Lament - 24bay UnRAID server

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Originally, I planned to build a SFF cube sized server. Even had the name picked out for a cube case.


Then came a deal I could not pass up, for this huge, 24 bay, 78lb beast through tamsolutions on eBay (topic of this post:


Here is how it looks after all my mods to it:








Top down views:






IBdOss.jpg - sata cards

ROqzzs.jpg - RAM



Here are some stats & images of the server as it shipped to me:

Case: 4U AIC RSC-4ED2 (modded greatly now)

Motherboard: Supermicro X7DBE-X (unchanged)

Processor: Intel 1.86Ghz Dual Core E5120 (updated to a faster CPU now)

RAM:  4x Corsair 2GB 240-Pin ECC DDR2 667 PC2 5300 CM72FB2048-667/SD (8GB Total unchanged)

Hard Drive: has internal 160GB IDE drive for OS, but no SATA hard drives in trays.

Includes: Server and 3 power supplies. (removed)

Controller Cards: 3x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 (unchanged)


miYpAs.jpg - back

R3M1zs.jpg - single CPU

F3jiis.jpg - top down

nT8gAs.jpg- internal drive mount


The side fans were not that loud, but the power supply fans & the 2 back Sunon 60mm fans were very loud (think jet engine). I do not have a basement or some closet under the stairs to hide this noise machine. So I knew I would want to make it quieter.


Originally 1.86GHz single dual core CPU... hmm, I can make this faster easily enough  ;D


Litlgi74 from avsforum posted this guide that helped me a great deal.


From local hardware store, I bought this  19" x 29" platform truck. Initially used to move the heavy server into my room. Later, I removed the handle & use it to keep my server easily movable, in & out, from under a table.


The first thing was to remove rack rails (though I kept the ears on & later wrapped my power button onto it). Then removed the internal drive mount & IDE cable; I am booting UnRAID from my USB flash drive, a DTMC/16GB Kingston DT Micro


***** Parts ordered *****

1x 120mm Fan Wall bracket from Norco cases.

1x Back Window also from Norco cases.

2x SilenX 80mm fans 32 CFM / 15 dBA

3x Rosewill Hyperborea 120mm Case Fans 57.53 CFM / 16.05 dBA


1x SeaSonic X750 750W 80Plus Gold Power Supply


2x Intel 3Ghz Dual Core E5160 (4 cores total)

1x Rosewill thermal paste bottle

Reusing the heatsink & CPU fan that came with the server, but need additional 1 of each for the new CPU (purchased from eBay):

1x Intel Socket 771 Copper Heatsink

1x Intel E30325-001 S771 Socket Xeon CPU Cooling Fan


1x package of Aleratec SATA Data Cable, 18in - 12 Pack to neaten the nest of cables (for the closer ports).

2x Brass standoffs - 15pack to raise the MB off the case bottom.

2x Self adhesive rubber feet applied to the bottom of the server to lift off the platform truck (better airflow).

1x Velcro cable wraps (because I dislike plastic zip ties)

1x Double-sided padded adhesive



I removed the original CPU. Installed the 2 new 3GHz CPUs with the thermal paste, heatsinks & CPU fans. Tested, all good... started other mods.


******* Removal *******

Removed all the SATA cards & cables, the side case fans, the power supplies.


Unscrewed all the motherboard screws (including those for the CPU/heatsinks).


Removed lots of case screws to get the original back window plate & power supply enclosure to finally release (including some screws on the bottom of the case).


Removed all the wires from the power supply enclosure with it.



****** Installation ******

Put the 120mm case fans onto the fan wall.


Installed the rubber feet on the bottom of the server.


Lined up the motherboard onto the bottom of the case & marked the holes with sharpie markers (holding up the new back window to see how it lined up). Removed motherboard, checked the marks, put the motherboard back on the case to verify the holes still lined up... all good, onto drilling.


Borrowed a drill & drill bit that would drill through metal. Drilled the holes for the motherboard. Screwed in the brass standoffs (some I could do by hand easily, a couple were stubborn to go in). Screwed a second set of standoffs into the first ones to raise up the board to the height of 2 brass standoff risers.


As Litlgi74 has in his post, the back window does not perfectly fit into this case... it needs a notch cut into it at the top (he has a picture of this). I used my swiss army knife's metal saw to do this as I did not have a drill attachment available.


Screwed in the 80mm case fans to the back window. Removed the PCI slot covers from the slots where my SATA controller cards would be.


Installed the adjusted back window & the motherboard. Everything lined up, YAY! I used some of the double sided adhesive on the back window instead of drilling more holes (was tired of drilling at this point). Screwed in the motherboard, the heatsinks (with new thermal paste) & added the CPU fans on top.


Lined up & screwed the modular power supply to the back window. I have a small piece of cardboard under the back of the power supply to keep it level.


Installed the SATA controller cards.


Labelled both ends of all the cables (already had a label maker, so did not have to order this). Mainly to make things easier on me if I needed to troubleshoot anything in the future. Attached the SATA cables & power supply cables on the drives side of the case (nothing attached on the board or power supply).


Lined up the fan wall with the fans attached.  Put all the power supply cables & the SATA cables through as I wanted them & kept everything neat with the velcro ties. Used more double sided adhesive to attach the fan wall (want to get this together & working without more drilling).


Attach the power supply cables to the power supply.


Attach all the SATA cables to the controller cards.


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Any ideas on how to keep this functionality (fan placement), but have it more secured & look a little nicer?


The area around the controller cards was a little warm without a side case fan near it.  The new back window has several holes over the PCI slots. I decided to reuse one of the side case fans from the original system to pull the air up & out. I removed the side case fan from its housing. Then I needed something to set it upon. I am still keeping an eye out for something better... but I did come up with something that is working for me for now... I took a clean, dry, cream cheese container & cut a hole in the bottom of it. I set the container upside down on the controller cards then put the side case fan with the vent pointing out on top of the container.  Not as pretty / nice as the rest of the mods, but my case runs much quieter & just as cool (if not a little cooler).







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You might be able to mount a ~120mm exhaust fan on the side panel itself. Would give you a lot more options for choice of replacement fan, likely be a lot quieter than those style fans though side panel fans do tend to reverberate the panel a little so traditionally they are noticably noisier than the rear fans. I think it would still be a worthwhile replacement though, provided you don't mind getting the dremel out and drilling a few holes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My unRAID server is using my APC Back-UPS XS-1500.


It is my newest battery backup purchased around June 2012. My unRAID server is the only thing plugged into it.  Have had several brownouts & 2 short blackouts since setting up my server with no interruptions in power to my server.


Unfortunately when taking the pictures of my server, I pulled the dolly out from under the table to get better views... & when I pushed the dolly back under the table, I knocked against the power cord which caused an unclean shutdown. DOH! Luckily it started back up just fine & parity check found no issues.


Right next to that UPS is an APC Back-UPS XS-1300. It was purchased sometime over a year ago. I have my Windows 7 tower that I use for gaming & XBMC to my TV hooked into it. Also use the power surge portion of it for other less essential equipment like monitors & speakers.


My uptime on my unRAID is low because I keep changing things & restarting. I have changed my parity drive from a 2TB to a 3TB successfully. I have changed my cache drive from a 2TB down to a 750GB successfully. Added the old cache & old parity into the array as data drives at different times successfully. As you can see from my sig, I also keep finding new plugins I must try. The UPS & unRAID are working beautifully... so once I stop tinkering with things, I expect to see higher uptimes.

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  • 7 months later...

I was curious about the 120mm fans you chose. With the 4 pin connector they have, where do they plug in for power?


The Supermicro X7DBE-X motherboard (more info on the board: has a total of four 3-pin and four 4-pin fan headers supporting up to 8 fans. I just plugged the fans directly into the board into the 4-pin fan headers.


I bought some extenders because I read some reviews saying the cables were short. Did not need the extenders as the locations of the 4-pin headers were close enough to the fans.


I believe I read somewhere that you can plug 4-pin fans into 3-pin fan headers... that the 4th pin is to control fan speed & that the fan will just run at full speed if only 3-pins are used. Not positive & I do not have any links to back this up at the moment (so if you decided to try plugging a 4-pin fan into a 3-pin header, do so at your own risk). Was not an issue for me since I had both headers available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be interested in what you get for minimum power draw with your system.  I don't use mine on all the time so it doesn't matter to me.


I'm guessing your APC UPS is still reporting this tamsolutions system pulling over 200 watts at idle??  Thats the best I could get with mine, however my X9SCM with i3 Sandy Bridge will drop below 60w at idle with similar capacity but all drives spun down.  Since the tamsolutions systems I have are just used for backup, they only run 2 hrs per day at most.


The next step for me is to put new MB and CPU in one of these....


Power draw documented here:

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