How to Build a Server Computer

by Bonnie Conrad

Building a server computer can allow many different people to share a single set of resources, resulting in significant cost savings for businesses and greater convenience for home users. If you are running a business, you can use the server to house all of your data files and allow your workers to pull those files, change them and save them back to the network. If you are working with a home network, you can use a server to store music files to create a jukebox, or you can use your server to allow family members to share files, printers and other resources.


Choose a rack mountable case to get started. If you are planning to mount your server in a rack, determine what type of rack you have. Some racks will have round holes, while others feature square connectors. Make sure the case you choose has the appropriate mounting hardware.


Insert the motherboard into the server case. When choosing a motherboard, make sure the one you choose has support for the services you will need, including hot swappable SCSI hard drives. Hot swappable simply means that you can remove a failed drive and insert a new one without first powering down the server. This is an important consideration, especially if your server will be used for business purposes.


Insert the hard drives into the front of the rack mountable case. If you are using SCSI hard drives, slide each drive into place until it stops, then use the locking lever to lock it into place. Repeat this process until all of your drives are firmly seated.


Place the DVD drive into the slot on the front of the server case. Many server cases use a slimline DVD drive design; choose a drive that will fit the case.


Install the memory modules into the slots on the motherboard. When seating the memory modules, make sure the metal side is pointing down and push firmly on the module until it locks into place and the locking tabs come up. For maximum performance, install as much memory as the motherboard in your server will hold. The more memory you install, the better your server will perform.


Place the CD or DVD containing your server operating system into the DVD drive and power the server on. The server will automatically boot from the CD or DVD, and you will be able to install the operating system. During the installation, you will have the opportunity to determine what type of drive configuration you want to use, and you will be able to enter your registration information as well.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.

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