Gaming off File Server

I am entertaining the idea of setting up a small file server. Couple nice fast harddrives in a RAID configuration, good memory, and just a small processor/video card because there wont even be a monitor attached unless I'm working on it. I would use it to hold all my games. included would be a Gigabit ethernet onboard so when I get my gigabit switch anyone with a gigabit onboard adapter would have a fast lan connection. I was thinking of having 20 or so virtual cdrom drives on the file server and having all my lan games in them so no one needs the cd to play, and to save harddrive room on the other computers in my house. The server would also act as a router for the internet.
My problem is that I dont know if multiple people can access files from one computer through a network. The normal users for the lan would be 3-4, max 7-8 at a time. But could 8 people access game files from one computer at the same time? any lag problems? re-write problems if more than one uses the same file?
second question is about hte virtual drives. ive heard bad things and good things. the good thigns is that no one needs the cd besides once at install. and the game runs faster because harddrive is much faster than cd-rom. i heard 200x cd-rom equivilant. but I heard that it causes systems to crash. I would be using winxp for all of the computers.
any help would be appreciated. and comments on the server idea, any thing i would need to make it run better. I'm a novice at that, i do mainly gaming systems but hate having to install games and patches and mods on everyones comptuer so itll run with everyone else.
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  1. That's what MicroSuck <i>file</i> and printer sharing is enabled for. But you wouldn't want to go through your network with that. You'd want to set something else faster up...a WAN. The virtual drives would suck...just have a bunch of the patches from megagames.com on everyone's desktop and have em slap em on.

    As far as the server try <A HREF="http://www.playingonline.info/tech/techservertweaking.php" target="_new">here</A> and see if that helps...it probably won't but it has some good info on it. I love linux for my server though...faster than windows and more stable...but less games for it :/ Oh well.

    ----------
    <b>It is always brave to say what everyone thinks. </b> <i>Georges Duhamel</i>

    TKS
  2. Trial and Error is all I can say for this one.
    I would just get the no-cd patch from a site and do it that way. My guess is that if everyone can access the virtual drive, it'll slow down and probably cause some problems.
    www.gamecopyworld.com is a good place for cracks.

    Riser
  3. the virtual drive is a bad idea and the gigabit switch is probably not necessary as even with a raid configuration your not likely to pass 100mb the best idea would be to install the more intensive games from your selection locally and the rest create images for and map a network drive to the pcs as this will give better access to the files and be alot quicker on the client side realistically you want to remove the trouble of even mounting the games the programmes are available daemon tools daemon script some others that allow you to make a custom script through more understandable terms that will check the location dismount drive remount or even run a mini image another programme that does most of this automatically is game jackal what you still need to figure out is how to get round installing the games ideally it would be good to have the files run from that location and the processing at the client end but this would get pretty hard as you would need it be converted to a standalone.exe with the files in the root folder. I want to do something like this myself and was even toying with the idea of terminal services but it's just not practical yet even with the updated rdp for windows 7 well good luck when i figure the last bit out i'll post again.
  4. Some games DRM measures throw a wobbly over any form of virtual drives - even if its being used by a legitimate customer...

    I believe the server you will be wanting to run at least XP pro - as the home edition etc have a limit to the number of peers accessing files at once.

    Depending on the games you play (mmorpg's can be amongst the worst for seek time stutters) I think you could run into speed issues, if you had 8 people playing at once the seek times could get horrendous. I use a SSD for my more demanding games because seek time even from a local drive can cause slow downs and stutters in busy areas. I find a SSD is better than raptors in a raid 0!

    With 8 people trying to hit the drive at once it could really cause a problem in some games, in others you may not notice it.

    In my house we can regularly have four people at once playing mmorpg's, Id hate to see the results of them all trying to play from a single networked installation.
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