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2,862 Tutorials

How to build a DIY media server

Re-use an old PC to stream media

Step 3. A really old PC will have a meagre hard-drive capacity. If you’ve got a large digital video library, an upgrade may be in order. Check whether your PC uses an IDE (ATA) or SATA interface before proceeding. You’ll find step-by-step instructions on performing the upgrade here.

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Step 4. Since Windows 7 creates one automatically, you should have a HomeGroup set up for your current network. You’ll need to add your server to the network. Link it to your router using a wired connection. Configure the PC so it can be accessed by other PCs on the network.

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Step 5. Any portable devices that you connect to the home network and use to access music, photos and video will be protected against potential damage caused by a power cut; your media server will not. Consider purchasing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to safeguard the server. Prices start at around £40.

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Step 6. We explain later on how to copy over files; for now, though, you need only check that the server is working properly. Select the folders in which you’ll store your media and ensure they’re configured for sharing. Place a sample file in each folder, then check you can access them from each networked PC.

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