Windows 10: Do I need to buy Windows Server 2016 or can I used old Windows 8?

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  1.    26 May 2018 #1

    Do I need to buy Windows Server 2016 or can I used old Windows 8?


    HOW DO YOU MAKE A DECENT SERVER FOR MOVIES AND MUSIC FOR YOUR HOME?

    You can obviously tell I don't know much about networking, or even computers for that matter.

    I want to put about three 4 TB hard drives together to create a server just totally dedicated to just storing music and movies for my home. I want every family member (4 total) to have access?

    I was just going to use an old computer case with Windows 8. Or do I need a new operating system for the old computer like Windows Server 2016?

    Do I need to upgrade any important computer components since all it will be doing is playing movies on a TV and streaming music to family members.

    For the movie, I was going to connect it to the TV by using a long HDMI cable and have the TV screen simply acts as a second monitor. Is this ideal? Or is another connection method is better?

    Thanks in advance for your help guys.
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  2. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,515
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.55 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       26 May 2018 #2

    For your purposes Windows 8/8.1/10 is fine. No need to pay for a server license and CAL licenses for something that you won't be using even a fraction of it's capabilities and intended purpose.

    What you can do however, is switch Windows to prioritize background tasks, rather than foreground tasks. This will make the UI a bit slower, but file serving will be slightly faster.


    In Windows 10, you can even create a disk pool of all your 4TB drives and then create Storage Spaces from that, to make one really HUGE disk or multiple smaller disks.

    What comes to long HDMI-cables, It might be a good idea to consider a wireless adapter system meant for this purpose, if the cable would become really long. You would still use HDMI cables, but just 2x 50cm (2 feet) in length from computer to sender adapter and from TV to the receiver adapter.

    If you have a valid Windows 8 license, you should still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
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  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,391
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       26 May 2018 #3

    Rather than a file/print server [as the shop I worked in used back in WinNT4 days] I got 2 WDC 2TB NAS drives and connected to my Wireless Router then Map the Public Folder on each as desired with both Wired and Wireless/Wi-Fi computers to access all types of files stored on them.
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  4. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,783
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       26 May 2018 #4

    Or a third option is a dedicated NAS unit that can serve the whole family easily and could be started with two drives and then expanded - A server without the server bits ... and cost

    The 10 best NAS devices | TechRadar
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  5.    28 May 2018 #5

    Berton and Barman have the answer: Just put a drive on the network for all to see and share. Simple.

    I wonder whether the cheap availability of NAS devices is the reason MS dropped their "media center" editions of Windows?
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  6. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,515
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.55 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       28 May 2018 #6

    @CerebralFreeze

    As many already has suggested, you could purchase a NAS. There are many that even are designed as media and home entertainment devices. These devices have HDMI output and an IR remote. It would be ideal having such device near your TV for convenient playback of videos/movies, music and for displaying pictures/photos. These types of NAS devices comes in differences size and shape, supporting from 2 up to tens of HDDs via expansion enclosures.

    The best part is that they are also designed to be your personal cloud and have support apps for mobile phones. Just connect the NAS to your router via LAN cable or WiFi, setup the storage and add user accounts and its ready for acting as a family cloud and streaming device.

    I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but it really is the best alternative although it can cost quite a lot.
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  7.    28 May 2018 #7

    slicendice said: View Post

    <snip> it can cost quite a lot.
    @CerebralFreeze
    Here you go... http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...6&sku=634-BIPS

    PS: Don't forget to send me an air ticket so that I can help install it for you...at no additional cost, ofc LOL

    But, yep... NAS is a quick 'n easy solution.
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  8. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,515
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.55 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       28 May 2018 #8

    Hahha, WS2016 Data Center Edition. I don't think the family is big enough to even make it a viable option. Cheapest Windows Server OS cost around 800-900€ and has 25 CAL licenses included. Even that version is overkill for simple storage and streaming at home. :)
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  9.    28 May 2018 #9

    A server OS is optimized for sharing files with clients and it also includes features useful in larger networks. In large networks these things are very important. A client OS such as Windows 8 is optimized for running applications. But is fully capable of sharing files with a small number of clients and will usually do a more than adequate job. Many small businesses are doing just that.

    A NAS is a better solution if you can justify the cost.
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  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,793
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       28 May 2018 #10

    LMiller7 said: View Post
    A server OS is optimized for sharing files with clients and it also includes features useful in larger networks. In large networks these things are very important. A client OS such as Windows 8 is optimized for running applications....
    And even on a Home PC you can change the optimization to make it more like a server by prioritizing background services over programs. This has been available in Windows at least since XP, probably longer.

    Adjust Processor Resources for Best Performance in Windows 10
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