Building unRaid Server - Need Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 11-18-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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To somewhat future-proof myself, I've decided to build one of these things to go along with the htpc I'm going to be setting up.

I found what I think to be a good basic set up. It's as follows:

Components:
CPU: 2.7 GHz AMD Sempron 140
Motherboard: BIOSTAR TA785G3HD
RAM: Kingston 2 GB DDR3 1066 RAM
Case: Antec Three Hundred
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-500CX 500W
Expansion Card: Supermicro Add-on Card AOC-SASLP-MV8
Hard Drive Bay: COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hardisk Cage

Then for harddrives I'll start buying a couple of these (depending on which are a better deal at the time):
2 TB Seagate Barracuda LP
2 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3EG
2 TB WD Green EARS

Couple questions:
1. Does anyone have any experience with that case? A different one was recommended (Cooler Master Centurion 590), but I can't find them in stock at any of the normal places I buy computer stuff. With the hard drive bay I listed that will put me at 10 bays, which I think will be enough (start swapping 2TB HDDs out of 4TB HDDs once the prices drop)
2. Is it ok to pair HDDs of different makes? Also, is it ok to put in HDDs of different sizes (I may be imagining things, but I thought I read somewhere that the HDDs should all be the same size)?
3. Is there any major benefit to going with a Hot Swap vs. Non Hot Swap bay?
4. Am I missing anything?

The hardware side of this seems straight forward. I'm sure I'll have issues / questions once the actual setup gets underway.

Edit: Just noticed that that mobo is sold out. Alternatives?
Edit 2: Maybe this mobo - ASUS M4A785T-M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
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post #2 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 04:52 AM
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1. Don't have any experience with the Antec 300 case but if you'll be happy with 6 internal drives and 3x5.25 externals I'd say go for it. I've never had a reason to regret using an Antec case for a build.

2. The drives don't have to be identical makes but in unRaid the parity drive has to be the largest as formatted. As for putting in various size drives, one of the nice things about an unRaid system is that you can get going with the drives you have (as long as the parity is the largest) and upgrade as larger drives get cheaper. Migration to larger drives isn't difficult.

3. No as far as I know with unRaid. I've always powered off when swapping/upgrading so it wouldn't have made a difference. If non hot swap is cheaper I'd go that way.

4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?
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post #3 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 05:09 AM
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I have a couple of builds with the Antec 300 and it's a good case. It has a built in 140mm top fan which is nice for venting. It has space for 2x 120mm (I assume this size) fans in front of the drive cages, but no fans installed. So for this type of usage, I would definitely add some fans in the front to cool the HD's. O

Other than that the case is nice and solid.
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post #4 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpenton View Post

4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?
You mean just a normal flash drive right (thumb drive, whatever you want to call it...thing thing people carry around on their keychains)?
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post #5 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt

You mean just a normal flash drive right (thumb drive, whatever you want to call it...thing thing people carry around on their keychains)?
Yes. 1 GB is sufficient.
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post #6 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)
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post #7 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 07:50 AM
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1) nope, but I really like the NORCO case... although their rack mount setup is goofy... I ended up just putting it on a shelf...
2) regular RAID needs all the drives to be the same size, but unRAID does not.
3) YES!!! its huge!!! true, unraid does not support hot swap as such, but for pure simplicity/ease of drive install, its hard to beat the hot swap bay... not needing to pull the case out of the rack, and open it up to change/add/remove drives = priceless...
4) get a MB with IPMI... I just love IPMI...


for MB's I really like supermicro... I got their little Atom X7SPE board, that thing is great... only like 80W all fired up... much less when the drives are sleeping...
only down sides to the little atom board:
only one PCIE (x4) slot
only 6 SATA ports
so you can only add 1 AOC-SASLP-MV8, for a total 14 (6 on board + 8 AOC) drives...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #8 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post
It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)
I sure hope not.... because that is exactly what I am currently doing....

oh, FWIW it seems there is some benefit to making the parity drive be the fastest... not huge issue or anything... but one non-green/fast 7200rpm drive shouldn't hurt anything too much...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #9 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 07:59 AM
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I have the antec 300 case, and I love it. Small, but works really well for uraid systems. I have 6 drives mounted in mine, and I love the air gaps between the drives for good cooling. If you are only planning on starting with a few drives, hold off on the hotswap bays, as you can fit 6 drives in that case without any.
As for adding the expansion card, that shoudlnt be a problem, so long as you shut it down of course, and remember what the drive order is, ie wich serial is disk1 and so on.

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post #10 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm a bit confused about the parity drive. I understand that it's there for redundancy, so does that mean that it isn't / can't be used as a storage drive? (I'm assuming the answer to this is yes).

So basically, if that's true, then the maximum storage of the server is the total capacity minus the capacity of the parity drive?
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post #11 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

I'm a bit confused about the parity drive. I understand that it's there for redundancy, so does that mean that it isn't / can't be used as a storage drive? (I'm assuming the answer to this is yes).

So basically, if that's true, then the maximum storage of the server is the total capacity minus the capacity of the parity drive?

Yep. That's exactly how it works.
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post #12 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:02 AM
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Not sure if you have or not, but I would really suggest reading the FAQ on the Lime Tech website. I did last week and it cleared up a lot of questions I had, plus totally sold me on the whole thing. It has some links in it to postings on their forums that explain parity and other things.

FAQ is at: http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=FAQ

There's also a Hardware Compatibility section that tells you what motherboards are recommended or known to work. I'd check that out too.

Hardware Compatibility: http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/..._Compatibility
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post #13 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpenton View Post

4. Flash drive for the unRaid OS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Yes. 1 GB is sufficient.

If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.
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post #14 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlounsbury View Post

If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.

I ran unRAID plus unMenu and a bunch of other things off a 256MB flash just fine...
for my official licensed setup I went with a 4GB, just because/in case... but you don't 'need' 2GB as such... its just nice to have room to grow...

if you don't have a flash drive, where do the install files go?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #15 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I've got a bunch of flash drives laying around so it won't be an issue dedicating one of them to this.

Their site is really helpful and I've already read through a good amount of it.
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post #16 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlounsbury View Post

If you want to run things like uMenu or other AddOns for UnRAID, you're going to need a 2GB flash drive. Also, if you're going to just use the free version for now, a flash drive is not needed. The flash drive is only needed if you are going to purchase a license as it needs to reside on the flash drive.

I use a 1 GB drive and run unMenu and a script or two. Not even close to full on the drive, but I'm not the type who will run a lot of stuff. It's not a bad idea to go for a larger drive these days though; I'm sure finding a new 1 GB drive to buy isn't easy any more.
OP:
Please read the limetech site to make sure your flash drive isn't one of the few that have compatibility issues.
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post #17 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

It's going to take a little while for me to build up to more than 6 drives. Is there anything wrong with holding off on the Expansion Card until it's needed (i.e. if I were to install it down the road am I going to run into stability issues vs. installing it from the start)

No problems at all doing this; this is what unraid was made/intended for.
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post #18 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

OP:
Please read the limetech site to make sure your flash drive isn't one of the few that have compatibility issues.

All of my flash drives are sandisk cruzer, so shouldn't be an issue (according to their compatibility list)

You need a dedicated flash drive, right? The one I carry around with me is a 32 GB drive...I know it can be partitioned but I'm guessing that that won't work with this set up.

I know I have some 2GB drives laying around, just have to find them.
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post #19 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Another question that's come to mind (and a quick glance through the FAQ hasn't answered it):

Is it generally better to spread data out over all of your drives (excluding the parity drive) or to fill up one and then move on to the next?
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post #20 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

Another question that's come to mind (and a quick glance through the FAQ hasn't answered it):

Is it generally better to spread data out over all of your drives (excluding the parity drive) or to fill up one and then move on to the next?

There's no right or wrong answer. Some (like me) have all their drives in a single share, and use the high water method of filling which spreads the data out. Others use the Fill Up method, others allocate particular drives to music, or pictures, or what have you. What I would recommend is take a few minutes and plan out how you want to use it. What you want to avoid is having multiple drives spin up when you access something - but if you don't plan (and set split levels appropriately) you may end up having a similar data (like the songs of 1 CD for example) spread across multiple drives. This would cause them to all spin up when you played that music.
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post #21 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

Another question that's come to mind (and a quick glance through the FAQ hasn't answered it):

Is it generally better to spread data out over all of your drives (excluding the parity drive) or to fill up one and then move on to the next?

I go with filling up one at a time type mindset

Think of it like this.. say you have your movies spread across 3 different drives, when you want to browse your movie collection, do you really want to spin up all 3 drives?

I separate my media into logical groupings, so far I just have the basic version so only 2 drives and mainly focused on Video (Movies, TV Shows). I created the following shares with these rules:

Video - use all disks, fill up method - so will fill up disk 1 until it need to expand to disk 2
Music - Disk 2 only
Pictures - Disk 2 only
Games - Disk 2 only
Misc - Disk 2 only

So far only disk 1 spins up when I am accessing my videos, no need for disk 2 to spin up.. yet

Music, Pictures, Games, Misc - are small enough to take up only a portion of Disk 2 so I will keep these shares the same as I add more drives
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post #22 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So these "fill up" or "high water" methods, are these actual settings somewhere in the unRaid set up or are these just terms that people use for a general idea? I'm guessing if it's the former that it's discussed somewhere in the unRaid FAQ, right?
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post #23 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

I ran unRAID plus unMenu and a bunch of other things off a 256MB flash just fine...
for my official licensed setup I went with a 4GB, just because/in case... but you don't 'need' 2GB as such... its just nice to have room to grow...

if you don't have a flash drive, where do the install files go?

I haven't gotten into that myself yet, but there's some info on their site that talks about booting from a HDD or CD.

http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/...following_tips
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post #24 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 12:47 PM
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I have an Antec 300. I added the cooling fans in front of the hard drives and closed up all other openings with aluminum foil tape except the side port and the top fan. It runs very cool. The top vent is super quite and effective. They supply nice thumscrews with the case, but the drives are mounted directly to metal. There are no isolators like on their S3 case.

I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Jack
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post #25 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

So these "fill up" or "high water" methods, are these actual settings somewhere in the unRaid set up

yep
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

I'm guessing if it's the former that it's discussed somewhere in the unRaid FAQ, right?

I think so...

FWIW I go with the spread it all out over all the drives... that way if one drive fails and for whatever reason, cant be rebuilt, I only have to re-rip only a 'couple' of DVD's... there is a serious flaw in my logic...
but still it makes me feel better to do it this way...

also, down load the free version and try it out for yourself... you can even try it on your normal desktop/laptop... just don't format/add any drives that you have stuff on...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #26 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlounsbury View Post

I haven't gotten into that myself yet, but there's some info on their site that talks about booting from a HDD or CD.

http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/...following_tips

I just don't get why someone would want to do this... I guess there is always the 'because you can' reason...

just seems odd to take up a HDD slot/space with OS when you don't need too...

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #27 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

I just don't get why someone would want to do this... I guess there is always the 'because you can' reason...

just seems odd to take up a HDD slot/space with OS when you don't need too...

Agreed. I was just meaning if he had a spare HD around but not a USB drive. But since he has spare USB drives he doesn't need to worry about it.
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post #28 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

yep

I think so...

FWIW I go with the spread it all out over all the drives... that way if one drive fails and for whatever reason, cant be rebuilt, I only have to re-rip only a 'couple' of DVD's... there is a serious flaw in my logic...
but still it makes me feel better to do it this way...

also, down load the free version and try it out for yourself... you can even try it on your normal desktop/laptop... just don't format/add any drives that you have stuff on...

Ultimately my goal is to not have to worry about searching specific drives. I want to have a "TV Shows" folder, "Movies" folder, and (maybe) and "Music" folder. From there I just want to be able to drop the respective files into these folders without having to worry about any addition sorting (they'll be sorted by show / season before going into their respective folders). Then I'd like to be able to point my HTPC at the appropriate folders.

It'd probably be best if I were to put the shows and the movies on different drives since that's what I'll primarily be running off the server...no reason to spin up the movies drive if I plan on watching a couple hours of tv.

Is there a way to specify certain drives for certain uses before actually using them. What i mean is, lets say Drive 1 is movies, Drive 2 is tv shows. Lets say Drive 3 and 4 are empty. Is there a way to say "if the TV show drive fills up, start putting TV show files on Drive 3. If Movies fills up, put Movie files on Drive 4"

Obviously this could be done manually, but is there a way to set it up so that I don't have to think about it (after the initial set up).

Again, I'm guessing the answer is yes. Just before I start scouring the guides for how to do this it'd be nice to know I'm not searching in vain
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post #29 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGalt View Post

Ultimately my goal is to not have to worry about searching specific drives. I want to have a "TV Shows" folder, "Movies" folder, and (maybe) and "Music" folder. From there I just want to be able to drop the respective files into these folders without having to worry about any addition sorting (they'll be sorted by show / season before going into their respective folders). Then I'd like to be able to point my HTPC at the appropriate folders.

It'd probably be best if I were to put the shows and the movies on different drives since that's what I'll primarily be running off the server...no reason to spin up the movies drive if I plan on watching a couple hours of tv.

Is there a way to specify certain drives for certain uses before actually using them. What i mean is, lets say Drive 1 is movies, Drive 2 is tv shows. Lets say Drive 3 and 4 are empty. Is there a way to say "if the TV show drive fills up, start putting TV show files on Drive 3. If Movies fills up, put Movie files on Drive 4"

Obviously this could be done manually, but is there a way to set it up so that I don't have to think about it (after the initial set up).

Again, I'm guessing the answer is yes. Just before I start scouring the guides for how to do this it'd be nice to know I'm not searching in vain

You're looking for this:

http://www.lime-technology.com/wiki/...#User_shares_2

Specifically:

Included and Excluded disk(s)

The last way to control which disks are used by a share is through the Included disks(s) and Excluded disk(s) configuration parameters.

The Included disks(s) parameter defines the set of disks which are candiates for allocation to that share. If Included disk(s) is blank, then all present data disks are candiates. For example, to restrict a share to using only disk1, disk2, and disk3, you would set Included disk(s) to disk1,disk2,disk3.

The Excluded disk(s) parameter defines the set of disks which are exluded from consideration for allocation. If Excluded disk(s) is blank, then no disks are excluded.

When considering which disk to allocate space for a new object, unRAID OS first checks if it's in the Included disks(s) set, and the checks if it's in the Excluded disk(s) set.
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post #30 of 41 Old 11-19-2010, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I just stumbled upon that. Awesome
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