Using freenass and this pc for poor mans media server? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Discovered freenas and was wondering if the experts here think this pc I had laying around could be a candidate for a poor mans media server. Must say I know I could buy one, but right now want to play around on the cheap side with what was in basement to see how I like things.

Trying to feed about 4 hdtv's plus kids rooms(3) i guess.Plan to do it thru cat6(will install in a few weeks) and wireless to some locations now if it works.
Will be using xbox and ps3 in kids rooms to get video, and WD media players in other locations,and laptops. God I love WD media players!!!!!!! The router handling the job is a Netgear wndr4500. The pc for the nas server is a AMD athlon xp 1.15 ghz with 256 mb of ram.Has windows xp pro.Has a 10/100 ethernet port. so do you think this could work? Motherboard is a Soyo kt600 dragon in you needed other specs...

I know this is an outdated machine,but since it's sitting here and fired up when I brought it out of basment was hoping it could be a start for cheap to free. Of course will upgrade LATER but for now just was hoping to play around a bit. What do you guys think?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Discovered freenas and was wondering if the experts here think this pc I had laying around could be a candidate for a poor mans media server. Must say I know I could buy one, but right now want to play around on the cheap side with what was in basement to see how I like things.

Trying to feed about 4 hdtv's plus kids rooms(3) i guess.Plan to do it thru cat6(will install in a few weeks) and wireless to some locations now if it works.
Will be using xbox and ps3 in kids rooms to get video, and WD media players in other locations,and laptops. God I love WD media players!!!!!!! The router handling the job is a Netgear wndr4500. The pc for the nas server is a AMD athlon xp 1.15 ghz with 256 mb of ram.Has windows xp pro.Has a 10/100 ethernet port. so do you think this could work? Motherboard is a Soyo kt600 dragon in you needed other specs...

I know this is an outdated machine,but since it's sitting here and fired up when I brought it out of basment was hoping it could be a start for cheap to free. Of course will upgrade LATER but for now just was hoping to play around a bit. What do you guys think?

brickie

You could just actually stick with xp. I had an older PC running XP acting as my "nas" for a year or so without any issues.

How would you be serving media to the 360 and/or ps3? If you are planning to use something like plex or ps3mediaserver the CPU and ram are very weak to handle the transcoding for various media files.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 06:59 AM
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The pc for the nas server is a AMD athlon xp 1.15 ghz with 256 mb of ram...What do you guys think?
brickie

That 256 mb of RAM is not enough for FreeNas and ZFS (8 GB is the recommended min - http://doc.freenas.org/index.php/Hardware_Requirements).

It's unlikely that your MB can take 8GB.

If it were me, I would spend ~$20 - 30 and max your RAM and install Ubuntu Server and run software RAID with MD (multiple disks) and share out your disks with SAMBA.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/SoftwareRAID

This would get you 90%+ of the features of FreeNAS and has a quick time to enjoyment. It should easily handle two simultaneous streams and prolly more.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 09:51 AM
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Your hardware is more than enough to run it as XP. I am running a 6 Tb server using Windows 2000 Server on a Pentium II 233 MMX processor, and it is fine.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the replies! Yeah I got to reading and found that with that container the game systems would have a problem..They might just have to be left in the cold at this point. Could easily grab another WD media player where the games systems are to cover that.

I did find another stick of ram laying around so now the machine is up to 768 mb!! I know, wow right.. I believe that motherboard will take 2-4 gb max. Will do some reading on the ubuntu setup.

One thing I did discover since I posted is that my router WNDR4500 has some type of "nas like" feature built in.Actually tested it and it worked pretty damn good. I plugged a hard drive with 40 movies(using what's laying around) in to one of the usb ports and was able to pull up a movie thru ethernet in basement on WD media player and it played perfect. Also pulled up the same movie and a different one as well thru the media player built into the Panasonic tv.Both played fine at same time,even though the Panny media player is ready for prime time use. And lastly I pulled up a movie on my laptop thru wireless and was able to stream a movie to it also all at the same time.

So had 3 different movies and for awhile the same one going,and no problems just being plugged straight into the router.WD was ethernet,and Panny and laptop were streaming wireless. But everything was running no hiccups. I still plan to run cat 6 all thru the house though just because I don't trust wireless in this situation. But now with this working I need to decide should I just grab 2(# of usb ports on router) of say 2-3 TB hardrives and plug them straight into router and let it be my poor mans nas for now?? Gotta figure out at this point what I would really gain going the freenas route? Of course opinions are welcomed and appreciated!

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-20-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay I know it was said that that computer was not fast enough to possibly use plex for Xbox. Today my wife brought home a Lenovo that is a Dual core e2200 @2.2 ghz with 2 gb of ram. Does it sound like this would be enough to run plex with encoding mkvs on the fly for xbox 360? I assume it would be fine for a freenas setup but was hoping with it being dual core that it would work for plex and xbox. Good thing is this was free!!! My wifes job constantly changes stuff around and this was headed to garbage. Using machiune right now and so far works great.

One thing is she erased the hard drive and put XP on it,would it be better to run Vista instead?

Thanks for your opinions.

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie View Post

Okay I know it was said that that computer was not fast enough to possibly use plex for Xbox. Today my wife brought home a Lenovo that is a Dual core e2200 @2.2 ghz with 2 gb of ram. Does it sound like this would be enough to run plex with encoding mkvs on the fly for xbox 360? I assume it would be fine for a freenas setup but was hoping with it being dual core that it would work for plex and xbox. Good thing is this was free!!! My wifes job constantly changes stuff around and this was headed to garbage. Using machiune right now and so far works great.

One thing is she erased the hard drive and put XP on it,would it be better to run Vista instead?

Thanks for your opinions.

brickie

That is a pretty good computer to get for free. I have used plex for nearly a year now and I've found for me it has run best on a windows 7 PC. So if that's possible I would do that. If not XP would be fine I'm sure
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I was surprised when she came to car with this one and another smaller Lenovo.

Just installed a fresh copy of vista before I saw your advice.Gonna give this a try and see how it goes.This is the other computer that she brought out..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883108133

I like the form factor of it and it played all the MKV files I tried with no problems at all.I may just give him this one since it's about the size of a typical vcr,actually smaller and forgo Plex. This keeps it simpler,for me anyway and serves same purpose as a WD media player would have. Obviously more versatile. Could still do Netflix,and stuff like that if we chose.The main thing was to get him the ability to acess my home server I plan to do,and be able to play mkv's. Since i have no need for this smaller form factor PC,it would be perfect to use for him. Gonna figure it out. Thanks for all help and opinions!!!

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