Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #31 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 02:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kegobeer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Posts: 1,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbant View Post

If I read the auction description correctly, it also comes with a 160 gb drive, coincidentally the minimum for a WHS 2011 installation IIRC. Combine the cost of this server, WHS 2011 and FlexRaid, and you're looking at a decent bare server for <250 dollars, which is a good deal. OP, well done. Now to talk the wife into another computer, setup time and figuring out if I can put this in the garage with a powerline ethernet setup...

The server has two RAID cards, so using flexraid is completely unnecessary. Utilize the hardware RAID.
kegobeer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 02:30 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Really???

If you go with the AMD version (which the seller still thinks he has) you could run two AMD Opteron 2419 1.8ghz 6 core 40 watt processors and 128 GB of RAM!

How much more horse power do you need?

BTW... The AMD 2419s can be found on ebay for $10! : http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ht_1789wt_1149

This would be a perfect solution for the AMD version. No doubt.
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #33 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

The server has two RAID cards, so using flexraid is completely unnecessary. Utilize the hardware RAID.

I came from a RAID 5 setup... won't go back. If one drive fails, it can be repaired. If two drives fail... you are SOL!

With FlexRAID, SnapRAID (which is what I am using), or unRAID.. at least you can save the data from the drives that didn't fail.

With this server... I can't imagine losing 22 drives worth of data because I was using RAID 5 and two drives failed.

Just my opinion.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #34 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 02:36 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

The server has two RAID cards, so using flexraid is completely unnecessary. Utilize the hardware RAID.

There are definite perks to a software raid array for htpc.
assassin is offline  
post #35 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 02:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kegobeer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Posts: 1,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I've been using RAID 5 for a long time at home and at work, so I'm biased towards it. I have a hot spare installed at all times with another drive waiting to be installed if necessary, and I check my drives at least daily for any hardware problems. It's a lot of work, but that's a requirement when you use a hardware RAID (well, any RAID, TBH). Software RAID is definitely an option and is used by a lot of people, I'm not knocking that at all.

I don't think I'd use this system for a HTPC - but it would be fantastic as a back end machine for storage.
kegobeer is offline  
post #36 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 05:24 PM
Senior Member
 
mcturkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 42
I bought a similar server from this same seller a few months ago, and it has been fantastic. Only difference is that mine had a Xeon 5060 and only 6GB of memory. The hot-swap trays are a little different as well, but the case appears to be the same.

On the subject of noise: you really are going to need to swap out some fans and find an isolated area (garage or basement, most likely) to quiet this thing down. It's designed to be in a server room, where cooling outweighs all noise concerns. Once you replace the 60MM fans, there are still the power supply fans running at high speed. I have yet to pull one of the PSUs out to take a look at the fan configuration to see if there is a quieter solution since I have moved this server to the garage.

The "raid" cards that this system uses are just HBAs, and do not have any hardware RAID support whatsoever: http://www.supermicro.com/products/a...c-sat2-mv8.cfm Something else to keep in mind is that support for drives larger than 2TB is questionable - the cards may need hacked firmware to recognize them, and the SATA backplane was built and designed well before drives above 2TB were being built. I haven't personally tested anything more than 2TB, but I've had no issues with WD, Hitatchi, Samsung, or Seagate drives.

While it's going to be noisy and power hungry, this is hands-down the cheapest upfront solution you'll find for running this many drives. Grabbing a second proc is cheap and easy from eBay, though memory is not, as you'll need DDR2 FB-DIMMs, which tend to be pricey in greater than 1GB densities.
mcturkey is offline  
post #37 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

The "raid" cards that this system uses are just HBAs, and do not have any hardware RAID support whatsoever: http://www.supermicro.com/products/a...c-sat2-mv8.cfm Something else to keep in mind is that support for drives larger than 2TB is questionable - the cards may need hacked firmware to recognize them, and the SATA backplane was built and designed well before drives above 2TB were being built. I haven't personally tested anything more than 2TB, but I've had no issues with WD, Hitatchi, Samsung, or Seagate drives.

I am currently using 3TB drives in Windows 7 with GPT partitions, with no hacking required. The most current and fastest drivers are listed in the original post... I know a few other users that are also using 3TB drives in an unRAID setup... No Issues.

Quote:


While it's going to be noisy and power hungry, this is hands-down the cheapest upfront solution you'll find for running this many drives.

While I agree it is cheapest upfront solution you'll find for running this many drives... with the mods I made... I no longer have a noisy or power hungry server!

The seller was also willing to give me the option of which drive trays I wanted... Blue or Black.
LL
LL

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #38 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 06:25 PM
Senior Member
 
mcturkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

I am currently using 3TB drives in Windows 7 with GPT partitions, with no hacking required. The most current and fastest drivers are listed in the original post... I know a few other users that are also using 3TB drives in an unRAID setup... No Issues.



While I agree it is cheapest upfront solution you'll find for running this many drives... with the mods I made... I no longer have a noisy or power hungry server!

The seller was also willing to give me the option of which drive trays I wanted... Blue or Black.

That's fantastic to hear about the 3TB drives - any experience with 4TB drives? I'm set for storage for awhile, but next time I add more, I'm expecting 4TB will be the best $/TB option.

I hadn't considered outright replacing the 3x PSUs with a single ATX one, but I might have to look into spending the money on it, since I'm sure that PSU likely also generates less heat.
mcturkey is offline  
post #39 of 2269 Old 05-28-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcturkey View Post

That's fantastic to hear about the 3TB drives - any experience with 4TB drives? I'm set for storage for awhile, but next time I add more, I'm expecting 4TB will be the best $/TB option.

I hadn't considered outright replacing the 3x PSUs with a single ATX one, but I might have to look into spending the money on it, since I'm sure that PSU likely also generates less heat.

I am temporarily using some Seagate Goflex Desk 3TB drives... I cracked open the case and removed the drives for use in my server... I say temporarily because I have already had six DOAs. I plan on replacing them with the 4TB versions (when they are available again) that have the Barracuda XTs inside. The XTs inside the Goflex cases are Enterprise drives at less than half the cost of stand alone internal drives.

... For the home environment... I think the single ATX PSU is a much better option.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #40 of 2269 Old 05-31-2012, 03:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Put in my order today!!

I called the company, and they were very responsive. They said they just got another palette in, and they were actually very happy to send one of the AMD's if they have one.

Thanks to Litigi74 for the heads up. I literally may make the exact same mods that you made (and probably get another AMD proc if it turns out they send me an AMD server).

The guy on the other end of the line said he got a similar call to mine earlier in the day, and I think he was a little weirded out. I told him about this thread, and I think things made a little more sense.
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #41 of 2269 Old 06-01-2012, 11:25 AM
Member
 
Haydee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Why pick the AMD over Xeon? Is it faster or more energy effecient or something?

The Xeon motherboard has 2 extra PCI-X vs AMD's 2 extra PCI-E slot. Wouldn't the PCI-X be better for servers? Or does PCI-E supersede it now since it's newer?
Haydee is offline  
post #42 of 2269 Old 06-01-2012, 01:27 PM
Senior Member
 
mcturkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haydee View Post

Why pick the AMD over Xeon? Is it faster or more energy effecient or something?

The Xeon motherboard has 2 extra PCI-X vs AMD's 2 extra PCI-E slot. Wouldn't the PCI-X be better for servers? Or does PCI-E supersede it now since it's newer?

PCI-E gives you future expansion options. PCI-X is really only useful for older network cards and SATA cards. PCI-E would allow you to add tuner cards, newer NICs, video cards, etc. If I'd been able to get the AMD version of that server rather than the Xeon, I could've just slapped Windows 7 on there with the Ceton card and a cheap video card, and run all my extenders directly from that, instead of having a separate system just to run the tuner/WMC.
mcturkey is offline  
post #43 of 2269 Old 06-01-2012, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

Put in my order today!!

Thanks to Litigi74 for the heads up. I literally may make the exact same mods that you made (and probably get another AMD proc if it turns out they send me an AMD server).

Glad I could help... Although I will probably buy another unit... I couldn't keep this deal all to my self.

There are a few other little tweaks that need to be made to the sever case itself... Let me know when you get yours and I will be happy to help make it perfect.

Also... In hindsight, if I had to do it again... I may have gone with an even quieter fans with more CFM. The Silenx fans are quiet.. I just wonder if Noctua would have been quieter.

Did you ask for drive bay screws... you will need a bunch If not, give them a call... They sent me a enough for the entire server... Or you can order some here.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #44 of 2269 Old 06-01-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
I have run across a slight incompatibility... I have about 10 Hitachi hds722020ala330 2TB drives. The write speeds of the drives should be close to 100MB/s but I was only getting 30MB/s... The read speeds of the drives are fine at 110MB/s... So I tried updating the FW to the current release... this brought the speed up to 60MB/s.

My old (non SuperMicro) system would give me write speeds of 110MB/s, so there is some type of issue with the drives and the SuperMicro system. I am still trying different chipset drivers to hopefully correct the problem.

But let me be clear... this is the only drive I am experiencing difficulty with... My other Hitachi's, Seagate (3TB), Western Digitals, and Samsungs are functioning properly.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #45 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Update...

Although the server functions with Windows 7 installed... I have found it may actually be more stable with Windows XP 64bit. I found that the chipset drivers on SuperMicros FTP keep this server running quite well.

And sharing files to my Dune media player is super easy with XP 64bit!

Yay!

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #46 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Glad I could help... Although I will probably buy another unit... I couldn't keep this deal all to my self.

There are a few other little tweaks that need to be made to the sever case itself... Let me know when you get yours and I will be happy to help make it perfect.

Also... In hindsight, if I had to do it again... I may have gone with an even quieter fans with more CFM. The Silenx fans are quiet.. I just wonder if Noctua would have been quieter.

Did you ask for drive bay screws... you will need a bunch If not, give them a call... They sent me a enough for the entire server... Or you can order some here.

I didn't even have to ask. The guy just said "and we'll be sending you a bunch of drive bay screws too."

I must admit that, after seeing more of your pics, and realizing that you ended up having to make some new holes in the case, I got a little worried (I'm no handyman ). I'd assume you took all the innards out before you drilled the holes, right? I don't think the mobo would take kindly to falling shards of metal...

And it looks like you took out the boot drive and its cage as well. Are you just using one of the 24 bays as your boot drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Update...

Although the server functions with Windows 7 installed... I have found it may actually be more stable with Windows XP 64bit. I found that the chipset drivers on SuperMicros FTP keep this server running quite well.

And sharing files to my Dune media player is super easy with XP 64bit!

Yay!

hmm.

My plan was just to install WHS. Only downside there is that I use Plex to serve my media to the other HTPC's in the house (mostly macs), and they don't have the Plex Media Manager running as a service on WHS yet. So you essentially have to log in to your WHS box frequently in order to serve the files. I figured using W7 would solve that problem, but I'd then lose some of the bells and whistles of WHS. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of XP, personally.
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #47 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:23 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

My plan was just to install WHS. Only downside there is that I use Plex to serve my media to the other HTPC's in the house (mostly macs), and they don't have the Plex Media Manager running as a service on WHS yet. So you essentially have to log in to your WHS box frequently in order to serve the files. I figured using W7 would solve that problem, but I'd then lose some of the bells and whistles of WHS. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of XP, personally.

I have Plex server running on WHS 2011 just fine. Installed just fine too.
assassin is offline  
post #48 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:27 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I have Plex server running on WHS 2011 just fine. Installed just fine too.

Well that's good to hear. I guess all the complainers on the Plex forum have it set up wrong? God knows how that's possible, given how simple installing Plex was on my Windows machine...
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #49 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:49 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

Well that's good to hear. I guess all the complainers on the Plex forum have it set up wrong? God knows how that's possible, given how simple installing Plex was on my Windows machine...

I am not sure why they can't install it. Here it is running on my server...

assassin is offline  
post #50 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:49 AM
Member
 
DukeTuesday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

Put in my order today!!

The guy on the other end of the line said he got a similar call to mine earlier in the day, and I think he was a little weirded out. I told him about this thread, and I think things made a little more sense.

That was probably me. Jason said there were 3 calls from people in this thread. He picked me out one of the AMD flavors...said they pulled out 8 of them from that pallet, so there are still some to be had as of yesterday at 5pm central time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Glad I could help... Although I will probably buy another unit... I couldn't keep this deal all to my self.

Did you ask for drive bay screws... you will need a bunch If not, give them a call... They sent me a enough for the entire server... Or you can order some here.

Thanks for the heads up on this deal. I'll take some pics of the un-boxing when I get it. I did ask for screws, but apparently you primed him because he said they are going to send out screws with all the servers that get ordered from this thread, so thanks for that too!

They should give you a discount on your next unit!
DukeTuesday is offline  
post #51 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 11:01 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I am not sure why they can't install it. Here it is running on my server...


Maybe it was one of those old threads from many months ago that somebody had bumped?

I dunno.

Either way, my only possible reservation has disappeared. WHS it is!
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #52 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 05:24 PM
Member
 
Z-95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
How are the backplanes of the case? I know that's a weakness of the Norco cases (weak LEDs, disks disconnecting, whole backplanes powering off, etc.).
Z-95 is offline  
post #53 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
If you end up going with one of the AMD servers... You might need some help with the chipset drivers.

I found these links to official and modded drivers:

For XP 32/64 bit
For Vista and 7

Latest SuperMicro Driver
Vista_Win2k8
XP_Win2K3

If you plan on using XP and would like to take advantage of Network Teaming... you will need to use the LAN drivers from the SuperMicro site... and the included NAM application.

I am currently running XP 64bit using the modified chipset drivers with the SuperMicro LAN drivers... the system is quite stable and fully functional.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #54 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 06:22 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Mfusick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Western MA
Posts: 21,510
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Liked: 663
Love the deadwood quote in your signature^

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
Mfusick is online now  
post #55 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrlnsDukie View Post

I must admit that, after seeing more of your pics, and realizing that you ended up having to make some new holes in the case, I got a little worried (I'm no handyman ). I'd assume you took all the innards out before you drilled the holes, right? I don't think the mobo would take kindly to falling shards of metal...

And it looks like you took out the boot drive and its cage as well. Are you just using one of the 24 bays as your boot drive?

Taking the server case apart was easy. The build quality is quite good. The entire case is held together with dozens of screws, which are the same size as those needed for the hdd bays.

Disassembly...
1. Detach all wires from motherboard and surrounding hardware.
2. Remove all fans, PCB boards and mounting hardware
3. Remove hard drive, ribbon cable and mount
4. Remove SATA cards from motherboard.
5. Remove ATX screws from motherboard.
6. Remove Motherboard
7. Remove all PSUs and the cover for the fourth
8. Remove all (a few dozen) screws that hold (sides and base) the motherboard tray.
9. Remove motherboard tray and all attached wires.
10. Remove "Back Window" from server case.

I only needed to drill about a dozen holes. Four for the Norco "Back Wall" and the rest for the brass standoffs to hold the motherboard in its new position. I used the already tapped holes to attach the Norco "Fan Wall"

The most difficult/stressful part was attaching the motherboard to the base of the server case...

Assembly:
1. Line up the Norco "Back Window" with the server case
2. Mark and drill holes to line up the already tapped holes in the Norco back window... Two .25" spacers will be needed for each side.
3. Install back window.
4. The Norco back window will need to be modified to allow for a better fit of the server case walls... I think I just made a "larger notch cut" on the top of each side of the back window... the bend it back and fourth with a pair of pliers until it snapped off... Perfect!
5. There are two pins on the top server case cover that are meant to lock into the back window... The Norco window's design will not allow for the pins... so I just tapped them out for a perfect fit.
6. Install the I/O plate
7. Line up the motherboard with the newly installed Norco back window... knock out the PCI slots to be used in the back window
8. Install the SATA cards to the motherboard and back wall to insure a perfect fit... I piece or two of cardboard should be used to raise the motherboard off of the sever case
9. With a marker, through the motherboard's ATX holes, mark the base of the server case for the brass standoffs
10. Remove the SATA cards and motherboard.
11. With a nail set/punch... remark the positions for the brass standoffs
12. Drill the holes for the brass standoffs.
13. Join two brass standoffs for each hole.
14. Screw in each standoff... using a nut on the underside if the brass screw gets stripped.
15. First, line up the motherboard with the newly installed standoffs... Second, install the SATA cards... Third, fasten the motherboard to the brass standoffs.
16. If not installing in a rack... attach/glue four feet to the base of the sever case.
17. Attach Norco Fan Wall with two .25" spacers and screws
18. Install (2) 80mm and (3) 120mm fans... attach wires to motherboard... (For easier installation, fasten only the center 120mm fan to the fan wall before install the fan wall to the case.)
19. Install and wire up ATX power supply to all needed sockets and backplanes.
20. Plug in modified power switch
21. With cable management in mind... attach the (24) SATA cable to the SATA cards and backplanes... Using 18" SATA cables for the shorter runs will help keep the case tidy.
22. Install/Mount/Attach OS drive... I used a eSATA adapter attached to the back window for the OS drive and DVD drive... (see, orange sata cables)
23. Double check wiring.
24. POWER IT ON!!!

That's it! With about an hour of tinkering... you will have a 24 bay server that is as quiet as a desktop PC.

I would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #56 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 08:01 PM
Advanced Member
 
Defcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 32
I'm very tempted by this, but also hesitate based on the mods required. I live in an apartment so this needs to be very quiet and I'm afraid it will need a serious commitment. Can someone comment how loud this is compared to a normal file server (lets say a mid tower case with a Supermicro 5-in-1, 7-8 hard drives.
Defcon is offline  
post #57 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 08:35 PM
Senior Member
 
mcturkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

I'm very tempted by this, but also hesitate based on the mods required. I live in an apartment so this needs to be very quiet and I'm afraid it will need a serious commitment. Can someone comment how loud this is compared to a normal file server (lets say a mid tower case with a Supermicro 5-in-1, 7-8 hard drives.

Unmodded, you can't use this is an apartment - your neighbors will hate you. It's not unlike having a hairdryer going all the time, only louder and a bit higher-pitched. Actually, more like having 4-5 of them.
mcturkey is offline  
post #58 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 09:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NewOrlnsDukie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Taking the server case apart was easy. The build quality is quite good. The entire case is held together with dozens of screws, which are the same size as those needed for the hdd bays.

Disassembly...
1. Detach all wires from motherboard and surrounding hardware.
2. Remove all fans, PCB boards and mounting hardware
3. Remove hard drive, ribbon cable and mount
4. Remove SATA cards from motherboard.
5. Remove ATX screws from motherboard.
6. Remove Motherboard
7. Remove all PSUs and the cover for the fourth
8. Remove all (a few dozen) screws that hold (sides and base) the motherboard tray.
9. Remove motherboard tray and all attached wires.
10. Remove "Back Window" from server case.

I only needed to drill about a dozen holes. Four for the Norco "Back Wall" and the rest for the brass standoffs to hold the motherboard in its new position. I used the already tapped holes to attach the Norco "Fan Wall"

The most difficult/stressful part was attaching the motherboard to the base of the server case...

Assembly:
1. Line up the Norco "Back Window" with the server case
2. Mark and drill holes to line up the already tapped holes in the Norco back window... Two .25" spacers will be needed for each side.
3. Install back window.
4. The Norco back window will need to be modified to allow for a better fit of the server case walls... I think I just made a "larger notch cut" on the top of each side of the back window... the bend it back and fourth with a pair of pliers until it snapped off... Perfect!
5. There are two pins on the top server case cover that are meant to lock into the back window... The Norco window's design will not allow for the pins... so I just tapped them out for a perfect fit.
6. Install the I/O plate
7. Line up the motherboard with the newly installed Norco back window... knock out the PCI slots to be used in the back window
8. Install the SATA cards to the motherboard and back wall to insure a perfect fit... I piece or two of cardboard should be used to raise the motherboard off of the sever case
9. With a marker, through the motherboard's ATX holes, mark the base of the server case for the brass standoffs
10. Remove the SATA cards and motherboard.
11. With a nail set/punch... remark the positions for the brass standoffs
12. Drill the holes for the brass standoffs.
13. Join two brass standoffs for each hole.
14. Screw in each standoff... using a nut on the underside if the brass screw gets stripped.
15. First, line up the motherboard with the newly installed standoffs... Second, install the SATA cards... Third, fasten the motherboard to the brass standoffs.
16. If not installing in a rack... attach/glue four feet to the base of the sever case.
17. Attach Norco Fan Wall with two .25" spacers and screws
18. Install (2) 80mm and (3) 120mm fans... attach wires to motherboard.
19. Install and wire up ATX power supply to all needed sockets and backplanes.
20. Plug in modified power switch
21. With cable management in mind... attach the (24) SATA cable to the SATA cards and backplanes... Using 18" SATA cables for the shorter runs will help keep the case tidy.
22. Install/Mount/Attach OS drive... I used a eSATA adapter attached to the back window for the OS drive and DVD drive... (see, orange sata cables)
23. Double check wiring.
24. POWER IT ON!!!

That's it! With about an hour of tinkering... you will have a 24 bay server that is as quiet as a desktop PC.

I would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

OUTSTANDING!!

Many, many thanks.
NewOrlnsDukie is offline  
post #59 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Litlgi74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z-95 View Post

How are the backplanes of the case? I know that's a weakness of the Norco cases (weak LEDs, disks disconnecting, whole backplanes powering off, etc.).

So far so good... I am in the middle of a massive file transfer... so I can't open the case... But looking in the case from the front... It appears there are six individual backplanes. The are labeled TW-000-51675-AR. There maybe some other model info on the other side.

As far as the performance... they seem to be rock solid. There are three LEDs. Two blue for power and activity and one red for drive failure.

The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man -- and give some back.

~ Swearengen
Litlgi74 is offline  
post #60 of 2269 Old 06-02-2012, 10:33 PM
Member
 
Z-95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Litlgi74 View Post

Really???

If you go with the AMD version (which the seller still thinks he has) you could run two AMD Opteron 2419 1.8ghz 6 core 40 watt processors and 128 GB of RAM!

How much more horse power do you need?

I'm thinking of doing it (buying it and ripping out all components) mainly for an all-in-one ESXi server and I don't think either configured server (Intel or AMD) supports passthrough of the HBAs for a ZFS VM.

I'm mainly interested in a nice case with rock-steady backplanes. Not opposed to any needed modifications like the OP did
Z-95 is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

Tags
Norco Rpc 4020 4u Rackmount Server Chassis W 20 Hot Swappable Sata Sas Drive Bays , Norco

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off