HTPC + NAS + Backup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-08-2011, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I built a gaming HTPC a few months ago and put in a 64GB SSD for my OS and a 1TB drive for my library. I'm already down to around 300GB so I either need to get a bigger drive (3TB drives for $150 now?!?!?!) or get some sort of NAS set up. I think I like the NAS idea the best.

That being said, before I had the HTPC, I had my "main" PC where my family and I stored all of our important documents, files, pictures, etc. I would back it up to an external USB hard drive nightly. That computer died shortly after the HTPC came online, but the drives are still good. I connected the backup USB drive to my HTPC so I can access all of my important files, however, now I have no backup.

I'm not sure how to engineer this.... if I get a NAS, I could use that for my media library and for centralized storage of documents, but how do you keep that backed up? Can anybody recommend a good NAS product and a good means to keep the data safe?


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post #2 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 12:00 PM
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/bump
I'm about to build my 1st HTPC using the excellent Assassin guide. Thanks so much for that btw. What I'm wondering is if I should put a large local disk in each TV's HTPC or just use SSDs and iSCSI to something like a Synology ds211j.

I've been learing a lot from the threads on this forum but I don't see a lot of discussion of remote iSCSI storage. Are there issues? Thanks for any help you can convey.
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbburden View Post
I've been learing a lot from the threads on this forum but I don't see a lot of discussion of remote iSCSI storage. Are there issues? Thanks for any help you can convey.
iSCSI would work fine for remote storage. But for the home market I don't see any advantage over using CIFS (the fancy name for what windows uses to share files) - which is what most of these storage boxes use. The box you linked to supports both protocols.

iSCSI and CIFS are just the means to an end, which is getting at your files. How fast this all goes depends much more on the type of storage controller, the number and speed of the drives, and the RAID level you're using.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balforth View Post
I'm not sure how to engineer this.... if I get a NAS, I could use that for my media library and for centralized storage of documents, but how do you keep that backed up?
I use CrashPlan for my backup, it's configured to backup all my digital photos, and other important/irreplacable files. I really like it it's multi-platform, unlimited data, and there's a "family" plan that allows backup of up to ten computers. It's even possible to run it on unRAID, though I haven't tried to set that up yet.

Note that I don't use this for my media, those are inherently backed up on the original discs I ripped from.

Quote:
Can anybody recommend a good NAS product and a good means to keep the data safe?
First thing to do is decide what you're keeping the data safe from. There are lots of NASs which offer redundancy features to protect data from drive failures. But to protect it from users, rogue software, catasrophic failures or natural disasters (or unnatural), you need something offline (like your external drive backup) or off site (like CrashPlan or mozy, or a HDD at a friend/relative's house).

I would not trust important documents personal pictures/videos to a NAS's redundancy alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbburden View Post
/bump
I'm about to build my 1st HTPC using the excellent Assassin guide. Thanks so much for that btw. What I'm wondering is if I should put a large local disk in each TV's HTPC or just use SSDs and iSCSI to something like a Synology ds211j.

I've been learing a lot from the threads on this forum but I don't see a lot of discussion of remote iSCSI storage. Are there issues? Thanks for any help you can convey.
The biggest issue with iSCSI is that it's not for sharing files, it for moving storage to a remote location. Specifically, only one PC can use an iSCSI target at a time. So you can't (for example) have all your PCs connect to an iSCSI target, only one of them can. To use iSCSI for sharing files, you'd have to have the NAS, and another PC on all the time, with the other PC using CIFS (Windows File Sharing) to share the files. It's better to just use CIFS (or whatever system your OS supports) for sharing media.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 01:40 PM
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A NAS for me is as simple as a basic Win7 box where I share my media folders.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbburden View Post
/bump
I'm about to build my 1st HTPC using the excellent Assassin guide. Thanks so much for that btw.
You're welcome! Glad I could help get you into HTPC.


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post #7 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for the info. I think I get it.
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-09-2011, 08:59 PM
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Yup, I just bought a crucial 64G SSD, 415MBs read speed oh yeah. I'm going to put it in my core i5 desktop/gaming system as the only drive. I'm building a 1000Mbps wired network with all storage and redundancy on my24/7 zacate NAS, DVR, home automation/monitoring, and bedroom HTPC system. Hopefully with the 1000Mbps I won't notice much lag. I'm also yanking a 1.5tb drive out of my HTPC and replacing it with an older 500G drive, the 1.5 will go in the NAS. Anyone try having almost all storage on an NAS before? Funny thing is, it sounds like my least powerful system is doing most of the heavy lifting.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-12-2011, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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So when I say keep it safe -- I just mean keep it safe from being lost due to hardware failure. And the media is inherintly already backed up -- good point

SO, here's what I'm thinking of getting:

Netgear ReadyNas NV+ 4-bay NAS Drive Enclosure w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps (Diskless)


...throw in some WD green 3TB drives in RAID 5, and connect it directly to my Linksys E4200. I'll then connect my 1TB USB drive to the NAS and use it to backup the documents stored on the NAS. Not sure how to manage the backups that way, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Does this sound legit? Should that NAS be capable of streaming HD media to at least 1 other PC? It's highly unlikely that I'd ever be streaming 2 HD sources simultaneously, but there's a possibility of streaming 1HD and 1SD simultaneously.


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post #10 of 26 Old 07-12-2011, 03:39 AM
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This is exactly what I will be doing, except that I won't be doing any form of RAID since I have all my original BR disks...

Since it will be used only for BR / DVD rips, I will have the maximum available disk space at my disposal...

Important familiy stuff remains on the main PC backed up to an external USB drive.

If a disk goes belly-up I'll simply replace it and since I probably won't want to have the same movies back a disk crash simply speeds up the movie recycle process if you see what I mean.

My Netgear device arrives this Thursday or Friday, so weekend will be some fun...
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post #11 of 26 Old 07-12-2011, 06:50 AM
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That will probably work fine but I would start out small. It sounds like you don't have 9TB worth of data right now. I'd get 2, 3TB drives (about same price as that NAS) and put them in the HTPC or some other PC. Share one of them and use the other as a mirror. Use that 1TB drive as an offline backup for docs/pics/music and maybe even your most often watched movies.

When you get to the point where you are filling up one 3TB drive, mirror less and use the other one. Once you get to the point where you are uncomfortable with the lack of redundancy, then look into some sort of dedicates storage box or keep throwing more HDs where ever you can fit them.

My issue with those NAS boxes is that they are too small given the price. One could build an unRAID box for about the same price that can hold at least double/triple the space and is arguably better suited for home use. Plus, they are really easy to build and setup.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-12-2011, 07:03 AM
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You can build a storage server for 12 disks, based on a low-powered CPU ZACATE, which idles at about 30Watts, in a very well-built and good looking case, and totally silent (one NOCTUA 120mm at very low voltage) for 500$ (without disks of course).

EDIT:
Example of my current 12 or 13 disks configuration for about 460$ :

MB/CPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=asus%20zacate

DDR : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-150-_-Product

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product
You can find cheaper, but I just love this case, and it is perfect for a silent 12-disks NAS.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371033

FAN: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835608004

PCIe SAS Card to 8 SATA: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0740.html
Which is indeed a LSI 9240-8i. I bought this card for 40$ on Ebay.

2* SAS - 4 SATA cable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816116099

MOLEX to 3 SATA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-003-_-Product

Use unRaid or FreeNAS.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-12-2011, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post

That will probably work fine but I would start out small. It sounds like you don't have 9TB worth of data right now. I'd get 2, 3TB drives (about same price as that NAS) and put them in the HTPC or some other PC. Share one of them and use the other as a mirror. Use that 1TB drive as an offline backup for docs/pics/music and maybe even your most often watched movies.

When you get to the point where you are filling up one 3TB drive, mirror less and use the other one. Once you get to the point where you are uncomfortable with the lack of redundancy, then look into some sort of dedicates storage box or keep throwing more HDs where ever you can fit them.

My issue with those NAS boxes is that they are too small given the price. One could build an unRAID box for about the same price that can hold at least double/triple the space and is arguably better suited for home use. Plus, they are really easy to build and setup.


I started out this route, and the main PC (win7 ultimate) on which the 8T (4X2T) disks are shared out definitely has no issue doing the job.

My concerns begin with power consumption given the fact that it always has to stay on 24X7...
Next to that, I had to do a complete OS re-install two weeks ago and that meant that all shared stuff wasn't available until the machine was up and running again...
The hassle with re-creating all shares and rejoining the machine to the home group wasn't that much, but I would still like not to have to do that anymore.

The netgear device is almost maintenance free and consumes 55W at peak load with 4 non-green drives...

Make it interesting for me...
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-13-2011, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Ya... I have a gaming HTPC so I had to do some case mods to get the proper cooling, which eliminated 3 hd bays. Between my 2 current hard drives, it only leaves me 1 remaining bay, which I'm currently using to neatly tuck away all of my motherboard/power cables to help airflow.

I don't think the cost is that crazy for the Netgear, and I don't have to fill it with drives right away... it just seems really convinient and I don't want to have to spec out and build another system, especially one running any kind of OS that I have to continually hook a monitor/keyboard up to to maintain. I just want a simple device that hangs of the network and satisfies my requirements.


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post #15 of 26 Old 07-13-2011, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balforth View Post

I don't want to have to spec out and build another system, especially one running any kind of OS that I have to continually hook a monitor/keyboard up to to maintain. I just want a simple device that hangs of the network and satisfies my requirements.

ditto.
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-13-2011, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm at a military address overseas, so any given online order randomly takes anywhere from 1 week to 3 months to get here, with one exception: Amazon. For some reason, Amazon orders get here within 5 business days.

So I go to order on Amazon and see the WD Green SATA2 3TB drives for $165 a piece:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...0621643&sr=8-1

And right below it, I see the same drive in 2TB for $79 a piece:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...0621643&sr=8-2

Kind of a no brainer, since I'm currently surviving quite fine with all of my programs and library sitting on 2/3rd of a 1TB drive. So I bought 4 2TB drives for $316 and wil have 6TB available in RAID 5 as opposed to spending over double for 9TB.

Does anybody have any experience with X-RAID? Is it worth using, or should I just stick to RAID 5?


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post #17 of 26 Old 07-14-2011, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaaden View Post

You can build a storage server for 12 disks, based on a low-powered CPU ZACATE, which idles at about 30Watts, in a very well-built and good looking case, and totally silent (one NOCTUA 120mm at very low voltage) for 500$ (without disks of course).

EDIT:
Example of my current 12 or 13 disks configuration for about 460$ :

MB/CPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=asus%20zacate

DDR : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-150-_-Product

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product
You can find cheaper, but I just love this case, and it is perfect for a silent 12-disks NAS.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371033

FAN: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835608004

PCIe SAS Card to 8 SATA: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0740.html
Which is indeed a LSI 9240-8i. I bought this card for 40$ on Ebay.

2* SAS - 4 SATA cable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816116099

MOLEX to 3 SATA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-003-_-Product

Use unRaid or FreeNAS.

Nice build, I'll be using some of this for my media main storage server. How does this preform under heavy read/writes? Is the main bottleneck the raid card or the cpu?
Also, DDR3 1600 is very cheap right now, is it possible to use something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-20231427-L04C and it will just run at 1066?
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-14-2011, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kupo24z View Post

Also, DDR3 1600 is very cheap right now, is it possible to use something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-20231427-L04C and it will just run at 1066?

That RAM would work for you. I bought faster RAM (because it was a better deal) and it works great. It will 'slow down' for your system. If you mix and match two different speeds, your system will use the speed of the slowest module.
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-14-2011, 09:16 AM
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Just get HP Microserver + 5 disks, install freenas on usb stick and forget about it. It's the best NAS one can buy for 300$.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-27-2011, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balforth View Post

So when I say keep it safe -- I just mean keep it safe from being lost due to hardware failure. And the media is inherintly already backed up -- good point

SO, here's what I'm thinking of getting:

Netgear ReadyNas NV+ 4-bay NAS Drive Enclosure w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps (Diskless)


...throw in some WD green 3TB drives in RAID 5, .

HI

this nas is not for you

first: the ReadyNas NV+ dont support 3TB and will never support it: Hardware limitation
they have another version with intel hardware and this support 3tb but its more than 329$

second: it have a know bug, 75% of time, the copy of large files freeze the nas
you need to reboot it and make a checkdisk, a lot of time

and finnaly, very slow network
if i copy from my computer to my HTPC i have more than 80MB/sec
with the bas to the same HTPC i nevar have more thar 25MB/sec
i have one, i bought it a couple mounth ago and i will put it in a garbage bag or send it to recycle trash

go to www.readynas.com forum and you will see all issue or bug


that why i built another computer for backup
maybe only a windows 7 with disk sharing
or freenas
its only for backup
i have 12TB with more than 6TB of media files in my HTPC and i dont want to loose my files

i think a Windows 7 with 12TB and simply keep a copie of all media collection


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post #21 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snef View Post

HI

this nas is not for you

first: the ReadyNas NV+ dont support 3TB and will never support it: Hardware limitation
they have another version with intel hardware and this support 3tb but its more than 329$

second: it have a know bug, 75% of time, the copy of large files freeze the nas
you need to reboot it and make a checkdisk, a lot of time

and finnaly, very slow network
if i copy from my computer to my HTPC i have more than 80MB/sec
with the bas to the same HTPC i nevar have more thar 25MB/sec
i have one, i bought it a couple mounth ago and i will put it in a garbage bag or send it to recycle trash

go to www.readynas.com forum and you will see all issue or bug


that why i built another computer for backup
maybe only a windows 7 with disk sharing
or freenas
its only for backup
i have 12TB with more than 6TB of media files in my HTPC and i dont want to loose my files

i think a Windows 7 with 12TB and simply keep a copie of all media collection


Yes, you are right on the point regarding the large file copy speed...

I got my NV+ around three weeks or so ago, and was hugely disappointed at the file transfer speed.

It took me about four days to copy 7TB of data, but the NAS didn't freeze at any point in time...

But, once the file copy was over, it was all good with no regrets at all...

I am currently able to do the following:

- Stream music to my iPad using the in-built itunes server in the NAS

- Stream HD and BR media to the two HTPCs concurrently without any issue

- Activated DLNA so that movies can be streamed directly from NAS to Samsung TV, this way there is no need to turn on the HTPC or AVR anymore if my 3yr old wants to see Tom & Jerry...

- Media sharing amongst the two laptops and two HTPCs now completely seamless, no need to turn on main PC anymore...

- Configured the NAS to power disks down after 5 minutes of idleness

- Configured NAS to power itself down at midnight and power itself up at 9a.m each morning of the week.

This device simply works... no more security patches, updates, maintenance... etc... etc...

Unless there is a major functionality upgrade in firmware release, you can bet I am definitely not going to touch this NAS...

It is the greatest $250 investment in my home entertainment so far this year...
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky

I am currently able to do the following:

- Stream music to my iPad using the in-built itunes server in the NAS.

You've verified this? I admittedly don't know much about this particular NAS, but I thought the "iTunes server" included in most NAS's these days no longer worked with iTunes 10 and the latest iDevices / ATV2.
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 11:04 AM
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Just an FYI - Newegg has 3TB 5400rpm Hitachi drives on the email flyer for $110 shipped. You could build a monster NAS for cheap with those.
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnelson87 View Post

You've verified this? I admittedly don't know much about this particular NAS, but I thought the "iTunes server" included in most NAS's these days no longer worked with iTunes 10 and the latest iDevices / ATV2.

Yes, you're right, the server on the NAS doesn't work with itunes...but works with simpledaap which is a free download in the appstore.
And simple the tool really is...
You configure your playlists and all you want on the server and it simply connects to the server and does it's thing.
I have it running flawlessly on my iPad2.
There is nothing fancy about the interface but it is so amazing I can access my 30G+ music collection without specifically having to keep any of it on the iPad.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-28-2011, 01:59 PM
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Yes
Youre right

For a media server, its a really good nas,
But if you want it to backup your media files from another computer.....
Like me
Backup more than 6TB ouffff and i make a full backup once a month

Nope, use a computer with lot of disk and freenas
A lot of more network speed, more than 4 disk
But its a little bit expensive on this way


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post #26 of 26 Old 07-29-2011, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaaden View Post

You can build a storage server for 12 disks, based on a low-powered CPU ZACATE, which idles at about 30Watts, in a very well-built and good looking case, and totally silent (one NOCTUA 120mm at very low voltage) for 500$ (without disks of course).

EDIT:
Example of my current 12 or 13 disks configuration for about 460$ :

MB/CPU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=asus%20zacate

DDR : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-150-_-Product

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product
You can find cheaper, but I just love this case, and it is perfect for a silent 12-disks NAS.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371033

FAN: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835608004

PCIe SAS Card to 8 SATA: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0740.html
Which is indeed a LSI 9240-8i. I bought this card for 40$ on Ebay.

2* SAS - 4 SATA cable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816116099

MOLEX to 3 SATA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-003-_-Product

Use unRaid or FreeNAS.

Hello,

I have this LSI card and two drives setup as JBOD but it looks like FreeNAS isn't detecting them? Is there some special firmware you must use for this to be detected?
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