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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I've been looking hard for a NAS. Started off looking at NAS devices because of size and low power consumption. But the COST of a decent enclosure is astronomical! And most of them are still dogs in performance. About then I also realized I *could* build an NAS server much cheaper, more expandable, that was also low-power. Here is what I have so far, and I would appreciate any comments or suggestions:


Cooler Master Centurion 5 case (already had)

Intel Celeron 430 (Conroe-L core, 35W, 1.8GHz)

ECS 945GC mobo (mATX, integrated everything)

1GB RAM (already had)

Seagate 500GB (SATAII, 7200.10)


Yes, the CPU/mobo are the Fry's $50 special. The more I looked at it, the more it looked like the perfect combo for my NAS--low power, no need for add-in cards, and CHEAP!
The 500GB drive for $100 will get me started. I also have a 250GB (SATA) and 180GB (PATA) drive I could put in there. And the case is big enough to handle more drives and still stay cool, and has a nice quiet 120mm exhaust fan.


Keep in mind that cost and performance was a factor for me, so none of these components are necessarily "best-in-class", but I am hoping they represent the best value (performance vs cost).


I hope I have the right building blocks for a cool, low-power, quiet, and FAST NAS box.


Well, what do you all think?


The last question is OS, of course. I crave the simplicity and familiarity of WHS, but that would double my cost, so I am leaning towards UNRAID. Any suggestions or starting points there would also be appreciated...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Alright, too late. In the few minutes since I've posted this, I've broken out all the parts, put it all together on my desk, gone up to Lime Technology, created a bootable USB Drive with UNRAID 4.2.1, stuck in in, powered everything up, and I am sitting here looking at a "Tower Login:" prompt. Being a Linux noob, I was at quite a loss on what to do next, so I read, and did a double-take when I finally understood that this is configured through a remote web browser interface. And sure enough, when I typed in //tower on my PC, THERE IT WAS! I simply can't believe how slick and easy this was!!!


I am in shock and awe that I went from boxes to a server up and running in about 10 minutes!!! And here I was lamenting the lack of WHS??? No way baby!!!
 

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toms networking had some NAS reviews including diy ones
 

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Welcome to the unRAID family; I joined last week, and alos couldn't believe how easy it was! I quickly bought the full Pro dual key version. I chose the Celeron 420, so it should be even lower powered.


I have a couple of NAS devices too, but at least one will be sold soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, now I need help. I stayed up til almost 2am last night, partially so I could wait for my server to finish initializing the 500GB drive (as the parity drive). However, I still don't see how to set up the share--the only share visible right now is "flash". I've read what I could find online and it's not helping. Heck, it took me a while to figure out I had to stop the array before the "power down" button would reappear!



I have a couple hundred GB of DVDs I wanna copy right away, so the sooner the better. Also, what tool should I use to measure my performance (my PCs all run XP Pro), so I can report back on my numbers?
 

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Did you log on the first time as root (no password required)? I do not think it is required.

Did you format the hard drive(s) so that they can be put into shares?

The next step is to define the shares, but it looks like your drives are not being recognised. There is a small chance that your mobo SATA controller is not yet compatible with unRAID.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
captain_video, I have been in that forum, and definitely read some interesting threads, but couldn't seem to find anything related to my basic questions. Heck, I even registered and activated, but for some reason, the site was really slow last night, and I never could seem to actually log in--so I'll admit I kinda gave up and asked here instead...



fitbrit, After I initialized the drive (I guess it has to do a FULL format, writing zeros on the whole drive, so that it can act as a "parity" drive?), the drive showed up on the "main" screen, and I even "started" the array--everything looked good. But when I go to the screen that talks about shares, I didn't see an option to create a share. There was a drop down box to "Export Read/Write" something or other, but it was already selected.


I never did login, the page with the login info already said "root" with no password (I think that is where I would add a password to root if I wanted, right?), and since I am able to do anything I tried, I assumed I was automatically logged in as root already.


I have a thought. Can I have a parity drive BY ITSELF in an array? I haven't added a second drive yet--maybe that's the problem?


Also, it says it is going to show them as "disk1", "disk2", etc. I actually *want* to keep different stuff on different physical drives, but I want to name them something more descriptive than "disk1". Can I do that? Do I need the purchased version to do it, maybe?
 

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If you only have one drive, and it is set as a parity, then you will not have access to any writable disks. The only thing that can write to the parity drive is the system, and its only used to store information needed to recover from a drive failure.


I dont use unraid, but I assume you could use the drive as a regular drive and add the parity drive later, if not you will need at least one more drive.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 /forum/post/12929620


If you only have one drive, and it is set as a parity, then you will not have access to any writable disks. The only thing that can write to the parity drive is the system, and its only used to store information needed to recover from a drive failure.


I dont use unraid, but I assume you could use the drive as a regular drive and add the parity drive later, if not you will need at least one more drive.

Ronin is correct- you need to have other drives to create a share.

Also, if you want to have different stuff on the drives, that's fine. You cannot rename them directly, but you CAN create a Share that is drive-specific and name it whatever you want. There will also be shares that show up as disk1, disk 2, but you can always ignore them or even prevent them from showing up (I think).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I am familiar with RAID 5, and it sounds like this is doing a flexible version of that. I thought it was just employing some neat software trickery to "emulate" parity, without losing the space on the drive, but if I'm going to lose that 500GB, then I will definitely remove it as a parity drive, and just go with data disks for now.
 

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Can't create a recoverable backup without sacrificing space. Not using a parity drive for now, you realize, provides NO security therefore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yeah, but I am just storing DVD rips, and my backup is the DVDs themselves. Yeah, there is time investment to consider, but until I have at least 1-2TB of usable space, I can't afford to give that much space away...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfoltz /forum/post/12930717


yeah, but I am just storing DVD rips, and my backup is the DVDs themselves. Yeah, there is time investment to consider, but until I have at least 1-2TB of usable space, I can't afford to give that much space away...

Think of it as $100 rather than 500 Gb. How many DVDs would you rip for someone if they were only paying you $100 to do so?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/12930804


Think of it as $100 rather than 500 Gb. How many DVDs would you rip for someone if they were only paying you $100 to do so?

Great point, the piece of mind knowing I don't have to rerip 500GB worth of DVDs is worth the $100 to me.



I just built my Unraid NAS last weekend, the link is below. I've moved all my movies from my HTPC over. This week I've started the fun task of reripping all my CDs to FLAC.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=unraid
 

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I built myself a Windows Home Server box and it does everything I need and more. I like how it pools all drives into a single storage pool and can duplicate the folder to protect against drive failure. I can also easily add and remove drives and even access the server remotely should I need to.


But I primarily just use it to store my large HD movie collection and stream it across to my HTPC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC /forum/post/12930842


Great point, the piece of mind knowing I don't have to rerip 500GB worth of DVDs is worth the $100 to me.



I just built my Unraid NAS last weekend, the link is below. I've moved all my movies from my HTPC over. This week I've started the fun task of reripping all my CDs to FLAC.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=unraid

Yeah, I saw your thread and added my config there too. WHat I just noticed now, however, is that you're also using the ThermalTake iCage 3-in-3 drive bay with 120mm fan. I love that thing, and your (and my) drive temperatures reflect how well it's cooling. I've left my 3.5" drive bays free for the next few 750 Gb drives I'm putting in (any day now).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit /forum/post/12931055


Yeah, I saw your thread and added my config there too. WHat I just noticed now, however, is that you're also using the ThermalTake iCage 3-in-3 drive bay with 120mm fan. I love that thing, and your (and my) drive temperatures reflect how well it's cooling. I've left my 3.5" drive bays free for the next few 750 Gb drives I'm putting in (any day now).

Correct, the middle cage is the Thermaltake, the bottom one is the one that came with the case. I have an extra Thermaltake one left over I might replace the case include bay as the fan is a lot louder then the Thermaltake.


Sorry for the hijack!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
fitbrit, yes, it's only $100, but in my case, it's just $100 MORE, after I've already overspent myself on components by many many hundreds. I "splurged" on the 500GB drive I just got--kind of a last hurrah, I'm afraid. My long-suffering wife is about to cut off some things that I would rather keep!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfoltz /forum/post/12931247


fitbrit, yes, it's only $100, but in my case, it's just $100 MORE, after I've already overspent myself on components by many many hundreds. I "splurged" on the 500GB drive I just got--kind of a last hurrah, I'm afraid. My long-suffering wife is about to cut off some things that I would rather keep!

You know $100 is $100... and I never said it was only $100.
There's always a trade-off, and for some time is less valuable than money; it certainly was for me until just a few years ago, so I am not judging by any means. Still, there's no guarantee your disk WILL fail before you can afford to put in a parity drive, so hope and/or prayer could serve you well. I went without a drive failure for years in dusty conditions, using WDs, Seagates and Maxtors. I was lucky, but now I can afford to not rely on luck. Unlike some things, money can grow back, so you have to do what you have to do!
 
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