PC Tech Forum

NAS Build/Purchase Part 3 - Who Sticks to a Plan Anyway

So, after a few months to mull it over, I ended up going from probably a Thecus or Asustor to a DIY setup which is slight more than I originally budgeted for but allows up to 12 disks (albeit with a change of case required).

2x http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct51272bd160bj
3x https://www.wdc.com/products/internal-storage/wd-red.html#WD40EFRX

The motherboard is a C2550, which is the C0 stepping (not affected by the C2000 intel bug). The nice thing is that it is very low power, passively cooled and supports up to 12 SATA disks. The downside is a mix of SATA2/3 and only USB2. A big plus is the option to team the gbe nics on it, and it has a dedicated IPMI interface. While my switch doesn't support lacp, I may make use of it as a dedicated transfer interface for myself, or a direct to the pi for streaming. It also supports up to 64GB of ram, which may come in handy if I expand storage capacity (zfs likes its ram for caching).

The case is nice and small, yet can hold 6 disks. One downside is that cable management is a bit nonexistant. I plan to tie most of the extras off to the side as much as possible.

There's nothing of real interest with the PSU or HDDs.

I forgot to take pictures assembling everything... but here are some after shots of the mess. The cable hanging down in the last picture is from the case's integrated fan controller which I am not making use of at this time.

Computer Service Calls

This will be an ongoing blog thread about any computer service I do with any of my clients I have. Could be anything to being weird, first time coming across a certain issue and how I fixed it, or just plain darn funny.

So on to my first blog post.

About a month ago or so one of my clients called me saying he couldn't get online. He's been having a lot of issues lately so I drive the hour to his house and turn his computer on and when it gets to the desktop immediately connects to the internet. I hover over the network icon and it says "internet access". I start up a browser and it loads up, but it wasn't his homepage. Can you guess what happened? If you guessed he downloaded something that changed his homepage, you are correct. For some reason he thinks that if his homepage doesn't load he don't have internet. I showed him how to tell if he has internet access. I try to install Teamviewer on all my clients pc's so that if its something simple, I can just connect from home and fix it. But when he says he doesn't have internet, I wouldn't be able to connect to him. So I look in his program list to see what has been installed recently and there were a couple browser addons that change your homepage, maps galaxy being one of them. I uninstall the apps and then run Malwarebytes and Adwcleaner just to make sure nothing else is found. I change his homepage back to what he wanted and within 5 minutes of arriving, I have the issue fixed and on my way out the door. The trip wasn't a waste as I was planning on stopping at a grocery store just down the road from him that carries stuff that we like that aren't stocked in any store near us.

NAS Build/Purchase Part 1

At home we've been using our PCs to host tv/movies that we have downloaded/ripped. Having been burned by my wife's impossibly slow and hard to use windows install, and ever changing smb permissions after windows updates I decided I wanted to look at a real network storage solution. Either a DIY or off the shelf, I'm happy with either but the following factors will be considered:
  • cost
  • ease of use
  • reliability
  • low power
  • quiet
Additionally, I'm looking at 4+ disk solutions. On the DIY front, I could look into configurations that will allow ECC RAM, but since I'm not hosting anything super critical, I decided that it was a nice to have. Drives are excluded from the lists, since it will be a common cost to either a diskless system or a DIY. I had also considered raid enclosures but decided that a hardware raid device connected via eSATA or USB wasn't what I wanted.

A quick search leads to the following candidates

Off the shelf:
DIY Parts list:
I intend to use 4TB drives. Likely HGST Deskstars.

More updates to follow once I actually decide to pull the trigger and buy gear.