Updating an old server. Need advice


Jan 12, 2023
I have a Norco 4020 case that I built a home server around 2003-2005. Its was running WHS2003. Hardware was all from the 2003 area. Its got 14 hard drive in it totaling 19TB at this time. The server software got so bad around 2016 that I pulled it out of the system and its been sitting ever since. I was a bit taken back by the job of trying to get the data from the drives since WHS was basically unusable. So it sat until now. Both my HTPC’s have been replaced with Shield years ago. We are still using them to stream now.

I pulled the old server out and between all my old PC’s I was able to get it running. I loaded a copy of W10 on it and am in the process of getting the data back up and organize. I used WHS duplication so I have 7TB of data scattered randomly over 14 drives. Fun times ahead.

So they reason I’m here is I’ve priced out NAS system to replace this server. It seem like I will be in the $600-$1000+ range to get near this amount of storage. So then I thought maybe I should just update the hardware in the server with current stuff and put it back in service. I’m hoping to be able to reuse the Norco case, hard drives, power supply (700 watts but 10 years old). So I would need a motherboard, chip, sata adaptor cards, and memory? Not sure if I need a graphics card? I haven’t built a PC for about 10 years and I have no idea what most of the current hardware specs mean. Or what I may need for this server.

Current sata cards are Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8. These I believe are 3GB cards. Do I need to get new cards or will these be ok?

The goal for the server is for data storage and movie\music streaming. Seem like Plex is the ticket for this now? I used windows media center back in the day. It was very cumbersome to set up and manage. I don’t want anything to do with that anymore. This need to be simple and just work.

Most of my movies are blu ray rips at full resolution. A lot of the audio is FLAC. If possible, Id like to be able to stream these at as high of quality as possible. To phones, pcs, or tablets.

Thoughts on if its worth upgrading this server and if so, what spec do you recommend for the hardware? Or should I go a different direction?
Current sata cards are Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8. These I believe are 3GB cards. Do I need to get new cards or will these be ok?
You're not going to find a current generation motherboard with 64-bit pci-x, so while the cards are fine, they're won't be usable.

power supply (700 watts but 10 years old).

You may want to update this, a 10 year old power supply is probably a bit worn out, and it might not handle modern rail loading (but then if you're running a ton of drives, maybe it's fine)

With the shields as clients, I think they're pretty capable formatwise and you wouldn't need the server to do any transcoding. You can probably get by with a lowend cpu with built in graphics, and a motherboard with enough sata and pci-e to connect your drives.
Turns out I found another old PC laying around. It's a hp Compaq ssf. It has an I5-3470 in it. Would the motherboard, chip and 4gb of ran be better to use than the q6600, EVGA mb, and 8800gt I have currently installed?

I'm undecided if I should try to use some of these old parts til they die or just go ahead and spend some money and make it current.
That should be fine enough, but check if the compaq stuff a) fits the standoffs in the case b) is using standard pinouts for power. 4GB ram seems low, but probably is actually fine. Ivy Bridge is a big upgrade from Core2. Intel was ticking and tocking back then.