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free used compaq proliant 4500 server...

Posted on 2005-05-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I want to know what modifications I can do to an old server, that i have gotten my hands on for free....

I am limited as I have no budget, but willing to look into getting some moeny for using this for learning and playing with server technology (ie - windows advanced server, clusters, VMWare etc...)

My goal is to learn the most possible and modify this if possible in "my basement"....any hardcore people out there know of links for this, and what mods can be made....really hard core welcome!

: )
Question by:hesaigo999
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 14020756
To play with clusters you need two servers and a shared storage device.  Do you HAVE VMWare?  Windows Advanced Server?  

How about learning Linux - it's free and there's plenty to learn - and those who know linux and windows tend to make good money.

Author Comment

ID: 14026907
Ok...well first things first,

I want to learn how to play with the hardware first. I do have linux installed on my computers at home, ( i have 3 distros on one computer running all side by side...which is why i want to get into VMWare...sort of the logical next step for that venture.)

As for clusters...I have 7 computers total at home....this is the first server that I have gotten my hands on, with scsi drives
& all that. I want to know if it is possible to upgrade the hardware as it runs a pentium 1 ,166mghz.

There is alot of space, and I know not enough about this server type, to know if anyone has been able to use the casing and modify all the insides or whatever...that is more the concerns I have at this moment.

Thanks all

Expert Comment

ID: 14027377
Hi Hesaigo,

I don't think there is anything you can do to upgrade this computer for free and it also won't make any sense investing in additional hardware upgrades - the server's just to old (pentium 1).

If it has enough memory (256MB or more) you can use it for testing, e.g. the mentioned Windows Server Software or some Linux Distros, but it will be veeery slow. But there is probably now chance to use VMWare on this server as it has high prerequisites.

As I see it you have two alternatives with this server:

a) (recommended) Use it as a file server or firewall/router.
b) If it has a separate SCSI-Controller you can use it with the disk in another computer of yours.


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Author Comment

ID: 14029539
Hey troja....seeing as this casing tower is built quite big,
do you think i would be able to upgrade the motherboard with a different motherboard....sort of like jimmy it in place, unless there are motherboards for htis server to be used for proper upgrading?

I can go up to a pentium 3 budget wise...just need to know if it can, and what would the repercussions be if I did this, it is built for scsi. I imagine the board to get would also be scsi?

Accepted Solution

troja earned 1780 total points
ID: 14029755
From your comment I take that the scsi-controller is built-in.

Look, if you can get a PIII Board with built-in (or additional) SCSI, a processor and enough RAM for little money (up to $ 100) AND if there are at least two 4GB SCSI disks then, of course, make the upgrade. The case is most probably ATX so technically this shouldn't be any problem.

But I assume that a board with this configuration will be hard to find if you find it at all. You also have to check for the correct SCSI-Standard (SCSI-1, SCSI-2, SCSI-3, UW-SCSI etc) to be the same on the board and on the disks.

From experience I can tell you it'd be the best decision just to leave it all alone and run it as a file-server, otherwise you'll have too much trouble with it. ;-)

Author Comment

ID: 14031140
I guess I am a die hard hacker, and love to tinker with things to get them to do other then what was first intended.
Did you see that iPod that was turned into a broadcasting radio signal...

I was just hoping to get some good use out of something my company thourhg out in the trash....I thought what a waste, yet by today's standards I guess it does look a little old.

I will not give up though, just maybe change my idea of modifying it greatly, and just keep it while running rh!

Anyone else have any other ideas, they would be welcomed.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 14034604
Compaqs have their own case system, their own special motherboards and powersupplies, so your chances of changing those parts with non-Compaq parts are nil.

What you can check is if it is possible to change the speed settings for the processor. for that try finding your model on the HP homepage and download the manual. If you can change the speed settings, and it really is a PI (not a PentiumPro, which is more likely), and if it is a mmx standard CPU, you could use AMD K6 CPU's which use the same socket 7 and go up to 550 MHz. With that you should already be able to do something. Also check the board, Servers often can be upgraded with a 2nd CPU, if that is possible you could add the same CPU as in your 1st socket to get more performance.

To be able to use the compaq raid controller which probably is included in the system, you will also need to download all the softpacks and drivers for that model from the HP site. You might also need the "Smartstart" CD which normally comes with the proliants.

Author Comment

ID: 14036140
That's what I am talking about...no I am able to place 4 cpus in thast baby...if they are all AMD as per yoour comment, then that would mean i need a bigger power supply?
4 * 500 mghz???
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 14036601
Server Powersupplies should be able to cope, and if you have to get another one, it would have to be special one made for that machine, as the connectors and even the screw holes are usually different from standard ones. But first try to get the manual, which should help in getting an idea if it is possible to clock it higher and whether it takes mmx cpu's.

Expert Comment

ID: 16000522
i guess i must have forgotten about this one, although it never comes up as open when i log into my account, is this supposed to still have points assigned to someone?

I dont see anything in my account about this question....
 troja {http:#14029755} would be the winner of any points should there have been any to assign

Thank you, sorry for lack of updates.


Expert Comment

ID: 16008717
Thanks for taking care of this situation...

Have a great day

Expert Comment

ID: 16019185
All my info is the same from one account to another, and I was told by support (when i had probs with my cc ) that i had to do this at the time, now since then they told me they had toied the 2 accounts together, but i guess they just didnt update all the hesaigo99 to hesaigo999ca

something to do with the associated card not being able to be changed or something...might have gotten cleared up since, but you might  want to look into all the associated posts and just rename the names
( if the website was designed in that way that could be done dynamically ???)

Sorry again


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