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Network storage+LAN party

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January 13, 2011 12:40:25 PM

I'm in college right now and my friends and I like to have LAN parties, so we install the files on everyone's computer and it's a pain. I have a question about network storage systems such as, strictly for use as an example, this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've been google searching for a while now and can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for. Would we all be able to simultaneously access games or other files installed in a network storage enclosure or is there another way to do this so we don't have to install files on everyone's computers every time?
January 13, 2011 1:32:48 PM

That would work, I actually use the DNS-321, but both will do what you are looking to achieve. Or you could just open a shared folder on each PC, and transfer the data through the network. Or buy one external HDD, and pass it around...

But the product you are looking at is excellent, I use to use Windows Home Server and the damn thing kept getting viruses. The DNS-xxx are linux/unix based, so you will not have to worry about getting viruses while its sitting on the network...

Best of luck!
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January 13, 2011 2:02:07 PM

tkrl26 said:
That would work, I actually use the DNS-321, but both will do what you are looking to achieve. Or you could just open a shared folder on each PC, and transfer the data through the network. Or buy one external HDD, and pass it around...

But the product you are looking at is excellent, I use to use Windows Home Server and the damn thing kept getting viruses. The DNS-xxx are linux/unix based, so you will not have to worry about getting viruses while its sitting on the network...

Best of luck!


Thank you for your response, it was helpful.

One more question, however. The one external HDD probably won't be the best idea as we'd still have to install the files from the HDD so that each person could run them when they want to, unless I'm mistaken. But if I were to buy that network storage, would it allow people to simultaneously read the files from the HDD in the network and would it allow them to read them at a reasonable speed for 10-20 people? For example, if we LAN DOTA (a Warcraft 3 map, if you aren't familiar with it), would everyone be able to load and play the game by using the same files installed on the network HDD without copying the files to their own HDD?
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January 13, 2011 3:43:03 PM

Once the map loads in the game, the drive won't be used anymore to access it. Something that small will be fine shared on a single drive. If you plan on playing movies shared among 10 people you need something more robust.
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January 13, 2011 4:00:22 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Once the map loads in the game, the drive won't be used anymore to access it. Something that small will be fine shared on a single drive. If you plan on playing movies shared among 10 people you need something more robust.


Well, as unlikely as that may be, I have a horrible tendency not to buy something that just meets my current needs, I buy stuff that will suffice in any given situation, which usually means I spend more money than necessary.

What would you suggest as being more "robust"?

Oh and I'd like to add that the Warcraft 3 map was simply one example, I had plans to use this drive for many different LAN games, does that change anything about how useful the network storage would be?
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January 13, 2011 4:15:12 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... more robust... It has a 1.6 cpu and feed back that states it serves 150 users just fine.

15-20 people with the D-links might be pushing it, you probably will see a slow down. I have hit the D-link with 5 pc's uploading 2 gb files and it ran rock steady, but I have not tried anything more...
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January 13, 2011 4:21:16 PM

tkrl26 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... more robust... It has a 1.6 cpu and feed back that states it serves 150 users just fine.

15-20 people with the D-links might be pushing it, you probably will see a slow down. I have hit the D-link with 5 pc's uploading 2 gb files and it ran rock steady, but I have not tried anything more...


Ah, that's quite the price tag... I like the $150 far more :) .

So if we had different games such as maybe Diablo 2, maybe CoD, or some other random games that I can't think of, would 10 people be able to comfortably play those on the DNS 323, do you think?

I'm assuming drive speed matters to determine how effective the DNS is, right? So would it be best if I put a small SSD in there?
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January 13, 2011 4:37:19 PM

Are you wanting the device to host the server for everyone to connect to? or just have a single point of sharing files? This device is meant to hold the ISO/game .exe's, so you can drag and drop them onto your pc and install the game...

I don't believe you can install the game on the device then have everyone map to it, because you would still need the license keys (for each person), registry entries, ect....

Just trying to clarify...

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January 13, 2011 4:43:20 PM

tkrl26 said:
Are you wanting the device to host the server for everyone to connect to? or just have a single point of sharing files? This device is meant to hold the ISO/game .exe's, so you can drag and drop them onto your pc and install the game...

I don't believe you can install the game on the device then have everyone map to it, because you would still need the license keys (for each person), registry entries, ect....

Just trying to clarify...


I was going to have it host the files for everyone, install the game on the device and have everyone connect to the device to load the .exe. The product keys don't really seem to matter for older games, since we all have the same Warcraft 3 installed and can still LAN with each other. The point of buying the device would be to eliminate the need to install the game 10 times or more, I'd rather just do it once and have everyone link to it or something.

Does that make sense?
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Best solution

January 13, 2011 4:54:07 PM

Yep I get it now.

That would not work since you would still be missing the necessary registry entries. Thats kind of in the same lines of, installing a game on your pc. If you take the install directory and copy it to another pc, would it run on the other PC? nope...

There is really no (easy) way around it, everyone will still need to install the game locally on their machine.
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January 13, 2011 5:02:30 PM

tkrl26 said:
Yep I get it now.

That would not work since you would still be missing the necessary registry entries. Thats kind of in the same lines of, installing a game on your pc. If you take the install directory and copy it to another pc, would it run on the other PC? nope...

There is really no (easy) way around it, everyone will still need to install the game locally on their machine.


Ahhhhh damn... One more question before I give you the best answer for all your help, I have some external HDD's that I can install a game on. When I install a game on the external, I can connect it to different computers and the game will run fine, does the NAS not allow that same thing or is there something special about external HDD's?
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January 13, 2011 5:09:59 PM

Best answer selected by whoisme555.
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January 14, 2011 12:53:09 PM

whoisme555 said:
Ahhhhh damn... One more question before I give you the best answer for all your help, I have some external HDD's that I can install a game on. When I install a game on the external, I can connect it to different computers and the game will run fine, does the NAS not allow that same thing or is there something special about external HDD's?


If you can install the game on an external drive then play it on other PC's, then you should be able to play it off the NAS... However, to test this out (before spending alot of money), I would connect the external drive to a PC, share the drive out (so you can connect to it over the network). From another PC, connect to the share, and try and play the game. This would be very close to simulating how the NAS would act.
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January 14, 2011 12:57:34 PM

If you want to run the games off the external drive, NAS or not, you need to have them setup as a drive letter. Then install to that drive letter. But you need to do this on all the PCs to get the right local files and registry settings in them. You may also run into an issue if the game stores it's settings in the setup directory rather than the user space, it will force all the computers to use the same settings as the latest one that set them. So if someone ups the resolution, everyone that kicks off the game will have the same resolution. You may as well just install the games locally and share the maps or setup files on the drive. That way you don't need the disks to install the games on each PC at least.
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January 14, 2011 1:32:13 PM

hang-the-9 said:
If you want to run the games off the external drive, NAS or not, you need to have them setup as a drive letter. Then install to that drive letter. But you need to do this on all the PCs to get the right local files and registry settings in them. You may also run into an issue if the game stores it's settings in the setup directory rather than the user space, it will force all the computers to use the same settings as the latest one that set them. So if someone ups the resolution, everyone that kicks off the game will have the same resolution. You may as well just install the games locally and share the maps or setup files on the drive. That way you don't need the disks to install the games on each PC at least.


Okay, I think I understand. Thanks guys

I'll probably try it using tkrl26's last suggested method before giving up on my fantasy world :) 
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January 14, 2011 5:46:41 PM

I wanted to post back with results. Turns out that if I just share my C drive, people can run applications from my computer, saving quite a bit install time. Obviously the load times are much slower than if they were installed on everyone's computer, and this makes me reconsider the NAS idea, but the point is that it appears to work.
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