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shadow1100mfp
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im not really sure where this post should go so i just put it in here.

there is alot of stuff in this post, but i know its all possible, though im not sure how to go about this, especially with a limited knowledge of how the insides of a computer works, and with a somewhat limited cashfund

what i want to do, is take my computer (it has been replaced by a laptop so i really have no use for the computer as a regular computer anymore, and it seems like a waste to blow it up, though it has crossed my mind :)) and make a media center/all in one type of deal.

so what i want to do is:

add 3 harddrives (ontop of the one that is already in it):

hd1: the one thats already in it:basic computer, internet, music, etc. , mainly configured to connect to the 24inch lcd tv im  buying next week

hd2: backup of hd 1

hd3: pvr type setup, but something that can handle both music and video, as well as have the ability to connect to the internet, run programs, etc. , mainly configured to connect to my plasma tv

hd4: maybe a back up of hd3, or maybe just an extra hard drive where i can store my music instead of keeping it on hd1.

fill up all the fan ports (it has 4, 2 front 2 rear, but i want to cut a hole in the top and put one there so that heat can get out more effectivly, because heat rises, right?)

paint the entire case (even the inside, just the case though, not the cages or anything, if this is advisable) with a simple gloss or flat black

add another dvd burner for the 3rd hd, to burn the recorded shows to disk/to play regular dvds

make it as fast as possible without spending a lot

add a dock to the top of the case to hold an ipod

cut a window in the side cover of the case and mount a piece of plexiglass in place of the metal, with holes drilled in a pattern for ventilation

1 internal usb port, so i can mount my wireless adapter inside out of the way and not have to worry about it

also, suggestions on some freeware would be nice, and reviews of specific video cards and capture cards are welcome.  m/bs too, as i need to replace the one in it currently (it has been replaced once due to failure, and the guy who replaced it put in one that uses rd ram, and it can only take up to 1 gb, i want to put anywhere from 2-8 in my media center computer)

anythign i take out of this case (which will pretty much be everything BUT the dvd drive and hard drive) i want to put into another pc that i have and sell that to help offset the cost of this project, so ill be back for more help if i get the help im after on this first project.

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add 3 harddrives (ontop of the one that is already in it):

hd1: the one thats already in it:basic computer, internet, music, etc. , mainly configured to connect to the 24inch lcd tv im  buying next week

hd2: backup of hd 1

hd3: pvr type setup, but something that can handle both music and video, as well as have the ability to connect to the internet, run programs, etc. , mainly configured to connect to my plasma tv

hd4: maybe a back up of hd3, or maybe just an extra hard drive where i can store my music instead of keeping it on hd1.

That would be a RAID 1 configuration. Though I would advise for a RAID 5 configuration as it is less space wast full. This would mean all the drives act as one big one.

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hard drives do not connect to a certain display...video cards do...

In your common desktop you can typically only connect 4 IDE/SATA devices before you have to add controller cards... for the extra drives

Once again Hard drive do not connect to dvd drives they only contain the Operating System.

I would look on YouTube and other websites for information on how to paint and mod cases.

Adding an internal USB Port is just a matter of buying a PCI to USB card that has an internal usb port.  Although I wouldn't suggest mounting a WiFi adapter inside your case since it will degrade your signal quality and can cause extra inteference to your sound card.

I would suggest that you learn a lot more about computer before you start messing around with your computer, especcialy the case.  I would look at a bunch of diffrent forums about case modding and computer hardware.  Typically in case modding you need to remove all the components before cutting and painting, and then put them all back in, which is something you may not want to do.

If money is not an issue I suggest you take a look around at custom computer builders, they can do nice paint jobs and set the computer up however you want to, but it wont be cheap.

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In season one of Hak5 Wess mods a case and paints one as well. Maybe go back through the first few videos to see how he painted evil server.

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add 3 harddrives (ontop of the one that is already in it):

As already suggested, you're talking about 2 RAID1s. The second drive becomes a live mirror of the first drive. Works really nice, and one of the drives could die at any moment without you suffering any data loss. The thing to keep in mind here is that this works best when both harddrives in the RAID1 are of equal size. If one is, say, 10 gigs bigger, those 10 gigs cannot be used by the RAID (but you can of course partition it and use it for other stuff, like swap space or whatever).

If all drives are of equal size, it's more efficient to run a RAID5 because any 1 of the 4 disks can die without you suffering any data loss, and the total capacity of the RAID will be the capacity of 3 disks, rather than 2 disks wshich you get with 2 RAID1s (though with the 2 RAID1s, 1 disk can die in each RAID simultaneously and you'd still be in the clear).

fill up all the fan ports (it has 4, 2 front 2 rear, but i want to cut a hole in the top and put one there so that heat can get out more effectivly, because heat rises, right?)

You could do this, but does it need it? Does the machine really get that hot? Keep in mind that doing this makes the machine rather noisy.

add another dvd burner for the 3rd hd, to burn the recorded shows to disk/to play regular dvds

And you can't do this with the first burner because...?

make it as fast as possible without spending a lot

Making the second burner even more of an enigma.

add a dock to the top of the case to hold an ipod

.. Why? Up until this point I figured this would become some sort of server that you'd hide in a basement and only access via the network. Remember, this thing will become noisy as hell. You don't want it anywhere near you, and most certainly not in the living room. The dock should be near where your laptop is, and you upload files to your ipod from the server via the network.

cut a window in the side cover of the case and mount a piece of plexiglass in place of the metal, with holes drilled in a pattern for ventilation

The plexi I sort-of understand, but again, does it need it? If you fill up all the fan positions, that thing is already going to become a hoover. Why bother with even more ventilation holes, that will probably leak airflow rather than guide it.

1 internal usb port, so i can mount my wireless adapter inside out of the way and not have to worry about it

Myeah, I guess that's why you'd want the plexi then. I'm under the distinct impression that a wireless antenna inside a metal box doesn't work as well as it might outside the metal box. Note though that I'm not very experienced with all this wireless crap.

also, suggestions on some freeware would be nice, and reviews of specific video cards and capture cards are welcome.  m/bs too, as i need to replace the one in it currently (it has been replaced once due to failure, and the guy who replaced it put in one that uses rd ram, and it can only take up to 1 gb, i want to put anywhere from 2-8 in my media center computer)

What OS will this puppy run?

Hauppaugge (or whatever the spelling) seems to be the top dog when it comes to capturing tv. Vid card I donno, but I'm assuming you'd want HD so you'll need a pretty recent one. If you've gotten a mobo with rdram, find your repair guy and scream at him. Nobody used it when intel was plugging it 5 years ago because it was horrendously expensive, and the owner of the technology behind the memory, the hated RAMBUS inc., turned out to be litigating bastards to boot. You don't want to support them in any way shape or form, plus this would generally mean that your current mobo is old as fuck, so no PCIe, rather limiting your vid card options.

anythign i take out of this case (which will pretty much be everything BUT the dvd drive and hard drive) i want to put into another pc that i have and sell that to help offset the cost of this project, so ill be back for more help if i get the help im after on this first project.

Good luck. You'd be hard-pressed to get more than 50 bucks out of it.

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hard drives do not connect to a certain display...video cards do...

In your common desktop you can typically only connect 4 IDE/SATA devices before you have to add controller cards... for the extra drives

Once again Hard drive do not connect to dvd drives they only contain the Operating System.

I would look on YouTube and other websites for information on how to paint and mod cases.

Adding an internal USB Port is just a matter of buying a PCI to USB card that has an internal usb port.  Although I wouldn't suggest mounting a WiFi adapter inside your case since it will degrade your signal quality and can cause extra inteference to your sound card.

I would suggest that you learn a lot more about computer before you start messing around with your computer, especcialy the case.  I would look at a bunch of diffrent forums about case modding and computer hardware.  Typically in case modding you need to remove all the components before cutting and painting, and then put them all back in, which is something you may not want to do.

If money is not an issue I suggest you take a look around at custom computer builders, they can do nice paint jobs and set the computer up however you want to, but it wont be cheap.

i know that hard drives don't connnect to displays, but there are settings that change the way it displays, and the settings (im pretty sure anyway) are stored on the harddrive, with the os, correct?

and as far as connecting to the burners, i remember watching a video once where they used a slave/master cable to hook together a harddrive and a burner using only the one cable

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add 3 harddrives (ontop of the one that is already in it):

As already suggested, you're talking about 2 RAID1s. The second drive becomes a live mirror of the first drive. Works really nice, and one of the drives could die at any moment without you suffering any data loss. The thing to keep in mind here is that this works best when both harddrives in the RAID1 are of equal size. If one is, say, 10 gigs bigger, those 10 gigs cannot be used by the RAID (but you can of course partition it and use it for other stuff, like swap space or whatever).

If all drives are of equal size, it's more efficient to run a RAID5 because any 1 of the 4 disks can die without you suffering any data loss, and the total capacity of the RAID will be the capacity of 3 disks, rather than 2 disks wshich you get with 2 RAID1s (though with the 2 RAID1s, 1 disk can die in each RAID simultaneously and you'd still be in the clear).

fill up all the fan ports (it has 4, 2 front 2 rear, but i want to cut a hole in the top and put one there so that heat can get out more effectivly, because heat rises, right?)

You could do this, but does it need it? Does the machine really get that hot? Keep in mind that doing this makes the machine rather noisy.

add another dvd burner for the 3rd hd, to burn the recorded shows to disk/to play regular dvds

And you can't do this with the first burner because...?

make it as fast as possible without spending a lot

Making the second burner even more of an enigma.

add a dock to the top of the case to hold an ipod

.. Why? Up until this point I figured this would become some sort of server that you'd hide in a basement and only access via the network. Remember, this thing will become noisy as hell. You don't want it anywhere near you, and most certainly not in the living room. The dock should be near where your laptop is, and you upload files to your ipod from the server via the network.

cut a window in the side cover of the case and mount a piece of plexiglass in place of the metal, with holes drilled in a pattern for ventilation

The plexi I sort-of understand, but again, does it need it? If you fill up all the fan positions, that thing is already going to become a hoover. Why bother with even more ventilation holes, that will probably leak airflow rather than guide it.

1 internal usb port, so i can mount my wireless adapter inside out of the way and not have to worry about it

Myeah, I guess that's why you'd want the plexi then. I'm under the distinct impression that a wireless antenna inside a metal box doesn't work as well as it might outside the metal box. Note though that I'm not very experienced with all this wireless crap.

also, suggestions on some freeware would be nice, and reviews of specific video cards and capture cards are welcome.  m/bs too, as i need to replace the one in it currently (it has been replaced once due to failure, and the guy who replaced it put in one that uses rd ram, and it can only take up to 1 gb, i want to put anywhere from 2-8 in my media center computer)

What OS will this puppy run?

Hauppaugge (or whatever the spelling) seems to be the top dog when it comes to capturing tv. Vid card I donno, but I'm assuming you'd want HD so you'll need a pretty recent one. If you've gotten a mobo with rdram, find your repair guy and scream at him. Nobody used it when intel was plugging it 5 years ago because it was horrendously expensive, and the owner of the technology behind the memory, the hated RAMBUS inc., turned out to be litigating bastards to boot. You don't want to support them in any way shape or form, plus this would generally mean that your current mobo is old as fuck, so no PCIe, rather limiting your vid card options.

anythign i take out of this case (which will pretty much be everything BUT the dvd drive and hard drive) i want to put into another pc that i have and sell that to help offset the cost of this project, so ill be back for more help if i get the help im after on this first project.

Good luck. You'd be hard-pressed to get more than 50 bucks out of it.

haha, thanks for all the help, you've certainly offered the most of it!

the harddrives would all be 500gb hard drives except the spare one, which is 250 (im pretty sure anyway)

it needs it, it got hot enough to catch the power supply cords on fire, or just melt them, either way it got hot.

i wasn't aware i could use the same dvd burner for more then one os =]

as far as placement and noise, the fans i have for the case are only 20 db, and between the other computer (business computer) next to it and the 6 video/audio systems stacked under my tv, this thing wouldn't even be heard

ill be sure to yell at him lol, what he did was take parts form 10 old computers he had to repair mine, and he said they were expensive btu they were good, and i could tell the first time i started it that the parts he replaced the originals with were shitty, as it took 10 minutes to start when it originally took 1-2. additionaly, i had planned on replacing the m/b anyway, so i wanted to kind of get universal parts that i could just switch over to the new one when i get it but as far as video quality goes, i actually want standard def. i don't really understand h/d, it just takes up alot more room for something that i can get down to less then 1gb for an entire 3 hour movie, does it make sense to you?

the plexiglass, i wanted just the holes in there for now untill i can get more fans to blow air directly onto the processor and video cards, instead of just through the case. and as far as air flow, i don't think this will be a problem, i have plenty of length on the cables i have, and i can route them out of the way and keep them hidden with zip ties, so air flow will be as best it can be with all that stuff in the computer

the os will be 2 different ones:

hd 1: windows xp (later to be vista)

hd2: mirror of first

hd3: something free, such as linux, with programs such as instant message, internet, media player/recorder, etc

hd4: either a mirror of the 3rd (all these mirrors because i download alot of music and get viruses alot), or extra room for the windows drives

im pretty sure that answers everything you've brought up, if not let me know :)

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oh; and the video card im not so concerned about, i have an agp slot that i've never used on it, and ive heard some good things about agp video cards.

Including that it's an all but dead interface?

Why would you want two OS's on this computer? For what you want it for you would only ever boot on of them all the time.

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oh; and the video card im not so concerned about, i have an agp slot that i've never used on it, and ive heard some good things about agp video cards.

Including that it's an all but dead interface?

Why would you want two OS's on this computer? For what you want it for you would only ever boot on of them all the time.

because i don't know anything for windows that records video really well, and i thought id try out what they were doing on the epp of hak.5 when they did a pvr/mediacenter

and no, my friend plays highend games and he said agp is really good as long as you get new cards and not older models. however im not set on this anymore because im going to buy the xfx geforce 7300 gt video card and the evga nforce 680i se mother board, so i wouldn't have an agp anyway

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and no, my friend plays highend games and he said agp is really good as long as you get new cards and not older models. however im not set on this anymore because im going to buy the xfx geforce 7300 gt video card and the evga nforce 680i se mother board, so i wouldn't have an agp anyway

AGP is still usable and for most people I'd say more than adequate. For what you need, it will be much more than enough. AGP is dying though, everything's PCI Express now.

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AGP is still usable and for most people I'd say more than adequate. For what you need, it will be much more than enough. AGP is dying though, everything's PCI Express now.

i know, its not like im playing games with it or anything, its just to make video look as good as possible without spending 90349 bucks on a card

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wish I could find a good mobo with AGP my desktop died and the only things I want out of it is my 7500 all in wounder card and my hard drive. :( I love that card because the macrovision is driver based and easily disabled :)

id gladly sell you mine lol, it's only from 2002, but if you had a video card attached to it that was somewhat high quality then it would most likely work mor ethen perfectly, just you might want to up the ram lol

and if not, then go on ebay, buy a broken m/b with an agp slot on it and hack the agp slot onto a working m/b that doens't have one lol

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I recently had my vid card replaced (the fan was rattling annoyingly) with a fanless AGP one. Didn't think they made them anymore, but I actually have a GeForce 7600 GS which isn't _that_ old. And since I'm not a gamer this was a-ok with me. I was actually dreading the thought that because I wanted a different vid card, I would have to go PCIe, which would mean another MoBo, at which point I might aswell get a new CPU, and would probably need new ram also. I.E. replace the whole guts of the machine because a fan was rattling (and wouldn't come off the chip either so I couldn't get just that bit replaced).

If you want top performance, get PCIe - not because PCIe is faster... well, it is, but the cards don't need it yet... but because all the faster cards are PCIe-only.

For all other scenarios, go with what your wallet tells you.

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I recently had my vid card replaced (the fan was rattling annoyingly) with a fanless AGP one. Didn't think they made them anymore, but I actually have a GeForce 7600 GS which isn't _that_ old. And since I'm not a gamer this was a-ok with me. I was actually dreading the thought that because I wanted a different vid card, I would have to go PCIe, which would mean another MoBo, at which point I might aswell get a new CPU, and would probably need new ram also. I.E. replace the whole guts of the machine because a fan was rattling (and wouldn't come off the chip either so I couldn't get just that bit replaced).

If you want top performance, get PCIe - not because PCIe is faster... well, it is, but the cards don't need it yet... but because all the faster cards are PCIe-only.

For all other scenarios, go with what your wallet tells you.

i hear ya=] there are alot of good video cards out there that aren't the best of everything, but they are still really good and more then enough for some people, it's sad that alot of people over look them though because they just want the best of the best.

such as the nvidia cards, im looking at the 7300gt (well, 2 of them actually, but that particular model), which on tiger direct goes for about $50, i know its not the best model, but its still high performance (512 mb 533mhz vid memory, 400mhz duel *350 core clock speed*, svideo*hdtv, vga, dvi outputs,). that particular card IS PCIe, but its rather cheap and the agp card i wanted was atleast 3 times that and even less performance. you just need to look for features and such before you settle on something. it's like shopping for a car, your stuck with it for quite a while, so get what you want or your going to regret it

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