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I have inherited my Dad's collection of over 3000 78 rpm and several hundred 33 rpm albums of Dixiland Jazz he collected from the 1920's through the 1970's. I will soon start the process of preserving and archiving them, probably as mp3's. I also have a vast collection of family photos as jpegs, and movies as mp4's. My understanding is this collection is considered "static". I want to save them in the mp3, jpeg and mp4 formats, have a
backup of all, and be able to serve them across my home LAN to various PC's, tablets and TV's. I will not need transcoding as all will be save in the formats specified above.

All will be stored initially on hard drives on a PC using Win 7 Pro. Over the years, I have experimented with two Netgear ReadyNas Duo's, both V1. Both had several HD failures, so I am reluctant to use them or any commercial NAS appliance. I have also tried several versions of FreeNas and Linux Server and am not really happy going that route either.

What I think I want is a simple media server that uses an OS that I am very familiar with (Vista Business or Windows 7 Professional), uses separate data hard drives with my files on them, provides some form of simple raid like raid 1, and can serve the files over my home LAN. Backup could be done by using external hard drives using simple backup software. I would want to be able to pull one or all of the hard drives and install therm in another PC so as to read the files on that drive. I am guessing that I will need at least 4 TB of storage for all the files on the server.

Does any of this make sense? Comments and suggestions would be very welcome.
 

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I have inherited my Dad's collection of over 3000 78 rpm and several hundred 33 rpm albums of Dixiland Jazz he collected from the 1920's through the 1970's. I will soon start the process of preserving and archiving them, probably as mp3's. I also have a vast collection of family photos as jpegs, and movies as mp4's. My understanding is this collection is considered "static". I want to save them in the mp3, jpeg and mp4 formats, have a
backup of all, and be able to serve them across my home LAN to various PC's, tablets and TV's. I will not need transcoding as all will be save in the formats specified above.

All will be stored initially on hard drives on a PC using Win 7 Pro. Over the years, I have experimented with two Netgear ReadyNas Duo's, both V1. Both had several HD failures, so I am reluctant to use them or any commercial NAS appliance. I have also tried several versions of FreeNas and Linux Server and am not really happy going that route either.

What I think I want is a simple media server that uses an OS that I am very familiar with (Vista Business or Windows 7 Professional), uses separate data hard drives with my files on them, provides some form of simple raid like raid 1, and can serve the files over my home LAN. Backup could be done by using external hard drives using simple backup software. I would want to be able to pull one or all of the hard drives and install therm in another PC so as to read the files on that drive. I am guessing that I will need at least 4 TB of storage for all the files on the server.

Does any of this make sense? Comments and suggestions would be very welcome.
Just stay with Windows 7 and add SnapRAID/Drive Pool or Drive Spaces that comes with Windows 8.
 

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I'm a big fan of OneDrive. You can get unlimited storage with an Office 365 subscription, which is $10/mo or $99/yr. That puts your stuff in a data center where it is backed up and safe.
 

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Just stay with Windows 7 and add SnapRAID/Drive Pool or Drive Spaces that comes with Windows 8.
Many thanks to smitbret and Scott four your suggestions. I do not think I am interested in the OneDrive approach at this time.

I do want to stay with Win 7 so SnapRaid looks interesting. I had not know of it before and have just now started to read up
about it. What does Drivepool do and why would I use it together with SnapRaid?

Is Win 8 Drive Spaces availabe as a separate program for Win 7?

Thanks, Joe
 

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Not needing transcoding is a huge saver in terms of processor power. The easiest way to start is by putting a pair of matching disks into a computer with space, set 'em as RAID1 (it's built-in to Windows) and right-click and share. This results in a basic file server. You can always upgrade to something beefier later if you ever find the need.

Backing up the file server is another discussion entirely (personally, I have both a local backup and a cloud backup, both of which happen in the background).

It get's trickier on the client end. Kodi (what I use at the TV end) works with a basic file server. Other clients may need DLNA/UPnP server software installed on the server. I've tried several (TVersity, Twonky, Synology's proprietary); none that I've tried have been perfect, in fact I've moved away from DLNA/UPnP. Many people are sold on Plex; however, I haven't tried it.
 

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What I personally do is keep all of my documents and photos in the cloud (OneDrive) and keep all of my media on an 8-Bay NAS. Desktop Windows is a lousy operating system for a file or media server.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not needing transcoding is a huge saver in terms of processor power. The easiest way to start is by putting a pair of matching disks into a computer with space, set 'em as RAID1 (it's built-in to Windows) and right-click and share. This results in a basic file server. You can always upgrade to something beefier later if you ever find the need.

Backing up the file server is another discussion entirely (personally, I have both a local backup and a cloud backup, both of which happen in the background).

It get's trickier on the client end. Kodi (what I use at the TV end) works with a basic file server. Other clients may need DLNA/UPnP server software installed on the server. I've tried several (TVersity, Twonky, Synology's proprietary); none that I've tried have been perfect, in fact I've moved away from DLNA/UPnP. Many people are sold on Plex; however, I haven't tried it.
Thanks, Joe. Yes, I convert all video files to MP4's with Handbrake before putting them on the server. I will try the Win 7
Raid 1 approach, but, I know I will want something else soon. Right now, I can't see any downside to SnapRaid and pooling. There may be problems that I will find out about, but I am going to try that approach very soon.

I am thinking that an external backup scheme should work pretty good for me. We use a program at work which runs everyday at a scheduled time and only writes new files, or files that have changed to an external hard drive. For the kind of medial files I will be using, that ought to work for me.

On the client side I am using Kodi on a small PC at one TV. I have a Roku 2 and have built a Raspberri Pi with XBMC. Kodi
is easy to used ad fast and I do like the Kodi interface for videos. I do not like Kodi for photographs, and haven't tried it for my music library yet. I have tried Plex and it is ok but not great. So, the client side has not bee fully decided yet. Client
remote controls also seem to have issues too.

Scott, I am no expert and am not a big Microsoft fan, but, I have had enough experienced with FreeNas and Netgear's
NAS to know that I will not go down that route again.
 

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Let's just say that not all NAS devices are created equally. You had low-end 2-Bay units, from what I understand. There is a world of difference between those and something like my QNAP TS-853 Pro, which is a near bullet-proof tank with rock-solid stability.

I agree that the Plex interface is not as good as some others. The power of Plex is that it runs on basically everything. My family has three iPads, an Android tablet, a Windows tablet, two Windows PCs, two PS3s, a Samsung Smart TV, a Roku TV, two Roku 3 boxes, an Amazon Fire TV stick, a Chromecast, two Android phones and a Windows phone. Plex runs on ALL of it, so we can access our media anywhere from any device.
 

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I don't know why you think Windows is a poor choice for a modest home server. I find that Windows 7 Pro works great for a headless system. Add TightVNC Server for remote access and you are pretty much set. Additionally, it doesn't limit you to expensive, enterprise grade backup software.

For OP, SnapRAID takes care of the parity protection. Drive Pool lets you combine all of the different storage drives into one virtual, combined drive with a single drive letter.

As for streaming boxes, I use a Chromebox, RaspPi 2 and a RaspPi Model B. I run OpenELEC on all 3. If you get the VC-1 and MPEG-2 licenses for the RaspPi, there is no reason to consider transcoding unless you are planning on running Plex to stream to mobile devices. If it is just local streaming to Kodi then let Kodi handle the library or use a MySQL to keep the different locations all sync'd up.

If I might suggest remote control solutions. FLIRC with DirecTV remote controls is as good as I have found. The FLIRC is fairly expensive, but if you really want complete control with Kodi and the ability to set everything up the way you'd like, there is really.no competition. They are ultra sensitive, too. I have my PIs mounted to the back of my TVs with the IR receiver completely obscured and they have never missed a command from 15 feet in the last year and a half. I use one on my Chromebox, too with the FLIRC mounted in a rear USB port and inside a shelving cabinet and it works perfectly with my Harmony 700.
 

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Raspberry Pi file server raid.

I can't say enough good things about the Raspberry Pi—for starters, it's reliable, fast, connectable, cool (temperature and other-wise), silent, ridiculously cheap and versatile beyond belief.

I believe using a Windows machine as a personal file server is outdated thinking, as well as being wasteful of resources (the computer used) and electricity. Look into the Raspberry Pi option. There's no shortage of detailed info on the web with various ways to use the Raspberry Pi (they are endless). It may or may not prove to be for you, but you won't be wasting your time to check it out.

While I'm at it, may I also recommend streaming to a Raspberry Pi with a Kodi (formerly XBMC) setup? A beautiful interface on any TV (or monitor), works great and it's very customizable.
 
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