Official - Homemade Server/NAS chat and support

58 replies
Found 5th Oct 2010
One stop shop for all your server and NAS requirements. Some very knowledgeable people on here, makes sense to have a dedicated thread


Looking for an alternative to buying a NAS and I have loads of spare parts kicking around, is it possible to make some sort of file server to use instead of a NAS?

Basically I want to send videos, music and pictures around my house - To an Acer Revo running xbmc in the front room, WDTV in the bedroom, PC in the office and Laptop. All of the devices (bar the laptop) are hard wired gigabit connections, so i think the 'infrastructure' will cope, it's just what box to have.

Any ideas?

58 Comments

Edited by: "jennyrocks" 5th Oct 2010

If that wdtv you have is the live version, that can be used as a nas too.

Use old PC parts and put freenas on as the OS.

Any old box is fine, just make sure the motherbopard has gigabit too.

Banned

Windows home server is the best home server solution out there though it's only free if you get a dodgy copy.

Original Poster

Thanks.

So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7?

My plan was to buy 4 internal 1.5tb drives, would that work? Is RAID supported?

Any tips for lowering power consumption?

Banned

sancho1983

Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan … Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan was to buy 4 internal 1.5tb drives, would that work? Is RAID supported? Any tips for lowering power consumption?



Windows Home Server is a modified version of Server 2003. It's a standalone OS. It's perfect for sticking a load of disks in with excellent software based raid system they call drive extender. It's raid with benefits!

Get the "greener" variety of HDDs and an atom based system for ultimate energy efficiency.

sancho1983

Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan … Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan was to buy 4 internal 1.5tb drives, would that work? Is RAID supported? Any tips for lowering power consumption?



Raid is supported.

Use ecogreen drives. 4 x 1.5tb Samsung F2's would be ideal (~£160).

This board with built in atom processor ebuyer.com/pro…129 will make it quiet and cheap to run.

Original Poster

Ok, so why do NASes(?) Exist? This seems perfect, and cheaper

Banned

sancho1983

Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan … Thanks.So is Windows home server an OS? Or run on top of win 7? My plan was to buy 4 internal 1.5tb drives, would that work? Is RAID supported? Any tips for lowering power consumption?



WHS2003 is an OS. You install it just like you would Windows 7. You will be able to access the machine remotely and give yourself more options than a NAS.

The only real downside is the power consumption which will obviously be much higher. The only way to lessen is to switch it off - unless you buy a newer more efficient setup (but which still supports your 4 drives!) My drives are Samsung Eco drives. Slower, but more energy efficient (and more than fast enough for access from several machines.)

You might have old parts to use, but I expect you may run into a problem (like I did) with IDE and Sata drives. I bought a PCI card from ebay to take care of that for a tenner. (Mine has 4 x 2TB drives in it plus the OS on an IDE drive.).


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Edited by: "guv" 5th Oct 2010

sancho1983

Ok, so why do NASes(?) Exist? This seems perfect, and cheaper



Out of the box solution.

I bought that Qnap TS410 I mentioned to you the other day as I didn't really have any spare parts to build, software was pretty easy to use and had some spare cash.

If you're on a budget then there really is no reason to buy a NAS just build it yourself.

Original Poster

mr.potato_head

Raid is supported.Use ecogreen drives. 4 x 1.5tb Samsung F2's would be … Raid is supported.Use ecogreen drives. 4 x 1.5tb Samsung F2's would be ideal (~£160). This board with built in atom processor http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191129 will make it quiet and cheap to run.



Cheers, so on top of that I need a gigabit lan card, case and gig(?) Stick of RAM? Plus drives obviously

sancho1983

Cheers, so on top of that I need a gigabit lan card, case and gig(?) … Cheers, so on top of that I need a gigabit lan card, case and gig(?) Stick of RAM? Plus drives obviously



Already has gigabit lan built in I believe.

Need a case and 1gb of ddr2 laptop ram, 512mb would probably be fine.

Banned

sancho1983

Ok, so why do NASes(?) Exist? This seems perfect, and cheaper



A NAS was basically a bare basics unit with headless minimal OS to act as a filer and nothing else. They've now become more server like so the line between server and NAS has become blurred. In my opinion if you want a NAS to do more than distribute files then go with a server.

Original Poster

Great, think I'll have a go at building one then. I suppose an 'eco' psu would be beneficial too? Think I have some RAM kicking about

Mr potato head, feel like finding the other bits for me

Thanks for all the advice guys

Banned

sancho1983

Great, think I'll have a go at building one then. I suppose an 'eco' psu … Great, think I'll have a go at building one then. I suppose an 'eco' psu would be beneficial too? Think I have some RAM kicking about Mr potato head, feel like finding the other bits for me Thanks for all the advice guys



No worries. Keep us updated.

With all the home server/nas users on here we should have a dedicated thread for it. Maybe stick an official to the thread title??

Would be interested to know about people's set ups, problems they have, cool applications, if anyone will be upgrading to the new WHS when it comes out etc etc...

Banned

master_chief

With all the home server/nas users on here we should have a dedicated … With all the home server/nas users on here we should have a dedicated thread for it. Maybe stick an official to the thread title??Would be interested to know about people's set ups, problems they have, cool applications, if anyone will be upgrading to the new WHS when it comes out etc etc...



hotukdeals.com/mis…370

Banned

guv

[url=http://www.hotukdeals.com/misc/so-i-want-to-create-a-server-for-xb/615370]http://www.hotukdeals.com/misc/so-i-want-to-create-a-server-for-xb/615370[/url]



Not official enough

And it's old...

Banned

master_chief

Not official enough :pAnd it's old...



Couldnt be more official!!!

sancho1983

Great, think I'll have a go at building one then. I suppose an 'eco' psu … Great, think I'll have a go at building one then. I suppose an 'eco' psu would be beneficial too? Think I have some RAM kicking about Mr potato head, feel like finding the other bits for me Thanks for all the advice guys



I'll have a look tomorrow and PM you.

Original Poster

Cheers.

Have added official, Guv already has his satellite thread

Banned

guv

Couldnt be more official!!!



Ha ha.

Are you going to risk an upgrade to the new version then? I haven't seen anything in the new features list to make me want to any time soon. Obviously if I have to reinstall or I build another I will go with 'Vail' then.

Banned

master_chief

Ha ha.Are you going to risk an upgrade to the new version then? I haven't … Ha ha.Are you going to risk an upgrade to the new version then? I haven't seen anything in the new features list to make me want to any time soon. Obviously if I have to reinstall or I build another I will go with 'Vail' then.



the machine was only meant to be a temporary measure, though my concern would be plonking the drives into another PC and expecting the Raid to work as before without losing data.

One annoying thing I have is working out to create shares that are seen online and internal. Its not how it should be. Difficult to explain, but for instance I created a share called TV shows. It did sit inside "video". I couldnt acces it. I created it in the root on my data drive. Its seen internally, but not externally.

Banned

guv

the machine was only meant to be a temporary measure, though my concern … the machine was only meant to be a temporary measure, though my concern would be plonking the drives into another PC and expecting the Raid to work as before without losing data.One annoying thing I have is working out to create shares that are seen online and internal. Its not how it should be. Difficult to explain, but for instance I created a share called TV shows. It did sit inside "video". I couldnt acces it. I created it in the root on my data drive. Its seen internally, but not externally.



I had to move all my drives to another PC/server recently and it worked a charm. You just run the WHS installer disk and it detects you have it installed already so offers you the choice to install OS only and keep the 'D' drive. Not sure if Vail will do it the same as that.

Banned

And I've no idea what you're on about with your folder share problem.

Original Poster

Is there some sort of SATA caddy you would use for the drives as boards generally only have 2 SATA ports right?
Edited by: "sancho1983" 5th Oct 2010

Banned

master_chief

And I've no idea what you're on about with your folder share problem.



Nor me! So when setting up new shares, whats the correct method?

Also, I would like to run the server as a domain with PC names rather than workgroup, but unsure how to do so without messing everything up!

Banned

sancho1983

Is there some sort of SATA caddy you would use for the drives?



You'll only need a caddy if you're using the larger 5.25" bays for your disks. 3.5" bays fit fine obviously. My tower has 5 x 3.5" bays so not worried about using caddies and when I need more storage I will build a second server for that and buy a tower with more 3.5" bays.

Banned

master_chief

You'll only need a caddy if you're using the larger 5.25" bays for your … You'll only need a caddy if you're using the larger 5.25" bays for your disks. 3.5" bays fit fine obviously. My tower has 5 x 3.5" bays so not worried about using caddies and when I need more storage I will build a second server for that and buy a tower with more 3.5" bays.




I think hes referring to an atom motherboard only having 2 SATA ports.

Banned

guv

Nor me! So when setting up new shares, whats the correct method? Also, I … Nor me! So when setting up new shares, whats the correct method? Also, I would like to run the server as a domain with PC names rather than workgroup, but unsure how to do so without messing everything up!



Well you can use the standard Windows way of going to folder properties and enabling sharing of that folder through the sharing tab or you can create a new one in the WHS console. The latter giving you the folder duplication if you want, the former being generally more flexible. They do say you should do everything through the console but I only use it for duplication of my photo share and for backups to external USB drive, everything else done as if it was a 2003 server.

Original Poster

Bit of both, will obviously need a case that has enough bays to hold the drives,.and some sort of splitter? To enable 4 to be attached. Will also need to have a dvd drive attached while installing the OS, don't have any external ones, but a lot of internals kicking around

Banned

guv

I think hes referring to an atom motherboard only having 2 SATA ports.



Ah right, yes that makes sense. You would need a PCI Sata card then.

Banned

sancho1983

Bit of both, will obviously need a case that has enough bays to hold the … Bit of both, will obviously need a case that has enough bays to hold the drives,.and some sort of splitter? To enable 4 to be attached. Will also need to have a dvd drive attached while installing the OS, don't have any external ones, but a lot of internals kicking around



As hard ware raid isn't a problem then they shouldn't be too expensive. Sure you can get cheaper than this but as an example - Sata card

Just attach the drive for installation then disconnect if you won't be needing one after that.

Banned

master_chief

Well you can use the standard Windows way of going to folder properties … Well you can use the standard Windows way of going to folder properties and enabling sharing of that folder through the sharing tab or you can create a new one in the WHS console. The latter giving you the folder duplication if you want, the former being generally more flexible. They do say you should do everything through the console but I only use it for duplication of my photo share and for backups to external USB drive, everything else done as if it was a 2003 server.



Done it both ways and there is always some strange glitch. The only ones that work perfectly are the default folders that were pre-set up in WHS2003.

BTW..... have you seen any good guides for setting up domains within WHS2003 and devices attached? I know doing this will speed up the dataflow.

Original Poster

What sort of speeds should I expect with those Samsung F2 drives, gigabit connection. I don't think read times would be a problem, but I transfer a fair amount of data to my drives atm (which are connected via USB)

Banned

sancho1983

What sort of speeds should I expect with those Samsung F2 drives, gigabit … What sort of speeds should I expect with those Samsung F2 drives, gigabit connection. I don't think read times would be a problem, but I transfer a fair amount of data to my drives atm (which are connected via USB)



You wont have any problems with streaming and the speed of the drives will never be any cause for concern. However transfering over the netowrk is considerably slower than via USB. That said, I'm not using gigabit, though I guess I should. (the only time its an issue to copying too or from over the network. Direct would alwyas be my preferred option.)

Original Poster

Looking at some components using that board Mr Potato Head suggested and have come up with this

http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu79/sancho_1983/Capture-12.jpg

Any good? Whack the drives in there - The case has 6 3.5" bays which seems good.

Any way of making cheaper? or Better?
Edited by: "sancho1983" 6th Oct 2010

Original Poster

Correct picture added

Banned

Is your server going to be hidden away somewhere Sancho or is it going to be out on display?

Banned

guv

Nor me! So when setting up new shares, whats the correct method? Also, I … Nor me! So when setting up new shares, whats the correct method? Also, I would like to run the server as a domain with PC names rather than workgroup, but unsure how to do so without messing everything up!



Can't you run DCPromo on the server like normal server OS? Saying that it probably messes with the special user accounts system WHS has.

Just checked and yes DCPromo still there but big no no to make it a DC or even join it to a domain apparently.

Original Poster

master_chief

Is your server going to be hidden away somewhere Sancho or is it going to … Is your server going to be hidden away somewhere Sancho or is it going to be out on display?



Not sure tbh, toyed with the idea of the loft, but the wife isn't keen, so might put it in the office hidden away, possibly in a wardrobe. Why?
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