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Building a home File Storage System (server like)

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January 30, 2009 7:40:39 PM

Ok guys, so I've never built one of these before. I like the look of the HP Media Smart, but I figured I can build one of these for cheaper than I can buy one for HP. I've built a couple of systems and upgraded parts and pieces for many as well, so I'm comfortable and familiar with home PCs.

I just had a 500 GB WD USB drive fail on me and have decided its time to stop messing around and just build the system I want. Right now I'm looking for something that can be on my network, have RAID so I can protect against HDD failure, and a burner would be nice to make copies of media thats on the storage. I've already got a burner so thats taken care of. I'm thinking of going right now with a system that has 2TB of storage (2, 1TB drives in a RAID 1 configuration). I would like to have the ability to expand the HDDs and add 2 more. Gigabit LAN would probably be a plus as well. Here are my thoughts:

2, 1TB WD "green" drives - Reviews for the newer ones look good, lower power usage is a plus
DVD Drive - Already Purchased
2GB Ram - was looking at the G.Skill DDR2 800 RAM right now
Windows Home Server software - not interested in using linux right now

My current dilemmas - The case and all that come with it. I'd like to make something that runs somewhat quietly, and that is small (stylish perhaps, but lets be honest, thats lower on the priority list). Once I choose a case (and mobo etc, I'm assuming I'm best going with a barebones system, but let me know if I'm not), the speed of the processor is the next question, as I have no idea how much speed I will need. I'm assuming one of the factors I also want to look at is wattage.

Any thoughts on case and the issues that follow that?

Cheers!
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2009 9:13:43 PM

Get an Antec 300 case with some quiet Scythe 120mm fans.
Antec 300
That would be a very cool solution. Because you are looking at 4 drives and a burner, I don't think any micro-ATX cases would work out.

Foxconn G45 board with RAID
E5200
Unless of course you are going to be sharing the server a lot and it will be very busy. In that case maybe a Q6600.
1.8V G.skill is fine.

There would be some good AMD solutions too, this is just one possibility.

A stock Intel cooler is fairly quiet.

PC P&C 500W 6 SATA connectors, quiet, GREAT PRICE for a unit this highly rated.


January 31, 2009 6:29:40 PM

I'm looking at a similar solution. I know that Gigabyte has P43 that has 8 SATA slots for only $80. If that seems like too many slots and too much price (you'll need a GPU for the initial setup), you can get an integrated GPU - G31, or something like it with 4-5 SATA ports.

My build will probably be a little larger scale (once I convince the wife), but will be E5200, and enough space to keep expanding the storage.
Related resources
January 31, 2009 8:30:17 PM

I've got 3 1TB drives running on my home server. The computer also does daily backups of my web server (I'm web designer) and is pinging over 100 web sites for monitoring purposes and sending alerts as needed. This home server also serves all the video and audio to the rest of my house via Gigagabit ethernet.... (around 6 computers and TV)

Now the punch line is that this computer server/nas is a simple P4 2.4Ghx Celeron with 512 MB RAM on Windows XP Professional. Yes, that's it. It runs great, feels snappy, consumes hardly any power and meets all my needs.

So before you throw your money away on faster hardware rembember that a server needs almost no CPU or RAM, certainly no GPU of any quality. The only thing that really matters is HD speed and Network connection.

For a simple home server for a dozen or so computers my setup works splendid. You can find a computer of this caliper on eBay for $50.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b α HP
February 1, 2009 6:28:15 AM

2x1TB drives in RAID1 will only give you 1TB total; the drives are mirrored, not striped.
p05esto is pretty much right, it doesn't take much. Maybe get one of the 45W AMD CPUs. Go with an 80+ certified PSU too. This rig should sip from the wall.
February 1, 2009 6:01:09 PM

Yeah I'm well aware the drives will be mirrored. I was looking for 1TB storage (2 mirrored 1TB drives).

I'll look into some of these suggestions, thanks!
February 2, 2009 6:26:33 PM

Any other case recommendations? I was really hoping to find something small, and the antec 300 looks kinda large...
February 4, 2009 7:52:17 PM

I guess my "gold standard" for the case would be something the size of the HP MediaSmart home servers. I realize I am hoping to hook up an optical drive which will make it slightly larger, but I'd like as small of a rig as I can get.
!