very fast
accessing the drive directly connected to the pc upstairs is very very slow..i think its the machine.
Sounds like it to me. As for alternate hardware solutions, sorry not my area, I'd google USB NAS devices and look through the reviews on them.

Danny
 

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I presume your 'new' PC is running windows, which by itself uses a lot of resources. You could try an older version of windows ie. If you have xp on now try 2000. The older versions will run quicker on older PCs - minium install. Alternatively scrap windows all together and put Ubuntu Linux on it........
 

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GUE Instructor
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9,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I presume your 'new' PC is running windows, which by itself uses a lot of resources. You could try an older version of windows ie. If you have xp on now try 2000. The older versions will run quicker on older PCs - minium install. Alternatively scrap windows all together and put Ubuntu Linux on it........
Linux rebuild would be the best option for the machine but i can't be arsed. I might stick 2000 on it though, thats not a bad idea.
 

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Sorry for being a dick
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If you don't mind getting your hands dirty OpenBSD is about the best server operating system I've used for this kind of thing. Rock solid and fast.
Similar to what i was thinking. I was thinking openSolaris though. Having said that, i've never used it.

My external hard drive has a built in NDAS server so i can just connect up via the network. Glad i got it as it was only a little extra.
 

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Mark W
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4,887 Posts
You could just install FreeNAS on the machine making it into a very basic NAS - that way the device doesn't spend it's time running a GUI and it can just run as an appliance.

freenas [FreeNAS]

The other option this gives you if you get the plugins is that instead of it being just a NAS - turn it into a full media centre NAS which means if you have any console devices or otherwise you can store everything on there and stream to multiple devices.
 

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Mark!!! You mentioned the NSA on a public forum! That means we're all gonna have combat choppers in "whisper mode" hovering over our homes while "agents" rope in carrying silenced pistols to "off" us all. Tssk.
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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Bugger, hadn't realised that that was available...the router was on the way out and sold some other stuff and so bought an Apple Airport Extreme for £80 which has a USB port in the back so can mount the 1Tb video drive ;) plus another drive to back up the home machines to.

Oh well...

Regards
 
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