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File server (NAS) from salvaged parts

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dan6611, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. dan6611

    dan6611 Thread Starter

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    So I ripped apart an old win98 PC. It has a power supply with only IDE connections, a motherboard with only IDE ports and what I believe is an AMD Athlon/Duron processor around 1.3GHz or something, from roughly the year 2000. It has 512MB RAM and some kind of integrated graphics not even worth mentioning. With a new case, I would like to go about making this into a file server to keep all of my main storage, so that I can share across multiple PC's (and Macs, I must add) and get lots of stuff of the main hard drive of my PC. Here are a number of issues/questions I would like to address. I would appreciate any responses!

    1 - If I get a SATA PCI card, how fast will the transfers be? Im sure there must be limitations as to what the speed is in relation to the speed of a normal integrated SATA port. I assume a SATA II hard drive will work on these ?

    2 - Will SATA II drives require a new power supply? The one I have now I'm not sure of the wattage, as it is not with me at the moment. Will I need some sort of new PSU to be able to power any SATA drives? And if so, will the new PSU unit be compatible with my old school (circa 1999) motherboard?

    3 - Can I use an old IDE hard drive (40gb) attached via a ribbon cable to the motherboard as the main hard drive for installation of my OS, and use the other SATA drives for main storage?

    4 - Which OS should I use? Im leaning towards a full linux distro, such as Ubuntu/Ubuntu Server. What benefits does Ubuntu server have? I would much rather a full OS like this than one such as FreeNAS, but I do not know much about server details of any of these. This server WILL NOT be on all the time (24/7), I will only boot it up when necessary to access or transfer files to other computers.

    5 - I am also interested in a RAID 1 setup, where I can mirror the contents of one drive onto another, so if one drive goes down the other has the same data. Is there software tools on any of the OS' that I can use to achieve this ? And also, is it possible to do it with say 4 hard drives or 6 ? I assume an even number will be needed, so mirroring would be 1=2, 3=4, 5=6 etc.

    So a range of questions here, as you may tell this is my first server. I would appreciate details of any other cool or useful things I can use it for once its all set up! Thanks guys :cool:
     
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I have something quite similar [home server made from pulled parts] it is somewhat newer however the concept is the same.
    As long as the pw supply has sufficient amps/wattage, you can use a sata pw adapter to pw the drive
    Sure you can use an old ide drive for the os. I have win2k installed on an old 80gig ide type drive with 2 750gig WD black drives for the media, backup files, etc.

    I am not a linux guy so I cannot really tell you if it will do what you want. I use win2k as the server os and it works great.

    IMO raid is not for the home user. I would just use the drives as separate drives. As for the controller card, you can buy cheap ones or you can buy a highpoint or promise card. You get what you pay for so I would not go cheap. In regard to speed, no mech hard drive even comes close to sata1 speed. There should be no speed loss over mb sata; they are both only going to give you 80~90mps at the very best and that is with high end WD drives ie black series w/32meg of cache.
     
  3. dan6611

    dan6611 Thread Starter

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    Ok thanks very much! That covers most areas of my questions. Still stuck on the OS, but for SATA power i just need Molex to Sata adapters right ?
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Yes just like this
     

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  5. prunejuice

    prunejuice

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    I would recommend you not use a server edition of Ubuntu unless you have experience with remote access to headless Linux units. You can use an Ubuntu variant like Lubuntu that uses LXDE desktop environment. It'll be more forgiving on systems lighter on RAM.
     
  6. dan6611

    dan6611 Thread Starter

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    Ok thanks guys, much appreciated :D
     
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