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Diskless touchscreen system, no moving parts
Krobar - 2-28-2004 at 12:38 AM

I thought some people might wanna know that it is possible to run EJ diskless using network booted Windows 98SE.

I used the following parts:
Tyan Flex ATX S2425 motherboard
512Mb Ram
15" Iiyama Flatpanel Touchscreen
Unlocked Intel P3-S cpu @800mhz, 1.05V
Passive Heatsink
Terratec Sky 5.1 soundcard
Travla C137 case (Hasnt arrived yet)

This system has no drives, no fans and even the PSU is fanless so the system runs utterly silent.

Heres a run down of how it works:
1) The Intel PXE bootrom on the motherboard connects to the server and downloads a floppy disk image into ram.
2) The Floppy image boots dos which loads network drivers and logs on to the server.
3) A 400Mb ramdrive is started and a compressed image of Windows 98SE including EJ and its database is copied from the server into the ramdrive.
4) The dos networking software is then unloaded and Scandisk mounts the compresed drive.
5) Windows is booted from the Ramdrive.

All music files are stored on the server, EJ simply references a mapped network drive (All EJ program files and the database are however stored in the ramdrive to improve performance).

For info on how to make the boot disk and create the compressed drive image consult this page:

You will need a reasonable knowledge of Windows and networking to achieve a diskless jukebox but it is pretty much an ideal solution.

If you have any questions please ask. As soon as my case arrives I will post piccies.

Demnos - 3-2-2004 at 11:39 AM


very interesting. I followed the link and was quite overwhelmed by the description on how to achieve all this. So I think this is not for me. I mean, with a good notebook-type 2.5" hard drive you can also build a system that is to all intents and purposes noiseless, i.e. you cannot detect any sound even if you press your ear on the chassis of the PC.

Still...just the thought of not having any moving parts inside the Audio PC is exciting....So thanks for sharing your info with us here...

junk - 3-3-2004 at 10:15 AM

this is indeed interesting for me. It has been a big worry for me on how to achieve a sturdy solution for keeping the harddrive intact in our project.:

I've already destroyed one harddrive (although by accidentally dropping it to the floor while trying to make a safer solution for it! Ah... the irony of it all.), and a network-based solution with no harddrive would be a thrill. Allthough i would much rather have a solution where the eJ database doesn't have to be compressed along with the OS, as we have to add new songs and update the database all the time.

My ideal solution would be to have be your solution when it comes to booting windows, but with a more flexible database/file system.

Krobar - 3-3-2004 at 03:33 PM

Like your project Junk. :)

There is no need to store the EJ database compressed. The ramdrive also has native uncompressed space, if you have enough free RAM you can store EJ on that. Its much like a normal win98 compressed system you have a compressed kind of virtual drive (C: on mine) and the physical drive (D: in mine). You can have any ratio of space between the two (But remember 50mb of used ram yields 100mb compressed and only 50mb on the physucal ramdrive).

The update problem is an easy one to solve simply copy the database to the ramdrive at startup and shutdown.

junk - 3-4-2004 at 08:42 AM

Hmmm... quite interesting. Would it work, (in theory at least :)), to build a database on the server machine, by selecting the network path (even if it is on the same machine), then, like you suggest, copy the database to the jukebox machine?

I guess what i am asking, is if there is anything in the eJukebox database that prevents if for being used by many different machines, as long as the path name for the files are all acessible from the client machines.

Krobar - 3-4-2004 at 06:40 PM

All you do is build the database on the diskless client and copy it to the server and then copy it back at every boot up, it would work fine. You dont want to run the image off the server as this is slower and EJ probably would have issues if multiple copies read and write simultaneously to the file.

My database is compressed so all I do is copy the entire compressed image on shutdown.

Thanks for your help in the other thread, the system is now fast and Im very happy with it. Will post pics on Monday.

Fishy - 3-4-2004 at 11:40 PM

No fans at all? :) What are your system and cpu temperatures like? And an overclocked cpu as well? And no PSU fan? Sounds silent but a little hot too? :)

Sounds cool anyhow! *Curious*

Krobar - 3-4-2004 at 11:55 PM

The heatsink I use at the moment is a little 1u copper one and it gets very hot but is utterly stable at 733mhz. Im getting a SLK800A HSF which is over half a Kg of a copper and should be very effective and I hope to run stable at 866-1000mhz. The cpu is underclocked (It is a 1266mhz Pentium 3 -S chip) and undervolted (From 1.45V to 1.05V). The cpu is an unlocked engineering sample which means I can adjust the multiplier and so reduce cpu speed without reducing the fsb.

The case includes a psu desinged to be run fanless and is very small. Heres a link:

I dont know the cpu temps because the board blocks hardware monitoring. Ive left it on for days on auto play without a single crash. The old board I had running a similar celeron-256 at 1.05V reported the chip at around 55C. I more worried about the temperature of the bare northbridge chip, it runs HOT.

Krobar - 3-10-2004 at 10:58 PM

The systems running nice. I improved the boot to allow for automatic log on and so there is no need for a keyboard anymore. The cpu turned out to be rock solid stable at 866mhz only (It would occasionally throttle at 933) and the case did need some longer standoffs for the power convertor board to allow me to fit the Tyan motherboard.

BTW: the Tyan boards are slightly larger than the Travla case was designed for and you will only be able to run a single 2.5" drive with 2 PCI cards and slimline cdrom in this case.

Anyway job done and Im very happy with the result. If anyone has any questions please ask. In the meantime I'll wait in hope of an EJ release that allows you to disable "Name Sniffing." :D

jorgea - 8-30-2014 at 06:14 PM

Thanks for sharing your instructions.

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