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General Chat Thread, Uses for an old PC at home in General; My dad replaced his PC about 6 months ago and I've recently got round to looking at it. It had ...
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    Uses for an old PC at home

    My dad replaced his PC about 6 months ago and I've recently got round to looking at it. It had Vista on with 500gb HDD and 4 GB Ram so in my eyes it is still a decent machine (allbeit needing rebuilding now). Now I've been trying to think of things to use it for. I don't think he really wants to sell it as he's paranoid about the data on it. It seems like a waste to get rid of it, but I think it's too big (and noisey) to go in the front room and use as a media server and I'm not sure about the running costs of using it for a NAS server. Anyone have any ideas, or information about what you have done?

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    Danp's Avatar
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    I have just setup a Server 2008r2 as a domain controller at home

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    bladedanny's Avatar
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    I'd go with the media centre if you'd use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    My dad replaced his PC about 6 months ago and I've recently got round to looking at it. It had Vista on with 500gb HDD and 4 GB Ram so in my eyes it is still a decent machine (allbeit needing rebuilding now). Now I've been trying to think of things to use it for. I don't think he really wants to sell it as he's paranoid about the data on it. It seems like a waste to get rid of it, but I think it's too big (and noisey) to go in the front room and use as a media server and I'm not sure about the running costs of using it for a NAS server. Anyone have any ideas, or information about what you have done?
    You should be able to run Win 7 on it easily if it's been running Vista. I'd probably turn it into a Media Server, or just somewhere to host shares.

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    I can't remember the name of the one I was told about, but you can get some free software that I believe is linux based and can be placed at the edge of your home network and used as security that filters all traffic coming in and tells you about any potential threats. so you have one network port coming in and one going out and it monitors everything. might be useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    You should be able to run Win 7 on it easily if it's been running Vista. I'd probably turn it into a Media Server, or just somewhere to host shares.
    This is all I could think of, but then I'm wondering if it's really worth it as I currently have a NAS drive, I don't really want it in the front room due to the noise but don't want to spend any money making it queiter either. The extra storage space is always good, but then I could just strip out the HDD and stick it in my computer. If I was to turn it into a media server, what are the running costs and can you configure it to power down when not in use and turn on again should you try and connect?

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    Show him that it's possible to securely wipe a disk and pretty much all the scare stories he's heard are because people just haven't bothered wiping it. Then sell it for him. If you're trying to find a use for it, you don't need it

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    penfold (5th February 2013)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    If you already have a NAS, I suppose you could try selling components or just donate to a local charity.

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    penfold (5th February 2013)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I am of the same opinion as sidewinder. If you have a large enough magnet run that across the drive after and then if you sell it, use the vista disk that came with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    I am of the same opinion as sidewinder. If you have a large enough magnet run that across the drive after and then if you sell it, use the vista disk that came with it.
    There's no need to do this. If you format the drive, delete the partition, then re-format and delete the partition again - it is impossible to get any information back. I've experimented with various software recovery tools and they simply cannot retrieve anything once you'd done this.

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    penfold (5th February 2013)

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    I use MythBuntu as a PVR recorder using NOVA-T DVB-T encoders.

    Power wise, it powers up automatical from cold to do a recording, then shuts down afterwards. you can have it as a back end and have multiple front ends haging off it ( so a laptop in the lounge, bedroom etc ) so that you can have multiroom TV/Music/Etc...



    Or build an vMware ESXi virtual host and run a few things..

    on mine i have>

    I have vortexBox running for ripping and storing music and videos. ( linked to my MythTV )
    A Suse Linux Box for my main file server
    A XP machine for testing old apps.

    You could also install a security appliance ( as mentioned above ) like ClearOS, pfSense, Untangle

    Rob

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    rad
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    I am sure there is a space HDD at the back of your cupboard at work, just dont tell them I told you so.

    I remove the HDD out of my machines and replace then sell on. Personally its not worth the risk as you dont know where it will end up.

  16. Thanks to rad from:

    penfold (5th February 2013)

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    Originally it was going to go to the wifes parents to replace their aging desktop. Instead they have had a new laptop so I think I may have a little play with some of the suggestions and see if anyone we know could do with it.

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    Magnets don't necessarily clear a drive (strength decreases rapidly with distance & you can't get close enough to the platter without disassembling the drive).

    Formatting & reformatting - only if you're writing to each sector of the drive and not just clearing the FAT. The files could still be there, just not indexed. You need something like the dban boot disc - which is clearing a couple of drives for me as we speak. Don't forget the 'nousb' option if you're running it from a usb stick.

    Alternative uses for an old pc - depends what you want to learn about. Linux - web server (LAMP) / file server (freeNAS) / firewall (ipcop / untangle / dansguardian) / internet cache (squid) or just have a play with the desktop distros (mint / ubuntu etc etc). MythTV is fun too.

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