Originally published July 21, 2008 at www.smallnetbuilder.com
By: Michael Graves
Date: July 21, 2008
From my first exposure to Slim Device’s original SliMP3 back in 2003 I was taken with the idea of streaming music throughout my house. The designers approach to this task I found very interesting. They literally give away an open source media streaming software intended for use on a file server. Then run their business by selling a dedicated hardware device to interface the music stream to a traditional stereo system.
Well it took a couple of tries but I finally got my little SlimNAS server running with 512 MB of memory. I first tried a 1 GB stick of DDR-333 (PC2700), but the T5700 BIOS doesn’t deal with memory greater than 512 MB.
I next tried a 512 MB stick of DDR DDR-333 (PC2700) but that didn’t work either. The little T5700 simply didn’t boot. It never got past the BIOS splash screen.
Then Fedex delivered a 512 MB stick of DDR-266 (PC-2100) that I had mail ordered from www.zipzoomfly.com. That finally worked. So here’s the proof.
I just tried a little test in response to some questions about how the unit might perform with more RAM. I had a 1 GB SODIMM of PC2700 (DDR-333) on hand so I tried that in place of the stock 256 MB of DDR-266.
It doesn’t boot at all. It seems that the BIOS can’t handle more than 512 MB of RAM. I’ll get a 512 MB stick and try that tomorrow.
I’ve written up this most recent project of mine for the folks at www.smallnetbuilder.com. It’s a complete How-To that describes running FreeNAS, SlimNAS & SqueezeCenter on a recycled HP T5700 thin client. I also modify the T5700 by adding a 250 GB 2.5″ IDE drive installed internally. The result is a music server supporting my Squeezeboxes that consumes only 14 watts.
I have a 2.5″ 250 GB IDE hard drive to form the basis of my rebuilt SlimNAS server. I also have the HP T5700 host platform. As week or so back I ordered a 40 pin IDE cable on Ebay just to see if the drive could be plugged into the IDE header in the T5700 motherboard, where the DOM normally lives.
When the cable arrived, from Taiwan no less, I tried this and found it works fine. The IDE header on the mobo is not keyed like on larger systems so it’s possible connect it in reverse. If you do this a couple of the leads heat up really quickly. Luckily I noticed this and powered it off quickly. Not damage done luckily.
I have the system running plain vanilla FreeNAS at the moment. Next I need to do a FreeNAS upgrade, then install SlimNAS.
The new HD for my SlimNAS box arrived last Friday. So the time to rebuild my SlimServer system is fast approaching. Right now it’s running on a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4, but since I’ve abandoned the idea of the Inguz on-the fly room correction in software it just doesn’t need all that CPU power. Nor does it need to be making all that heat & noise.
However, I don’t expect that the simplest solution will work. The T5700 has a 44 pin connector for the flash “disk-on-module” that it normally boots from. A reader in Denmark has indicated that he had some trouble getting the small HD to power-up when connected here.