OK, I went home from work on Friday and spent nearly the entire weekend trying to setup a LMCE network. I wish I could say I was watching TV right now, but I'm not.
At a couple points, I actually had it installed and working, but I couldn't get any stability out of it. Video was hanging intermittantly and network shares were only sometimes available, which I attributed to a bad NIC card.
I believe my problems are all hardware related so I've been working that side of the problem. Everytime I make a major change I do a clean reinstall so everything is fresh. As of this morning I still don't have a working CORE. In fact, I'm stealing my neigbors WIFI to write this.
Here's where I've been:
First setup, Dual PIII 1.4 server with 1GB and GeForce 5200. Onboard NIC for WAN, and added a pci NIC for LAN. Added a Firewire card for 1TB external storage. Also added a PVR-500 for TV and a USB 2.0 card for future upgrades. This machine installed OK but I had to mess around with the network settings a lot to get things working. Once it was up and running, the internal network keep dropping. I tried 4 different brand NIC cards, (Linksys, 3Com, Realtek and Dlink) with the same results, and also tried swapping roles (LAN/WAN) without success. I removed the USB and Firewire cards to debug IRQ conflicts, and swapped the NIC into every available PCI slot. The best I ever acheived was buggy, inconsistant networking. Many of my changes didn't even get that much.
So I got frustrated and started a new system. Figured the above must have had a buggy motherboard or something. The new system was an old machine a buddy gave me, completely different architecture. It's a AMD Sempron 3000 on an Asus motherboard with 768MB of ram. The nice thing is this machine has onboard SATA II, so I dropped in a brand new 500GB sata drive. I disabled the primary IDE in the BIOS and installed a brand new DVD-RW on the secondary IDE as master. I no longer need the PCI firewire or USB cards, as those ports are available on the backplane. So the only cards I've added are an additional NIC, a GeForce 5200 AGP, and the PVR-500. Pretty straigtforward right?
Nope. This machine won't install. I can't get the AV-Wizard screen to come up. I'm using the VGA connector with a standard LCD monitor. The install runs fine, reboots, first-run scripts run and networks are detected correctly, then right when the AV-Wiz is supposed to come up, black screen. I tried swapping the 5200 for a 5500 with the same results. (The 5200 is the same card used above which installed sucessfully several times) I also ran memory test for 5 hours yesterday with all passes. What is interesting is that if I reboot the machine, X will start and bring up the LMCE launch manager but it can't generate the on-screen orbiter. (Error about transparency manager not running) I attribute this to it not completing the installation configuration.
I'm open to any ideas at this point. I really want this to work, I love the idea if a single home server solution. I could go back to my original setup which was a Clarkconnect gateway and a MythDora backend, but it's just more hardware to run, more shares to manage. Give me a hand please!