Building a NAS/ HTPC

Hello everyone, rare poster here - but really need your help.

My quest is to build a HTPC/NAS, I would expect that you are going to see a lot fo these posts in the next few months, as it seems this is a massively growing market.

I want a system that is quite versatile. I think this is something that many people are going to ask for. You see, to build a computer, that you can't really "play on" is fine; most people will accept that, but to build one for watching movies, and a second for storage, starts to become a lot of computer for seemingly simmilier goals.

So below is a list of stuff that I am trying to accomplish:

1) I want somewhere to make back up of my laptop, desktop and other files. (I have a 1.5 TB western "green" I plan to use for this, and maybe OS)
2) I want to store all my media on it. (I will get the western green 2 TB's for this)

2.5) I will likely use a set up with the o/s on a CF card, or USB (if I can), 1 drive (1.5TB) for back ups, and the a "set" of 1-4(2TB) or more drives for media. I want to have a system that is expanadanble as I go, with out undue effort.

3) I want to be able to play the media on all the computers, and on the western digital TV live box I have (it finds anything on the network, and that works better then the "media server streaming".
4) I would like the system to be mostly portable, so that when I go on vacation, I can take it with me and watch movies there. This might be somethign I can compermise on - I can always load the files on the my laptop.
5) I would want to be able to use ALL of freeNAS, openfiler, or some version of windows 7. I would like to try the Freenas and open filer first, and if they don't work go to win 7 (maybe ubuntu- but I am not a linux guy after I learned to hate it in uni.)
6) Although I will be starting with 2 drives, I would like to be able to add many drives.
7) I want the NAS/HTPC itself to be able to play movies to my system. HDMI out, WITH FULL AUDIO (I understand that some of the HDMI outs, can't do surround sound ??)
has to be quite enough to live in the room with the TV.
9) I might at somepoint need to use this for re-encodeing movies.
10) I would like to have the facility to download torrents, and rip dvd/cd's
11) bonus points for plying blu ray (low on priority list at the moment right now.)

So, where do I go from here?

I have a laptop runnign win7.

I should mention that I have a current desktop system that I could "upgrade", and potentially use parts from, - however getting the right system is the priority. I am not the kinda guy that doesn't want to "redo" things, cause I cut corners at the beginning.

desktop - rack moust 4 space case, that is loud!, core 2 duo 6750, 2 core, at 2.66. The 4 gig of ram is registering as 2.75gig ?(I think because XP has a 4 gig limit, and that include video ram?) video card is a 8800gt I have 2X500 gig HD that will stay with the computer, (in raid mirror). the mother board is socket 775LGA, XFX nForce 780i 3-way SLI, chipset is nForce 780i SLI SPP, south bridge is nForce 780i SLI MCP, bios version - 6.00 pg from 12/04/2007

Once the new storage is up, I will copy over the HD's, and then I will upgrade XP to win7. I might up grade the video card at that point. One possible solution is to upgrade the CPU in desktop to a quad core, and re-purpose the current one to the NAS.

Looking forward, to you suggestions, form starty to finish, and I hope this thread turns in to a referance for those looking for similier things.

oh, and the case should be somewhat "elegent", either as an "appliance" look, or something that can be staked with the audio /DTV components.

Antec has a case called the fusion that seem good.

Let us not worry about cost yet, and see where we are.


looking forward to the posts!
1 answer Last reply
More about building htpc
  1. anyone?.. I Am looking for motherboard, and cpu (and do I need a GPU) sugestions?

    Is this in the wrong area?
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt NAS / RAID Build Systems