Jump to content

My modified chassis unRAID build (56k Warning)


Recommended Posts

My unRAID build from 12 months ago (yes, I am THAT lazy it takes me a year to upload the photos).

It all started with "does anyone want these? i'm going to throw them out.." I couldn't resist.


About a month and a half of casual modifying and more kebabs and beer than you can poke a stick at..














After Painting:




After Painting + Parts:






OS at time of building: unRAID Pro v4.6 rc2 (now 4.7)

CPU: Intel Core i3 540 (3.06GHz Dual Core)

Motherboard: Gigabyte H57M-USB3

RAM: 2GB DDR3 1333Mhz Kingmax

Case: Custom Modified Full Tower

Drive Cage(s): 5x Welland ME-751 3.5" SATA Trayless Racks

Power Supply: Corsair VX550W 80 Plus

SATA Expansion Card(s): Nil

Cables: 10x 90cm Right Angled SATA Cables

Fans: Stock CPU Cooler, 2x 120mm CM Intake, 2x 92mm Antec Exhaust, 1x 120mm PSU Exhaust

Other: Deepcool Rockman 3.5" Bay Controller & Epic Smiley Badge


Parity Drive: 2TB Seagate Barracuda LP

Data Drives: 5x 2TB Seagate Barracuda LP, 1x Western Digital GP

Cache Drive: 1x 150GB Western Digital Raptor 10K RPM

Total Drive Capacity: Raw 11TB, Redundant 9TB, Formatted 8.17TB


Primary Use: Media & Backup Server

Likes: Custom modified makes it unique and "my own." Sound proofing makes it VERY quiet.

Dislikes: Internal drives not easily removed, next time will use more mobile racks. Wheels are terrible on carpet. Server is "Top Heavy" :-P

Add Ons Used: Nil

Future Plans: 1x Adaptec Raid 1430SA PCI-E, more drives, eventually a new case

Power Usage: Not much, although my home energy monitor is too inaccurate to post numbers.


Modifications Made:

- Replaced top drive cage with a better one

- Upgraded top exhaust fans from 2x80mm to 2x92mm

- Added 2x120mm intake fans (previously none)

- Cut out much larger intake on the bottom of the front panel

- Replaced rear slot covers with black vented ones

- Cutout motherboard tray for cable management

- Polished and installed custom hard drive rails (inspired by bjp999 - thanks!)

- Removed feet and replaced with wheels

- Bogged up front reset switch, power & HDD LEDs

- Spray painted everything black

- Installed sound deadening to top, front, bottom, middle and side panels

- Installed 5x Welland Trayless HDD Racks

- Other minor cuts/modifications to make stuff "fit"

- Increased total drive support from ~6 drives to 17 :-)


I only ended up using one box but i figured if we cut something we shouldn't at least we would have a "spare" from the other case.

LOTS of photos of the whole build but I havent bothered uploading the whole log here. Let me know if you want any more pics :-)


92mm Fans (Test fit over where the 80mm fans used to sit.. they barely fit):




92mm Fans mounted & exhausting right off drives:




92mm Fans (Rear): 




120mm front fans & drives mounted:












26/06/12 Edit: Fixed broken image links & added some new images

28/06/12 Edit: Removed 5x2TB image as already posted below (didn't notice) - Will fix other doubles and add more photos when i get more time

Link to comment



You just gave me nightmares...


I have 5 very similar server towers in my garage.

Mine have square edges instead of rounded and vents on the top cover.

I picked them up from a job i did in like 1999. They are dual CPU Pentium Pros (P1 lol) and Ultra SCSI drives.


I think i used those puppies for about 5 years.


About once a year i stop and look at them and picture some sort of crazy server mod.

120mm fan mods including top blowholes.. maybe dremeling out the front to fit 4 5in3 cages.


I think the only reason i kept them is because i had 5 matching cases (and i have 4 mid towers that match them).

I like it when all of my stuff is the same. there is something about it cosmetically.


You just made me shiver thinking about that..


Anyways, nice mod.

I bet it felt good once you were done and it powered up.

nothing like the bragging rights to say "i made that".....

Link to comment

I bet it felt good once you were done and it powered up.

nothing like the bragging rights to say "i made that".....


You bet. I did do a "test build" on the bench first and checked all the drives etc.

Overall I'm really happy with it though.. temperatures are fantastic and the box is extremely quiet, even with all the drives running.


I do have to give a massive thanks to my mate Jono for all his help with the mods, couldn't have done it without him.

I've included a photo of him plasma-cutting in thongs as a reminder of how awesome he is :P











Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

hay, you inspired me :-),  I am building mu first unRaid using very similar case as you did.


mine is not a server case though, but an old full tower from P4 PC

no room to route cables behind the MB, and after I put int my PSU

not much room for a drive cage either.


but will work for now...

Link to comment

I still like this...


I have some of these http://www.dansdata.com/q500.htm inwin q500 in my garage...

to nice to toss out, but not sure what to do with them in a time in my life where "smaller is better"..



The best use for me is to put a board across 2 of them and make a desk/workbench... maybe....


although the OP found a use.



Can I have one!!!!?  can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,can I ? ,



Link to comment

More photos to keep people interested;


The old drive cage held 4 drives and the drives sat horizontally, we butchered a cage from an old Antec case that held 5 drives but needed to be mounted sideways.

The new cage has MUCH better airflow, there was no way I was using the cage the case came with.


Side view of old cage (4x junk drives)



Side view of new cage (5x junk drives)



Front view of old cage (4x junk drives)



Front view of new cage (5x junk drives)



New cage painted w/ drives (5x 2TB Seagate LP's)



Top view w/ SATA cables



28/06/12 Edit: Removed double posted images

Link to comment

Sandpaper, finer sandpaper, finer sandpaper, wax & grease remover, primer, matte black spray paint, sometimes second coat black spray paint


No clears or anything, kept the "matte" look. Have photos of a lot of the painting process, if you want me to post just let me know :-)


makes me fell like a lazy bum.

all I did was hose wash it with soap in the backyard,  "Rustoleum" brown rustproof primer, and "Rustoleum" black satin paint.


but this is not the end as I am planning to get a better case some time in the future sao this is just to  tie me over for a year or so  :P8)

Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

Looks awesome.  I went to the Thursday "flea market" in town.  I saw a guy selling an old Dell Full server tower, and I started thinking about modifying it to make a possible monster server, but my dreams were literally destroyed when the wife said, "Don't even think about it."  :-[

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...