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guru help....lots of questions about redundant array of independant drives...I want to setup a server with 5 hot swapable hard drives-160 gig.

1. with limited budgett what is the cheapest equipment?

2. will this work with winme and will I need special software?

3. if I have to replace a bad drive how do I copy all the stuff to the new drive?

4. will I need to install windows on each workstaion manually?

5. will I really need a hard drive on the workstations?

6. will I hook the workstations up thru a router or just use usb?

I got lots more questions which I will ask later.

thanks for any responses and helpful ideas and I would appreciate any web sites for reference.

this gonna be a lot of work for a dumb injun.

oh, one more shop is about 100 feet from the house...can I run a wire that far?

Edited by bearskin
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there are several reasons. we have 2 computers in the house and 2 computers in my shop. I have a lot of files that other people need access to and I want to control levels of access for people as we have a lot of kinfolk coming over that has a tendency to go places they shouldn't go. I am mainly responsible for the operation of the computers and I need someway to do the scans from my shop where I spend much of my time. I also need them to be able to make changes to certain files. only one computer will have access to the internet. less trouble for me if I can just go to the main computer and do the setups or changes. I kinda figured that would be easier than having to go to each individual computer and do a reinstall. I've had to do that several times already.

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There are a LOT of options and variables involved in this sort of thing. You could range from terminals (aka. thin clients), to workstations using something like DHCP, ZeroConf, and maybe a file server to retrieve their configuration information and store data. Depending on your needs you may be best off with a mix of the two. It realy depends on what you plan to do with these machines.

Even after all that, there are different protocols and implementations for all this stuff.

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