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Raj's Prototype Designs [Discussion Thread]

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Yep, looks like a good setup to me.  The Asus motherboard will work just fine.  You definitely need 240 pin DDR2 RAM.  Here's a stick that's cheaper than what you listed:

 

Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model KVR800D2N6/2G - $40

 

Be aware of the various gotchas with today's 2 TB green drives.  WD EARS need a jumper on pins 7 and 8, Seagate LPs need a forced firmware update to CC35, and Samsung F4s should be avoided altogether.

 

I think WD EADS are the only 2 TB green drives that currently don't need something done to them, although they are more expensive than the EARS.  I prefer to just use EARS drives and install the jumpers, I think that's the easiest option right now.

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Raj, Thanks for the fast response.  Going ahead and ordering now.  Thanks for the tip on the cheaper memory.  I love the total cost of this thing.  The PC I am am on now is gaming rig quality and the video card alone was $750.00.  I love how these servers just need quality but cheap parts to do their job. 

 

I guess I'll need to wait until build to see if I need to buy any extra cables and such.  I also like the Green WD EARS - mostly because the price per gig can't be beat.  Amazon had them at $79.99 last week but I see they are at $89.99 now so I'll wait for a good sale price. 

 

 

Yep, looks like a good setup to me.  The Asus motherboard will work just fine.  You definitely need 240 pin DDR2 RAM.  Here's a stick that's cheaper than what you listed:

 

Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model KVR800D2N6/2G - $40

 

Be aware of the various gotchas with today's 2 TB green drives.  WD EARS need a jumper on pins 7 and 8, Seagate LPs need a forced firmware update to CC35, and Samsung F4s should be avoided altogether.

 

I think WD EADS are the only 2 TB green drives that currently don't need something done to them, although they are more expensive than the EARS.  I prefer to just use EARS drives and install the jumpers, I think that's the easiest option right now.

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The motherboard will likely come with 2 SATA cables.  Any others you need you can order from monoprice.com.  They are also a good source of power splitters and other miscellaneous stuff if you need any of that.

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Raj,

 

Another thought... Wouldn't it make some to go with the 500 watt PS even with a 5 bay budget build... just in case I one day go with more hard drives.  The http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139018 is only about $25 more.  Other than pure savings I am thinking the advantage of the smaller PS in the budget 5 drive box is that it would be quieter, use less power, and run cooler while I am at 5 drives max (which is probably where I'll stay but who knows).  Also, if two years from now I go up to 10 drives I may want a fresh PS anyway and at $50 a new one would not be a big deal.

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Raj,

 

I went to go install the icy dock 5 in 3 cage in my antec 900 and it wouldnt fit because of those metal tabs sticking out into the cages. I noticed on your picture of the build with the 900-2 it looks like you bent those tabs out. How exactly did you do it? just curious the best way so i dont have to mess with it too much...

 

Thanks

 

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Raj,

 

I went to go install the icy dock 5 in 3 cage in my antec 900 and it wouldnt fit because of those metal tabs sticking out into the cages. I noticed on your picture of the build with the 900-2 it looks like you bent those tabs out. How exactly did you do it? just curious the best way so i dont have to mess with it too much...

 

Thanks

 

 

A c clamp works pretty well, or you can get a set of Nibblers to cut the tab off.

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A c clamp works pretty well, or you can get a set of Nibblers to cut the tab off.

 

Sweet. i'll try that. thanks for the info & the fast response!

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Another thought... Wouldn't it make some to go with the 500 watt PS even with a 5 bay budget build... just in case I one day go with more hard drives.  The http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139018 is only about $25 more.  Other than pure savings I am thinking the advantage of the smaller PS in the budget 5 drive box is that it would be quieter, use less power, and run cooler while I am at 5 drives max (which is probably where I'll stay but who knows).  Also, if two years from now I go up to 10 drives I may want a fresh PS anyway and at $50 a new one would not be a big deal.

 

Yes, it definitely makes sense to do this if you believe you are likely to upgrade in the future.  The purpose of the 5 drive budget box design is to allow you to upgrade to 10 and 15 drives easily, and with minimal or no wasted parts.  See what I wrote about the budget box expansion path.

 

I went to go install the icy dock 5 in 3 cage in my antec 900 and it wouldnt fit because of those metal tabs sticking out into the cages. I noticed on your picture of the build with the 900-2 it looks like you bent those tabs out. How exactly did you do it? just curious the best way so i dont have to mess with it too much...

 

As prostuff1 said, I use a C clamp.  I went to Home Depot and bought the one with the deepest mouth that I could find.  Many standard sized C clamps won't work as they are too shallow.  I sometimes also use a pair of long needle-nosed pliers to get the bend started, but generally the C clamp alone is enough.  Mine looks very much like this:

NzJQw.jpg

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I went to go install the icy dock 5 in 3 cage in my antec 900 and it wouldnt fit because of those metal tabs sticking out into the cages. I noticed on your picture of the build with the 900-2 it looks like you bent those tabs out. How exactly did you do it? just curious the best way so i dont have to mess with it too much...

 

As prostuff1 said, I use a C clamp.  I went to Home Depot and bought the one with the deepest mouth that I could find.  Many standard sized C clamps won't work as they are too shallow.  I sometimes also use a pair of long needle-nosed pliers to get the bend started, but generally the C clamp alone is enough.  Mine looks very much like this:

NzJQw.jpg

 

great. thanks. i will try tonight

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i was able to bend tabs using needle-nose, hammer & large screwdriver. Thanks for all the advice.

i also received the last of the parts in the mail so i installed everything. did everything but fire it up. Now i just need to download unraid software to my flash drive.

 

Any other advice for a first timer booting up for the first time??

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On the first boot you'll probably need to play around in the BIOS settings to tell the motherboard to boot from the USB drive.  You will also want to set your SATA controllers to AHCI mode and disable anything related to IDE (assuming you aren't using any IDE drives).

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New to unRAID, based on a recommendation from a current user.

 

I've been struggling with an eSATA dock/controller card for about a year. When it works, it is GREAT. Fast, easy, better than standard external drives. When it sucks, I end up re-formatting or having a fit.  ::) For the longest time, I avoided the idea of a file server due to power costs and generally running drives constantly. Apparently, this is not an issue with unRAID. ;D

 

I currently have three 1tb drives (WD 1001FALS), and six 2tb drives (four are WD20EARS, and two are are Samsung HD204UI). I already read about the incompatibility of the Samsung F4 drives. Bummer, as I just bought them prior to Black Friday for $80 each...

 

I very much like the idea of starting with a 5 Drive Budget Box with the eventual idea of expanding to a 15 Drive Budget Box without too much fuss. I do plan to buy the 500W Corsair PSU at the start. I would operate 5 of the drives to begin with, and then once another enclosure is purchased, simply add more drives until I reach capacity.

 

There's my intro, now with the questions:

 

I'm assuming these are still for sale?

Payment methods?

Do they come with a USB drive with license ready to go?

I keep my office cool (under 20C at all times), but it sounds like (from reading other threads) heat issues can very often be overcome with different/better fans, correct?

Are fan controllers integral to these systems? I've actually never used one.

Except for a couple, my drives are either full or within 15% full. Does this present a problem?

Are power plug splitters used to power the 15 hard drives? Looks like the back of the Supermicro CSE-M35T-1B has two molex plugs, plus what looks like the five SATA data connections.

 

Thanks.

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New to unRAID, based on a recommendation from a current user.

 

I've been struggling with an eSATA dock/controller card for about a year. When it works, it is GREAT. Fast, easy, better than standard external drives. When it sucks, I end up re-formatting or having a fit.  ::) For the longest time, I avoided the idea of a file server due to power costs and generally running drives constantly. Apparently, this is not an issue with unRAID. ;D

 

I currently have three 1tb drives (WD 1001FALS), and six 2tb drives (four are WD20EARS, and two are are Samsung HD204UI). I already read about the incompatibility of the Samsung F4 drives. Bummer, as I just bought them prior to Black Friday for $80 each...

 

I very much like the idea of starting with a 5 Drive Budget Box with the eventual idea of expanding to a 15 Drive Budget Box without too much fuss. I do plan to buy the 500W Corsair PSU at the start. I would operate 5 of the drives to begin with, and then once another enclosure is purchased, simply add more drives until I reach capacity.

 

There's my intro, now with the questions:

 

I'm assuming these are still for sale?

Payment methods?

Do they come with a USB drive with license ready to go?

I keep my office cool (under 20C at all times), but it sounds like (from reading other threads) heat issues can very often be overcome with different/better fans, correct?

Are fan controllers integral to these systems? I've actually never used one.

Except for a couple, my drives are either full or within 15% full. Does this present a problem?

Are power plug splitters used to power the 15 hard drives? Looks like the back of the Supermicro CSE-M35T-1B has two molex plugs, plus what looks like the five SATA data connections.

 

Thanks.

 

If you are looking to have a server built for you then Rajahal or myself would be willing to do that.  You can send a private message off to both of us to get further details.

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As prostuff1 said, PM either one or both of us if you want a server built for you.

 

I currently have three 1tb drives (WD 1001FALS), and six 2tb drives (four are WD20EARS, and two are are Samsung HD204UI). I already read about the incompatibility of the Samsung F4 drives. Bummer, as I just bought them prior to Black Friday for $80 each...

 

Bummer, yes, but all hope is not lost.  Here's what I would do in that situation: first, if you have another computer with a modern operating system (Windows 7, etc) in which you would find those F4 drives to be useful, then use them there.  If not, then I would consider trying to get Samsung to replace them with another of their models that is compatible with unRAID (such as the 2 TB F3).  Just tell them that the F4s are incompatible with the system for which you need them, and that this wasn't made clear when you first bought them.  Samsung has done some shady things in dealing with the problems with these F4 drives, so I would have no qualms about turning that back on them and calling their bluff.  If this is too much trouble, then consider trying to sell them or return them to the store if possible.  Finally, as a last resort, you could use them in your unRAID server and just not trust them with anything important.  There are several users that are using the F4 drives in their servers without any reported problems.  However, as I'm sure you've already read, the issue with these drives is the possibility of silently corrupted data.  So you may transfer 1 TB of movies over to the drive without any errors, but then find a few days later that some of the data is corrupt.  In my opinion, not being able to trust some of the drives in my server would make those drives pretty much useless, so I probably wouldn't bother with this last option.

 

I keep my office cool (under 20C at all times), but it sounds like (from reading other threads) heat issues can very often be overcome with different/better fans, correct?

 

Generally speaking, that is correct.  Using only green/low power drives makes a big difference as well.

 

Are fan controllers integral to these systems? I've actually never used one.

 

Generally no, I also have never used one.  Some of the cases, drive cages, etc. that I use come with variable speed fans (low-med-high) that you can set yourself by turning a dial or flipping a switch, but they are not controlled in any automated way.

 

Except for a couple, my drives are either full or within 15% full. Does this present a problem?

 

Possibly.  I'll assume that your drives are all formatted as NTFS or anything else besides what unRAID uses (ReiserFS).  In this case I would recommend starting off with at least one new 2 TB drive, and two if you can afford it.  The first drive would become your parity drive, the second would become your first data drive.  Before you start transferring data, it is a good idea to set your 'min free space' setting on the data drive so that it can't reach 100% full.  The rule of thumb is that you want enough free space for the journaled file system to make a full copy of the largest file on that disk.  So if your largest file is a 15 GB BluRay encode, then set your free space to something like 16 - 20 GB.  You can then start emptying each of your disks one by one by transferring the data to the server, preclearing the old disks and adding them, then repeating.  Start with the less full disks so that you always have enough room even with the 'min free space' setting preventing you from filling to 100%.

 

Are power plug splitters used to power the 15 hard drives? Looks like the back of the Supermicro CSE-M35T-1B has two molex plugs, plus what looks like the five SATA data connections.

 

Sometimes, yes.  I also sometimes use SATA (female) to molex (male) converters to help keep the cabling clean.  However, some PSUs have enough power ports that you don't need them.  With three Supermicro cages you only need 6 molex plugs to power all of them (2 each).  The CX500 has 4 such plugs, so you'll need at least two splitters or converters (and possibly one more to power the fans).

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Great idea's, just missing one thing: CPU: 20 Drive Beast + Intel Celeron 430 =  ???  ???

Doesn't add up, a beast with a celeron

Why not a Celeron E3300 (3x faster than the 430) or better a Pentium E6700 (4x faster)? (see also)

 

I now they are capable of drawing more power (higher tdp) but they scale back voltage more & better:

Celeron 430: 1.05–1.3 V

E3300 / E6700: 0.85–1.3625 V

And they have 2 cores, more capability's to reduce power like: Idle States & Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology so they only ramp up power when you need it (when doing parity check on 20 disks for example)

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Great idea's, just missing one thing: CPU: 20 Drive Beast + Intel Celeron 430 =  ???  ???

Doesn't add up, a beast with a celeron

Why not a Celeron E3300 (3x faster than the 430) or better a Pentium E6700 (4x faster)? (see also)

 

I now they are capable of drawing more power (higher tdp) but they scale back voltage more & better:

Celeron 430: 1.05–1.3 V

E3300 / E6700: 0.85–1.3625 V

And they have 2 cores, more capability's to reduce power like: Idle States & Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology so they only ramp up power when you need it (when doing parity check on 20 disks for example)

 

If all you want to build is an unRAID server that is capable of housing 20 drives then all you need is the celeron 430.

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Great idea's, just missing one thing: CPU: 20 Drive Beast + Intel Celeron 430 =  ???  ???

Doesn't add up, a beast with a celeron

Why not a Celeron E3300 (3x faster than the 430) or better a Pentium E6700 (4x faster)? (see also)

 

I now they are capable of drawing more power (higher tdp) but they scale back voltage more & better:

Celeron 430: 1.05–1.3 V

E3300 / E6700: 0.85–1.3625 V

And they have 2 cores, more capability's to reduce power like: Idle States & Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology so they only ramp up power when you need it (when doing parity check on 20 disks for example)

 

That's why these are prototype builds, you can change them however you like.  The Celeron 430 is perfectly adequate for 20+ drives.  Even during a parity check the Celeron 430 won't go about 10% CPU usage.  If you want to run CPU-intensive add-ons such as Handbrake, AirVideo, etc. then the CPUs you mentioned would be more appropriate.

 

If you can get something like the E3300 for the same price as the Celeron 430 then I would probably recommend it, but normally it is $20-$30 more.

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Raj. Hello. Why the switch from the AMD to the Intel proc on the 20 disk box?

 

 

The i3 gives very good at power control.  It can run with very low idel power but when the extra horsepower is needed for add-ons (AirVideo, etc) it has the needed power.

 

The AMD offerings are not quite as good in the same regard.

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I am setting everything up & having some trouble. For the longest time i could not find "tower" in network places. Finally after turning local firewall off i see it!

 

I was going around in circles until i found the configuration tutorial. Alot of good info in there!

I want to preclear my disks. I am tired of switching my monitor/keyboard back and forth from pc & server.

The instructions say you can use telnet connection. I found Telnet on my PC but have no idea what to do next.

 

What commands do i type into telnet to access "tower"? any help or pointing me to another post that explains this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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If your pc has a telnet executable in DOS, run: telnet tower

OR

telnet IP.OF.TOW.ER

 

When you get a login prompt, type: root

If you have set a password in the gui, enter it. If blank it will dump you into the Linux shell.

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If your pc has a telnet executable in DOS, run: telnet tower

OR

telnet IP.OF.TOW.ER

 

When you get a login prompt, type: root

If you have set a password in the gui, enter it. If blank it will dump you into the Linux shell.

 

thanks. worked great! i knew it was something easy like that. just needed to know HOW to do it

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