Home File Server Advice, please

So I have a bunch of Hard Drives around with movies and music, etc. and wanted to set up a dedicated file server. I have a Mavericks hackintosh, a couple win8 machines, win7. I have lots of assorted PC parts, enough to build a decent file server. I have done some reading, but do have some questions:

--Am I limited by the amount SATA connectors on the MOBO as to how many drives I can RAID? What about the USB connectors?

--Whats the best server OS for compatibility--NAS, Ubuntu, OSX, Win? The HDs I want to RAID are formatted DOS, but also some Mac formatted--will these all work together?

Anyhow, thanks so much.
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  1. Best answer
    I gave up on building my own file server and recently got a WDMYCLOUD device. The problem with building my own is there was always some issue that annoyed me (too noisy, or unnecessary power usage, software setup headache etc..). I wanted it to just simply WORK and this does.

    You can't RAID, but you can add another USB drive to it. The device itself attaches via Ethernet to your Router. Read/Write speeds are about 60MB/second for wired.

    The device is "always on" but it shuts down the hard drive after 10 minutes of non-use so it's basically silent and consumes little power.

    **Take the REVIEWS with a grain of salt. It had lots of issues when it came out just a few months ago and these are mostly fixed now. Firmware updates are also AUTOMATIC and there were quite a few at first.

    I have THIS unit (4TB drive) and it's only $200 which is pretty awesome considering that's not much more than what the HDD alone costs:

    (You can't "RAID" though you can backup automatically to an attached USB drive if you want.)
  2. thx for the post photon--yeah, I got more time and parts than I do money, so...

    It comes down to the fact that I have all these internal drives with lots of movies and music just laying around and I want to share them with all my computers.
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