I know some people who need a new system server. They have an old HP with a P4( 3.0 GHz) PGA 478. The need a new unit because the one they have is a little slow and has 'old' tech in it. I want to build one for them for Christmas. One of them told me they want to have a Win 7 server, but has no funds for it. I will use this standard to ask for help from you Tom's:
Approximate Purchase Date: Before Christmas day,( or if they buy one.)
Budget Range: 300-550 Dollars
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Server for multiple laptops(2), spreadsheet to keep track of employees, processors, internet.
Parts Not Required: Unnecessary expensive components.
To be honest, that old HP P4 would be more than enough to run as a server if you installed Linux on it together with Samba.
There are plenty of guides as to how to do this on the internet.
Alternatively, you could also use that $300-$500 budget on a 'Green' eco-PC system with a large hard disk drive for that money, if you installed Linux (as above) on it. Plus the company would save a bit on electricity !!
If however the company has decided that it must be a Windows Server then I would go with the suggestions above. All depends on what they are happy with and/or whether you would like the challenge of learning, and building, a Linux Server. The Ubuntu Server distro is childs-play to install and configure.
The users would never know they are using a Linux Server if it was installed/configured correctly. It can even be configured to act as a Windows Domain Controller etc