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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building my own NAS box and looking at either FreeNAS or Openfiler as the OS. I'm starting out with 2 1.5TB drives but will be moving an additional 1.5 TB drive from my Windows machine to this box after transferring my DVD backups to the NAS. I intend to use the NAS to serve popcorn hour like boxes. I'm wondering the best way to set up my drives. I think Raid is overkill for my setup but JBOD seems to have issues as well (if one drive fails I have to restore everything - not to bad for one drive, tough when the box is expanded to 5 or 6) and is difficult to expand. It appears zpool (FreeNAS ) or volume groups (Openfiler) are a possible solution for the expansion issue but not failure protection. Additionally, if I understand the way the popcorn hour system works you can only mount one drive at a time, so I'm looking for the NAS to show all drives as a single share while maintaining the ability to organize the storage on a drive by drive basis. Is this as simple as mounting the additional drives under the primary drive mount on the NAS? Is this possible with either of the OS's? Are there better ways to do this?
 

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Have you looked at unRAID? It does chew up one whole disk for parity information, but after that, you can expand to your hearts content up to 20 disks with the highest version of it, and it runs off of a thumb drive, so you don't have to worry about using up any of your hard drive allocation for your OS drive.
 

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I have looked at Unraid but since I don't feel I need parity, that it costs $ with more than 3 hard drives, and a somewhat scary limited documented hardware compatibility list I've elected not to go the Unraid route. If my preconceptions about Unraid, particularly flexibility that might exist running an unprotected array are incorrect, some advice from Unraid users would be appreciated. Question, if I go without a parity drive, can I then run 3 data drives on the free version?
 
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