good place to post your setup and get feedback from others.

Postby lpg on Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:05 am

Chenbro SR107
3Ware 9500 12 port card
300gb SATA I drives (built 1 year ago)
ram 2gb
CPU AMD 3800+
ASUS 939 mobo
PC Power and Cooling 510 with custom harness

My system runs 24x7 and serves up movies and music.

I have tested 3 machines pulling different movies with no problems.
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Postby y2kdeuce on Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:48 am

With all this digital media, I need a NAS solution. I'm looking at (great vendor btw) and considering building a server. Then I look at ebay and see this ... dZViewItem

I could probably build one for less, but this looks pretty sweet and it's already done.

What are you running? If you've built it yourself, please include MB, Processor, RAID card, raid type, drives and OS. It'd be good to know configurations that work. :)

Thanks in advance,

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Postby cinOxen on Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:50 am

Chenbro RM41416B:


MOBO: Supermicro PDSGE
CPU: Pentium D 2.8 Ghz
Raid Card: RAIDCore BC4852

Using all eight channels right now with 500GB drives. When I need to expand I should be able to add a second RAIDCore BC4852, span the controllers and have all drives in one array.

OS is windows 2003 server x64

This configuration seems extremely stable. I also use this computer for work and browsing. I also like the ability to add drives without powering down or rebooting.
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Postby y2kdeuce on Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:19 pm

Thanks guys, but I decided to build one. I have a machine to rape for parts. Mid tower case, P4 3.2 ghz processor, 80 gig IDE hard drive for the base. Add to that I'm buying the following;

Supermicro P4sci Motherboard 205.99
Supports my socket 478 P4 processor and PCI-X for the raid card

3Ware 9550SX-8LP Raid controller 482.04

Six 500GB Western Digitals - 166.90 each ... ode=101258

Last but not least, a power supply that should be equal to the task. 103.00

End of the day I should have 2 T of *fast* usable storage in RAID 5 for under 2k. :)
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Postby bmblank on Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:28 pm

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Postby BaddaBing on Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:00 am

Good luck to you - a media server is the way to go.

I'm running a 3.2 Terabyte Media Server 8)

May I make a few suggestions?

The 3.2 processor is overkill - no need for that much processing power for a media server - but if its what you got - use it. Otherwise save all that processing power for your HTPC or office PC and stick a cheap CPU in the box. You didn't mention memory - 512 minimum.

Reconsider using standard RAID and consider something like unRAID.
I started with an almost identical set up to what you propose - now I'm running Lime Technology unRAID.

Why? Because RAID was designed for UPTIME - not data security. Even with RAID you still need to back up your data. If 2 drives in a RAID array die (and it will happen) then the entire array is gone.

Don't think 2 drives will die at once? Consider this - you are buying all the disks at the same time therefore all the disk will reach end of life at the same time. Making multiple failures a real possibility.

With unRAID if multiple drives die the most you lose is the data on the drives that die. Everything else is totally recoverable. If a single drive dies then you lose nothing (as long as you replace the drive before another one dies)

With unRAID you only spin up two drives at a time - the target disk and the parity disk=LESS HEAT+ LOWER ENERGY COST+ LONGER DISK LIFE

unRAID allows you to use disks of different size - as long as the parity disk is the largest. (throw in a 750 GB for the parity drive and you can then add any size drive at any time)

You can expand your unRAID array at any time - or - add a larger drive - copy data over from the smallest drive in the array - then remove the small drive and replace it with a larger - repeat! :D

unRAID is HUNDREDS of dollars cheaper than any decent RAID card and allows you to run up to twelve disks. (11 + 1 parity)

unRAID supports both PATA and SATA drives

I understand that this looks like a paid advert - but no - I don't have any association with or financial arrangements with them - its just good shit.

check out the unRAID website here:

and check out what they say about it on AVS here:
and here:

The biggest complaint you will see regarding unRAID is that it is a one man operation and that he sometimes disappears from the unRAID forum for days at a time (does that sound familiar?) - or people will have a hard time setting it up if they don't use the recommended hardware but he has never taken anyones money or ripped anyone off.

(just my opinion - YMMV)
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Postby y2kdeuce on Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:48 am

BaddaBing you're killin' me! Wish I knew about this before I placed my order. Looks like a great solution! Is it fast? I would think a soft-raid solution would be pretty slow. I thought about ordering drives from different vendors and different brands to get away from the potential simultaneous failure scenario. Guess I'll just power the thing off if one fails. DVD media is pretty cheap for backups and of course I still have the original disks. ;)

btw, I planned to use 2 gigs of ram I also already have on hand.

Hmmmm wonder if I can return that $500 raid card.... It might be headed to eBay soon.

Building a couple htpc's are next on the agenda, as is running Cat5 to my TV's. I can tell already this is going to be an expensive hobby.
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Postby BaddaBing on Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:10 pm

Looks like a great solution! Is it fast? I would think a soft-raid solution would be pretty slow.

Well it is a great solution as far as I'm concerned. As for speed, I've had no problems copying to or reading from the array - just need to be a bit patient when you add new drives as it takes a while. But it is not really much different from what I experienced when I expanded a standard RAID array. Just make sure you use the recommended NIC cards and IDE controllers
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Location: DFW Texas

Postby y2kdeuce on Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:00 pm

Yeah, those linux solutions are not fun if you don't have the right hardware (drivers). Reminds me of the Linux Router Project Instead of loading linux onto a USB drive, everything needed to run the thing fit on a 1.44 mb floppy disk. I built one for fun once. My only exposure to Linux to date. Spent half my time matching up drivers and NICs.

Let me ask a stupid question about unRAID. The illustration shows one parity drive with 11 data drives. Is that right? Could I really load up 11 500 GB data disks with only 1 500 GB parity disk, or is there a 1:1 parity to data relationship required? One of the reasons I wanted a RAID5 solution is the storage efficiency it offers - one pairty disk to per 2 data disks. In my situation I will have 6 500 MB drives. I expect to have 1 TB of pairity on 2 drives and 2 TB of usable data space on the remaining 4.

I really like the fact unRaid can spin down drives not in use. That's brilliant! Ideal for a media server that doesn't need all of the data available at all times. Wake on LAN will have to do for now.
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Postby BaddaBing on Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:10 am

Yes, one drive will act as a parity drive for up to 11 drives.
The only requirement is that the parity drive be the same size or larger as the biggest drive in the arrray.
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Postby abobader on Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:10 pm

Thanks BaddaBing for point to this great unRAID.

I sure like to try it out, sadly it only support low end controllers.

My best.
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