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Limitations for FreeNAS set-up?

Last response: in Storage
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May 10, 2011 1:30:13 PM

HI guy!
So I'm interested in trying to set-up a modest and basic FreeNAS system at home, and I'm going to use an old P4 i found, with a few old harddrives I have laying around for the learning experience.

I wanted to know what determines the max number of drives I can have in my system. If I were to change the cables to allow more would the motherboard accept this or is it a limitation of the motherboard and PSU?

I'm still learning and would appreciate any help anyone might have :) 

Thanks!!!

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a b V Motherboard
a c 289 G Storage
May 10, 2011 8:39:43 PM

Generally, it's a limitation set by the motherboard. If it has two IDE connectors, then you will be able to attach 4 IDE drives.

With the PSU the limit is the power that it can deliver, not the number of connectors, as you can always use Y splitters.

This old, "found" hardware may not be reliable. Do backups!
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May 10, 2011 11:38:45 PM

I just joined the site last week, and I just wanted to say how glad I am that I did. I've already learned a lot from all the helpful members.

WyomingKnott said:
Generally, it's a limitation set by the motherboard. If it has two IDE connectors, then you will be able to attach 4 IDE drives.


I don't understand how two connectors means you can attach four drives.
Sorry for my ignorance..... :( 

Thanks again for the help!!
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a b V Motherboard
a c 289 G Storage
May 11, 2011 1:43:35 PM

If you tell me the model of the motherboard, I could look it up.

There are two kinds of hard drive interface in common usage. IDE is old and being phased out. It uses a 40-pin ribbon cable and allows two drives to be attached to one port one the motherboard. One drive must be configured as Master, and one as Slave. In California, these must be referred to as Primary and Secondary by state law. The cable looks like this: http://www.wpclipart.com/computer/hardware/cables/ide_c... , or, in rare cases, like this: http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/sku=blackroundi... .

The more modern, and faster, drives use the SATA interface. The cable is heavier and only has seven pins, and only one can be connected to each port on the motherboard. The cable looks like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , although the connectors at the end may have a right-angle bend.

So your motherboard can accomodate two IDE drives per IDE port, and one SATA drive per SATA port. If I knew what the motherboard model is, I could look up how many ports it has of what type.

You could always buy an add-in controller to run more drives if you need to.
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May 11, 2011 1:50:48 PM

I'll take a look
Thanks for the help!
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May 11, 2011 1:51:29 PM

Best answer selected by BinaryBean.
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