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Atom Windows Home Server build on a Friday night – Purchase and Assembly – Video Edition


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After a few calls with Christoper Lux from Home Server Show I decided to do a Windows Home Server build based on the D510 Intel Atom processor. Read on and check out the two HD videos showing the Windows Home Server build.

Clear Windows Home Server Case


I had been looking for a small form factor for a WHS build for my sister-in-law in recent months. Since the LX195 I bought for my real sister was no longer sold, and not that powerful anyway, I decided that a dual-core small form factor would be powerful enough, not be a power hog and fit in their home entertainment center.

Christopher Lux and I had a telecon a few weeks ago and the topic of Atom processors came up. Could an Intel Atom power a WHS effectively? In addition, could we stay low power with the unit? My wife and I both have Dell Inspiron 10 netbooks with Atom CPUs and they have run well for us. My two home-builds are both dual core so I wanted to make sure I could get the Atom in a dual-core CPU, and not the single core like our netbooks. Chris said that the Atom dual-core board was just out and on sale. We threw a bunch of links back and forth and then last week after one more check with Chris I pulled the trigger on the board.

Since I was building this WHS for someone else I needed to meet three main requirements:

  • Cost less than a HP MSS (otherwise just buy a EX495)
  • Low watt power usage (35 watts target)
  • Small form and high acceptance factor

I had extra drives at home and since I just Vailed my test box I now had that OEM software as an extra Windows Home Server license for this build.

Equipment Needed

  • Two beers (Optional as always)
  • OEM v1 WHS or Windows Server code name Vail
  • Parts listed below

Lets set this pig on fire!

Cost Considerations

For about $72 you can get an Atom D510. The CPU is built into the board so no chip to install!


WHS Parts Invoice

Other parts cost include (parts shown in detail on videos)

WHS Parts Invoice

WHS Parts Invoice WHS Parts Invoice

After tax cost, not including two used 2.5” USB Drives, was $309.61. Not a cheap build but not expensive either. This build is great for someone like me with extra parts lying around and a Vail beta installation.

This is also a great build for the family. It is not too complicated and could be a great project for you and your children. Your kids can see inside it and the assembly takes less than 30 minutes. Once it is up and running your family can spend hours looking inside and watching your WHS process your media. At least the front fans spin. They light up too!


Below are two 10 minute videos showing the parts and assembly of the Windows Home Server. They are in HD and show some good detail of what to expect with a small WHS build. Be sure to check back next week for the WHS software installation and testing over the network! Do not give me crap about the wiring. It is a SMALL case!

Assembly Results

I am not going to spend much time on text here. The two videos show the build and the pictures below have some shots of the case and internals.

Next week I will show the loading of Windows Home Server v1 and runs some tests over my network.

WHS D510 Build

WHS D510 Build

WHS D510 Build

WHS D510 Build

Viva Intel, Christopher Lux and Microsoft. Seriously.

A special thank you to Christopher Lux for the consult and encouragement on this build.

See you next Friday night,

Timothy Daleo

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Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo is a Project Resource Analyst and Oracle Applications Trainer in Pasadena, California. In addition to financial analysis, Tim has been developing training materials since 2003 and supporting direct projects through various auxiliary databases since 2005.


  1. And the best part is you can see when it needs cleaning once all the dusk gets sucked inside. Gonna have to keep some Windex in the desk to keep it all shinny, especially after a three-year-old sticks their face up to it to "see what's inside". I guess it would match the hand prints on my plasma TV though.

  2. Any updates on this? How is the performance? I've been thinking about maybe building a box for Vail and the low power of the D510 sure is alluring… I'm just worried that maybe it'll be slow.

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