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Is This Possible? - Turning Old PC Into NAS with 4-Bay Enclosure


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#1 MZAdotcom

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:19 AM

Hopefully this is the right area for my question. Looked around and didn't find a specific "NAS" area to post, so here goes:

I'm looking to build a NAS with the goal of having a central place for all of our files, backing up our various systems and, maybe on occasion, streaming a bit of audio/video. So far, I've done a good amount of research. For the time being, I'm going for the turning an old PC into a NAS route vs. building one from scratch or buying a prebuilt one. The prebuilt ones seem a bit overpriced IMHO.

The old PC I'm working with is a Gateway desktop with a 1-core Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU, 2GB of 533MHz RAM and a 40GB HDD running Windows XP @ the moment. What I want to do is run FreeNAS through a USB Drive, as is recommended, and use an external 4-bay enclosure for the HDD's. The only downside is that this desktop has only 2 bays, 1 has the HDD and the other a ODD.

I've found everything I want @ Newegg. Here's the enclosure I've been eying: VANTEC NexStar HX4 NST-640SU3-BK 3.5" Black USB3.0 & eSATA Quad Bay HDD Enclosure.

I'm going to go with *2* 2TB HDD's, most likely WD Reds [WD20EFRX].

I know I'm going to need a port-multiplier card for the old PC so I can have eSATA access to the enclosure. The Rosewill RC-216 PCI Express eSATA II x 2 / ATA 133 x1 RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD mode Controller Card seems to fit the bill.

The biggest question mark about this setup for me is: will it work? Can an older PC with 2 HDD's attached to it through an eSATA enclosure run/be used as a NAS with FreeNAS?

Anybody gone through the same experience with their NAS setup? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#2 MZAdotcom

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:05 AM

I'm thinking this might be a better suited question for the FreeNAS Forums. I can post it there, if the moderators think I'd have better luck. Yes/no?

Edited by MZAdotcom, 17 January 2013 - 02:06 AM.


#3 diggi

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

Should be fine, I ran a freenas server off a Pentium II 233mhz Gateway with about 128mb of ram

#4 MZAdotcom

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

Should be fine, I ran a freenas server off a Pentium II 233mhz Gateway with about 128mb of ram



I'm curious, is/was your FreeNAS setup with internal HDD's or an external enclosure? That's the question I need answered. Is it possible? I could build a unit or purchase a prebuilt one, but I really would rather not. Using my existing hardware is the ultimate goal.

Am in the process of getting help from other, more experiences users from both FreeNAS and NAS4Free. So far, I've been told that using an external enclosure is not ideal or 100% advised.

Edited by MZAdotcom, 23 January 2013 - 07:04 PM.


#5 diggi

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:52 PM


Should be fine, I ran a freenas server off a Pentium II 233mhz Gateway with about 128mb of ram



I'm curious, is/was your FreeNAS setup with internal HDD's or an external enclosure? That's the question I need answered. Is it possible? I could build a unit or purchase a prebuilt one, but I really would rather not. Using my existing hardware is the ultimate goal.

Am in the process of getting help from other, more experiences users from both FreeNAS and NAS4Free. So far, I've been told that using an external enclosure is not ideal or 100% advised.


Internal hdds I don't recall if I ever used my external HDD with it




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