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MicroServer N36L/N40L/N54L - 6 Drive Edition

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I got some filter foam from e-bay, just do a search, it comes in different size options - works really well. I put it into the front door (easy job as door seperates pretty easy) as well and it seems to stop lots of dust without any affect on airflow - but if its only for occasional use you mkight not have much of an issue. Must say these servers with these simple mods holding 10TB of data (15TB if you use 3TB drives !!) in such a small footprint are really good - so far i am impressed :-)

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I took the 5.25" drive bay bezel from my Antec 1200 which has honeycomb holes and stuck some black filter material behind it and then replaced the blank panel. Started to preclear drive 5 & 6 and read temps of 33 & 32 from the drives while the others ran at 31 & 32. So I am done with this server having 6 Hitachi 3TB Coolspin drives and personally I think this is one of the best solutions for a media server.

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Hi guys. I'm thinking about moving my unraid build to an N36L, think someone could answer a quick question for me?

 

Current build:

 

6 x 2TB SATA 5400RPM Samsung greens.

In a Antec Mini P180 case.

 

PSU: Seasonic 400 Fanless

Fans: 2 * 120mm extremely slow fans (lowest voltage on molex, pin mod)

 

Practically inaudible, except at about 15cm away.

 

How loud would this case be in comparison?

 

Cheers.

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Sam i am - I have the N40L which is the replacement for the N36L (dont know if you are in the UK and can get the reduced price?)

 

anyway i have 6 drives in one server and 4 in a second server. I did the silent PC fan mod which i have to say was much easier than i thought. They say to mount the speed control bracket for this outside the server but i just removed the control knob from the back plate, fixed it to prevent it turning with a small amount of tape to fix the speed base line and taped it to a cable inside so its out of the way.

 

The above mod does not make these silent but it is a quieter, smoother more pleasant sound. I have 2 on my desk and mt normal tower PC is louder than both of them ! you can hear them but i would guess in a normal room, maybe behind a TV or sofa you would need to be listening for the sound rather than it being intrusive. If you have a silent bunker for movie watching then you will hear them but as an overall comment i would say they are quiet, not silent (there are different report and it seems some are louder than others - get one & do the fan mod). The noise of the drives spinning up and "chattering" can clearly be heard above the fan noise.

 

hope that helps but noise is a hard thing to describe ....

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Sam i am - I have the N40L which is the replacement for the N36L (dont know if you are in the UK and can get the reduced price?)

 

anyway i have 6 drives in one server and 4 in a second server. I did the silent PC fan mod which i have to say was much easier than i thought. They say to mount the speed control bracket for this outside the server but i just removed the control knob from the back plate, fixed it to prevent it turning with a small amount of tape to fix the speed base line and taped it to a cable inside so its out of the way.

 

The above mod does not make these silent but it is a quieter, smoother more pleasant sound. I have 2 on my desk and mt normal tower PC is louder than both of them ! you can hear them but i would guess in a normal room, maybe behind a TV or sofa you would need to be listening for the sound rather than it being intrusive. If you have a silent bunker for movie watching then you will hear them but as an overall comment i would say they are quiet, not silent (there are different report and it seems some are louder than others - get one & do the fan mod). The noise of the drives spinning up and "chattering" can clearly be heard above the fan noise.

 

hope that helps but noise is a hard thing to describe ....

 

Yes, I'm in the UK - i've seen the rebate deals and will buy a N40L probably next week after I get back from Nice.

 

Thing is all my systems are basically inaudible, including my office machine. All have big CPU heatsinks (Scythe Ninja's etc) and fanless psus. I really really hate the hum of computers.

 

However, with IPMI and the small form factor, I'm not sure I can resist. My UnRaid machine sits behind my TV atm and my sofas are around 8ft from the TV so I expect the sound would not be an issue.

 

The only thing now is that my setup is 5 x 2TB + 1 x 3.5" cache drive. I think i'd have to replace the cache drive with a 2.5" drive.

 

Also, I'm not sure how easy it will be to transplant my unraid from 1 machine to another. I have no idea if it's all just plug and play these days! Or will I have to fiddle with the unraid disk stuff..

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The only thing now is that my setup is 5 x 2TB + 1 x 3.5" cache drive. I think i'd have to replace the cache drive with a 2.5" drive.

 

Many of us use a Nexus Doubletwin (or similar) to fit 6x 3.5" drives in the Microserver. See posts in this thread for examples.

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Thanks Neil, very helpful. I'll purchase one definitely - should make things easier.

 

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=62063

 

I've just seen this is discussed at spcr - which is where I went for decreasing noise in all my boxes, so I may get a little obsessive with reducing the fan noise from the box. Looks like it will work perfectly :)

 

I'll post a build thread sometime next week.

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If you do the fan mod and went for a pico power supply i think you will get pretty quiet as there will be almost no sound from the fan and nothing from the power supply (mine seem quiet, there are reports of noisy ones due to the samll fast fan inside). I have these 2 servers in my study (given that they are actualy sat next to each other on my desk right now - but that will have to be changed) the noise is still not an issue. would not be good if it were in a silent TV room but one of them at the kind of distances you are talking about would be fine.

 

I am not an expert but my understanding is that as long as you are very clear on which is your parity drive and assign it correctly, same goes for your cache drive you can take your existing setup and just put it into the new box, no different to changing your motherboard etc. your setup is on the thumb drive and so migration should be pretty painless. Look forward to hearing how it goes and what your thought are on the N40L

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Hey guys, I need some help please.

 

I got the older N36L (significantly cheaper than the N40l in the U.S.)

 

I would like to have 6 drives in it. From reading threads it seems that people are using an Icybox for the optical bay, and just sticking a 2.5" drive underneath?

 

I have a 250 gig drive that i could use for a cache drive or OS drive if I go with WHS.

-Anyway, the links for the Icybox seem dead so I don't know what to get.

 

Could you guys give me some exact links to purchase the stuff I will need?

-Including the SATA and ESATA--> SATA and whichever power cables I will need please.

 

I have already done the BIOS mod so I should be able to use the ESATA port.

 

*As i've been reading it seems that a newer cage Nexus Doubletwin let's you use 2 3.5" drives in the optical drive slot?

Would really appreciate it if you guys could guide me. Thanks in advance

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Okay guys, after much reading I just bought this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Nexus-DoubleTwin-Drive-Vibration-Absorber/dp/B001AZHS04

 

That should allow me to fit (2) 3.5" drive into the optical drive bay correct? Everything will fit perfectly and nothing will be sticking out or protruding?

 

-Also, which power cables and SATA cables do I now need? I will ust be putting 2 3.5" drives there.

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maxse: I used a Nexus Doubletwin in my N36L and it fit perfectly with 2x3,5"

 

On another note. I was wondering if there is room below the ODD space for a 2,5" cachedisc if I put a silicon cover on it? I previously used a small SSD as a cache in this space but I´d like a bit more space and was planning on a 2,5" 1TB and put some sort of silicon sleeve to avoid vibrations, but the question is would it fit?

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Maxse - you will need an additional 30cm e-sata to sata cable pref with a 90 degree on one end to go from the back of the server, inside thropugh the card slot area and then to the new drive (make sure its a good quality one, i had trouble with cheap ones not working, the e-sata slot is a bit fussy it seems). You will also need a power splitting Y cable so you have 2 power connectors. there are some good walk throughs of how to do this on the net. Its not a hard job and well worth doing in my opinion. I have my main server with 6 * 2TB drives for 10TB of storage, in such a small and neat box its a great way to go

 

Niklask - dont know if there is room for a 2.5 HDD in there as well, possibly, but i dont know what you would connect it to if you already had 6 drives in the machine? If you are talking about a single 3.5 in the ODD slot with a 2.5 underneath then yes that will fit, its been done by a number of people and the case is a good idea if it does not cause a heat problem for the drive

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maxse: I used a Nexus Doubletwin in my N36L and it fit perfectly with 2x3,5"

 

On another note. I was wondering if there is room below the ODD space for a 2,5" cachedisc if I put a silicon cover on it? I previously used a small SSD as a cache in this space but I´d like a bit more space and was planning on a 2,5" 1TB and put some sort of silicon sleeve to avoid vibrations, but the question is would it fit?

It will fit. There are even photos in this thread. There were photos and/or discussion of the Nexus DoubleTwin in this thread about a year ago.

 

Everything you need to know is in this thread. You just have to read it.  ;D

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Regarding a 2,5" below the ODD. I know it will fit since I used a 2,5" SSD below 2x3,5" that were placed in the ODD in my previous setup. I was wondering if a "normal" 2,5" HDD with a silicon sleeve (like this: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/anti-shock-silicone-protective-case-with-ventilation-for-2-5-hdd-hard-disk-drives-21326?item=8) would still fit even mith the added thickness of the sleeve.

 

I thought it would be a good idea with a sleeve or some sort of silencing cover if I were to place a non-SSD disk loose in this space.

 

On another note, what is the required settings when using the modded BIOS in unRAID. There seem to be some more options besides enabling the extra SATA ports but maybe thats tweaks if you are planning on running Windows or someting else....

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Hey Guys,

I got a double twin recently and 2 more WD greens but I only have one of them installed at the top since I have 5x 2tb and a 500gb scorpio cache.

Just wondering a few things...

[*]Is 6 drives the max to use? I was hoping for 6x2tb and the 2.5" cache below the ODD bay

[*]If I were to put another WD green in the doubletwin should I have it wedged into the enclosure for the ODD so the rubber grips would keep the bottom drive airborne or what is the recommended way to install them? I take it its not too good for heat and vibration to have a disk in contact with the base of the enclosure?

[*]Would you recommend using my spare WD green as a cache ahead of the scorpio and making that into an external usb or I could add the 6th WD to the array and have the scorpio act as cache drive not in the array... running sab etc..?

thanks very much  :D

 

 

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You will only be able to use 6 drives with the Microserver's own 6 SATA ports.

 

I added a SATA HBA PCI-E card and have 2x 2.5" drives below the ODD bay. One is for cache, and it's a 5400rpm WD drive.

For the larger NZBs, I use a category to point to do a directory and unpack to an array drive.

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If you are as annoyed by the brightness of the blue "Health" LED as I am, you will appreciate this little "mod" by someone on OCAU:

 

In essence, you can unclip the plastic thing shown here and tuck the LED behind the metal so it's less like a flashlight:

 

Y3pkW.png

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Nice tip.

 

I put a strip or two of blue painters tape over the head of my flashlight so it was much dimmer.

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Question on that double twin mounting.

I assume it take more room than 1 5,25 bay height when 2 hdd are fitted.

 

Can someone tell me how high this is (in mm preferably)

 

Thansk..

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Question on that double twin mounting.

I assume it take more room than 1 5,25 bay height when 2 hdd are fitted.

 

Can someone tell me how high this is (in mm preferably)

 

Thansk..

It does take up more space than 1 bay, but less than two. It fits in the Microserver with a few mm to spare -- are you looking to put it in a different case? If so, you may find dimensions of the mount on the manufacturer's site.

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I was thinking of using on top of each other. 12 bay case, but if i can only place1 hdd per 5,25 bay, it is not of much use. If i could place 4 discs in 3 positions, i can hold 16' which is almost enough.

Might order 2 sets to try out :)

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I was thinking of using on top of each other. 12 bay case, but if i can only place1 hdd per 5,25 bay, it is not of much use. If i could place 4 discs in 3 positions, i can hold 16' which is almost enough.

Might order 2 sets to try out :)

More than 1 bay, less than 2. For 2 drives. I'm sure it means more than 12 drives per 12 bays, but I dunno how many. This gives an idea, and I think I've seen photos of these in a standard case, so try a bit of googling of the x-swing and the other device like it (mentioned in this thread)

 

WB4bi.jpg

 

Be aware both devices may have been discontinued. Also, be aware they obviously don't have any cooling. Personally, I wouldn't use them in a 12-bay case, I'd use something else.

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I can get them for 6 euro, so it is not a big investment. I now use 5 in 3 units from norco (attach sliders to hdd, slide in) like 12 Euro each, but they are not really locked in well.

Cooling i would fix with 120 mm fans in front of it from top to bottum.

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Hi,

 

I've been running my N36L for the last year with 5 x 2TB drives and a 320Gb cache drive, which got to the point of being rather full :)

 

I've just installed the 6th 2TB drive but I note that the two drives in the double twin in the ODD are getting rather warm..  Does anyone have any suggestions for good mechanisms for cooling them?  I assume leaving the top off is not necessarily a good idea as it it won't help airflow?

 

I've got a 2 channel RocketRaid 620 to give me the extra drive, but someone mentioned having 2 2x2.5" under the ODD - how do you that to fit??

 

Chris

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