DIY NAS

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Stephen Howard, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. I have four laptops at home running W2000, each with their own
    collection of photos, mp3s, etc, and it seems sensible to me to put in
    place some kind of central storage via the Buffalo router.
    I'm knee deep in old computers - so the question is, is it worth
    turning an old compy into a NAS box or is a dedicated NAS box a better
    bet ( bearing in mind the compy is a free solution, and I'm a
    cheapskate )?
    Speed isn't an issue - though the option of being able to run twin
    drives with one removeable seems like a good idea.

    Regards,
     
    Stephen Howard, Jan 8, 2008
    #1
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  2. Stephen Howard

    Rob Morley Guest

    To some extent it depends on the likely usage pattern - a Linux box
    running 24/7 is going to use more energy than a dedicated NAS box, but
    if you won't be using it that often you can set it up to use wake-on-
    LAN.
     
    Rob Morley, Jan 8, 2008
    #2
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  3. Stephen Howard

    Jeff Gaines Guest


    If you've got the bits then why not. Have you discovered FreeNAS?

    http://www.freenas.org/
     
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 8, 2008
    #3
  4. Stephen Howard

    /Tx2 Guest

    On 8 Jan 2008 12:49:00 GMT Jeff Gaines
    from the village of
    felt we might be interested in the following...


    Can this just be 'installed' on a PC, and it works.... or is some sort
    of configuration, akin to setting up an OS, required?
     
    /Tx2, Jan 8, 2008
    #4
  5. Stephen Howard

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    It is an OS, a heavily pruned version of Linux. When I was playing with it
    about a year ago I installed it on a memory stick and booted from that, it
    must have been easy or I wouldn't have been able to do it :)
     
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 8, 2008
    #5
  6. Stephen Howard

    Bernard Peek Guest

    It's a complete OS, based on FreeBSD which is very much like Linux. It's
    free and pretty straightforward to set up. You have nothing to lose by
    trying it. I'm using it on an old PIII/500 machine with 128Mb memory and
    a 160Gb disk. Works a treat and hasn't given me any problems at all.
     
    Bernard Peek, Jan 9, 2008
    #6

  7. Thanks for the suggestions guys - FreeNas looks very interesting
    indeed. I've downloaded the iso, I'll have a fiddle with it and see
    what happens!

    Regards,
     
    Stephen Howard, Jan 9, 2008
    #7
  8. Stephen Howard

    Bernard Peek Guest

    I should add that although FreeNAS is based on a Linux-like OS you don't
    need any knowledge of Linux to use it. Installation and configuration is
    menu-driven. Being based on FreeBSD is an advantage, BSD based systems
    are often chosen for high-security and high reliability applications.

    Please let us know how you get on with it.
     
    Bernard Peek, Jan 9, 2008
    #8

  9. So far not so good!

    Managed to avoid carefully reading the manual and installed Freenas to
    a drive containing 160gb of data ( with a couple of small free
    partitions at the start ) on the basis that it would take the first
    two partitions for itself and leave the rest.
    Bit of a mistake - it completely wiped the drive.
    No big deal, one nifty freeware ntfs recovery tool later and things
    were back as before.

    Tried to install it to a couple of usb flash drives, and although
    apparently successful neither would boot on two different machines (
    both usb boot capable ) - and as I can't yet see that it can be
    installed to a drive containing ntfs or fat partitions ( data ) it
    would mean either using a ufs partition on a large disk or using a
    small drive to boot up with - neither of which is a practical
    solution.

    But, if I can find a usb stick/machine that boots, or figure out how
    to slap an ntfs partition on the same drive, I think it shows great
    promise.

    Regards,
     
    Stephen Howard, Jan 13, 2008
    #9
  10. Stephen Howard

    Bernard Peek Guest

    I believe there are several warnings about that. But I rarely read
    manuals either.
    If you have space on another disk you could copy the data off, install
    FreeNas then copy the data back. I'm not sure whether it would be
    possible to install FreeNas and then repartition the disk to add an NTFS
    partition. I'm not sure why you want one though.

    You can install a more general-purpose Linux distro, those will usually
    be capable of repartitioning a disk with existing data. The advice I've
    picked up from elsewhere is that the best option is to use the gParted
    system to repartition the disk then install Linux on the unpartitioned
    space. Ubuntu, or any of the other generalist distros, can be used to
    build a NAS system but they require a fair amount of work to configure.

    There is an article in the latest Linux Format on how to recycle an old
    PC. You might like to take a look at that.
     
    Bernard Peek, Jan 13, 2008
    #10
  11. Well, partly it was a 'I wonder if...' exercise. Always worth a try!
    I want to be able to remove the disk to archive the data to a machine
    on another site - and I don't want to have to faff about with
    different file systems that won't be readable on W2000/XP.
    I've got a couple of articles about using Linux as a media server etc.
    - but then I wonder whether I'd be just as better off using a plain
    W2000 box and simple file sharing.

    I'll keep at it for the time being...there are always ways around
    these problems ( I hope! ).

    Regards,
     
    Stephen Howard, Jan 13, 2008
    #11
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