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Trying to make use of an otherwise useless tower


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#1 canadian_idiot

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 03:21 PM

Stumbled across these forums searching for answers. Hope someone can provide help.

Main issue is this:
I have an old tower that's sitting around. I'd like to make some use of it as well as have a project to do. It has no monitor and is running Windows 98 if I remember correctly. It's been a while since I've used it but everything should work fine. However, it is not set up on my home network, so I can't access it remotely. I want to use it as a file server of sorts and access it through other computers but without a monitor for the initial setup, I can't do this. I don't want to go out and buy a monitor just for the setup process. What options do I have? I obviously have one working laptop (the one I'm on, dualbooting Vista and Ubuntu). I also have two junk Compaq R4000s that quit working in one way or another.

I know one R4000 works, but has 256k memory and is incredibly slow. The other has a bit more memory but has a chkdsk.exe startup loop and shuts off after five minutes of use. Both are running XP.

So my question is twofold:
Is there any way to use one of assets I have on hand as a monitor to setup the tower as a file server? Is there any way to fix the chkdsk.exe startup loop or to pull information from the hard disk of the other computer in the five minutes it gives me?

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 05:41 PM

I think if it were my Id borrow the monitor from another computer (if you have access to one with a VGA hookup) and if your setting it up as a file server, Id reformat the hard drive with Linux and add a network card in, and set it up so you can access it remotly through a network. You would have to network it and have a monitor you can use though. and that chkdsk if Im not mistaken, could mean a bad hard drive. Im not sure how good it would be as a file server though that old a computer it prolly wont recognize a very big hard drive. If your just looking for a way to back things up, an external hard drive would work. Other uses for it are, and Ive done this, if the case is a decent full tower with a nice setup, gut it, and put a new system in it, or you can do what my wife did, I had an ANCIENT gateway server tower, she had me gutted it, then took spray paint and decorated it, and were using it as a end table. :D

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#3 dwighthe

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 07:46 PM

You could try adding the ram from the non-functioning R4000 to the slow R4000. That computer should run faster.

If you want to trouble shot the non-functioning R4000. Try running chkdsk /R from the recovery console or a boot disk such as The Ultimate Boot Disk, this may clear up the corrupted sector and get you out of the Chkdsk loop. If not the Ultimate boot disk has several Hard drive diagnostics.

Good Luck
Dwight




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