Turning old PCs into home storage

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Abhi

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When we buy a laptop, there is a good chance that our old desktop is forgotten. Do you think it is feasible to use it as a home storage device with network access ? How efficient it will be ?
 
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Why not ? If the hardware is good enough and it supports an OS which can work with other devices on the network, go ahead. But I strongly advice to change the hard disk so that your data is not in custody of an hard disk which could go wrong due to its age.
 
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@admin a good idea, but as you've mentioned, if you are going to host your own data, them guy should at least consider some form of redundancy such as raid 1 (mirroring). You can perform software raid, but it'll be slow. Probably not a big deal for just yourself and family, but useless in larger environments where you'd need a hardware raid card to increase performance.
 
Abhi

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Does RAID work with moderately powerful machines ? Don't we need more than one disk for RAID ?
 
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phenomlab

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@Abhi yes, it does. For raid 1 you need two drives (mirroring) and three disks minimum for raid 5 (stripe set with parity)
 
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I don't think older machines can actually be what a storage server in industry standards will be. The most you can do is make it act as a hard disk over the network.
 
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phenomlab

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@admin Exactly that. And then share it.
 
Abhi

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> @phenomlab And then share it.

Which Linux distro do you prefer for such a storage setup ? Easier, the better.
 
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@Abhi Doesn't really matter. But if you want truly light, then just leave the DE and go for CLI only... :)
 
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> @phenomlab then just leave the DE and go for CLI only... 🙂

Even then we would have to choose a distro.

How do we access the content in smart phone, TV or tablet if there is no UI on the _server_ ?
 
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@Abhi using SSH. I do this all the time - apps for mobile are Termus and Termux - I use both interchangeably.
 
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Abhi

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I mean, how will we view photos and videos ? Since it will be a home storage, that will be a priority for most people.
 
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phenomlab

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> @Abhi I mean, how will we view photos and videos ? Since it will be a home storage, that will be a priority for most people.

You'd just treat it as a mapped drive in that case. Connect to it from your PC or laptop. However, for mobile phones, you'll need a app that has this capability
 
Abhi

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Can we do that with Windows XP ?
 
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@Abhi Yes, but you know WindowsXP is obsolete and extremely vulnerable to exploit ?
 
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Perhaps I will use the Windows 7 PC. It has better sharing controls over the network. It does not have a WiFi card. Maybe getting a USB WiFi card will help. Ethernet port is working fine. So we can connect somehow.
 
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@Abhi Windows 7 is also obsolete and vulnerable to exploit
 
Abhi

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In that case, should we go for a Linux distro ?

> @phenomlab Windows 7 is also obsolete and vulnerable to exploit

I always thought Microsoft killed it in favour of Windows 10. Not good even if we use a good antivirus ? Because the machine already has a working fine Windows 7.
 
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@Abhi Yes, it'll work fine, but it will be susceptible to exploit from unpatched vulnerabilities that may reside in the system itself. This is what generates such a high risk. Also, don't confuse "antivirus" with "anti malware". In most cases, these are two different products targeting different areas.

These days, viruses still exist, but are "all but dead" in the sense that Malware and Ransomware can do so much more in terms of damage and exploitation in order to make you pay to release access to critical data. Even with the latest and greatest Malware Endpoint software, this will stop the exploit, but not patch the vulnerability that exposed it in the first place.

Security through obscurity is a dangerous misconception.
 
Abhi

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There was a theory when Windows XP was phased out. That you need to use only AVG or Avast to stay safe. And there is no need to rely on Windows updates.
 

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