Description

Been working on a DIY box for NAS using small form factor parts as a system to backup files from a home network of 5-6 PCs and laptops. FreeNAS or unRAID looks like the best way to go since I will use it mainly as a drive pool for incremental backup of the other PCs. I will not use it as a media/HTPC other than for my digital music library which I've been wanting to fully digitize from all my old CD's.

Update Feb 2018: The system is complete and I installed a trial run of unRAID which was easy to setup and configure. I'll probably stay with it for my storage purposes. I designated the 4TB N300 Toshiba drive as the parity drive and the Crucial SSD as the cache. I established network shared directories for music, family photos, home videos, incremental file history backups etc. to consolidate it all from the other PCs of my family members. It currently has 12TB of usable storage and can go up to 16TB later with the 4TB parity drive since unRAID requires data drives to be same size or lower than the parity. So far it is running well and it came together without any issues. The availability of ECC UDIMM memory was limited and pricey but I wanted a motherboard/RAM/CPU combo with server grade options. Although unRAID does not require high hardware requirements I may try other server OS programs later. Now onto to ripping all my CD's into FLAC and trying out Plex for streaming music!

June 2018 Update: This NAS build has worked out very well and been running smoothly since Feb. The InWin case is great to work with and I like the various server features it has like the slide-out motherboard tray and the LAN 1 & 2 and failure warning LEDs on the case. It was trial and error trying to figure which wires go to the correct LED pin-outs on ASRock motherboard but other than that it all went together nicely. The unRAID OS install was easy and I've set up my shared drives for incremental back-ups and archiving my media. Just finished ripping all my CD's to FLAC and using Foobar2000 as my music file manager. I did install Plex but have not quite figured out the software settings for my unRAID setup yet.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

You poor guy, you don't have any comments. I'm here to save the day!

Very nice build, I love that Inwin case. Can you add more pictures of the inside and out? +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi thanks, appreciate the review/comment. Yeah, a NAS build is not as exciting as a flashy, gaming power-PC so I was not expecting much feedback. It was a good learning expereince and I'm happy to say it has been working very well for the past 4 months. It is a nice addition to my home network and using unRAID works well for my storage/shared drive needs. I'll post a few more pictures soon.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice one!

I have the same case for my backup server and the same mobo in my main server!

Out of curiosity, how are your drive temps doing in the case? I added a fan (with a zip tie and tape) under the drive cage, and it lowered my temps from 45-46C in use to a more reasonable 35-37C.

I'd also be very interested in hearing how you managed to get the front panel leds working and where you plugged them!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, the ASRock C236 WSI has been doing well so far. I took some close-up photos and posted to show how I connected the server LED wires from the InWin case to the pin-outs on the ASRock motherboard which are adjacent to the USB3 connection. There was very little information from either ASrock or InWin on how to connect these so I just tried different arrangements till it displayed OK. My hard drive temps range from mid 30's to low 40's C. I keep this NAS case in a basement where it stays fairly cool.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, could you tell me how you hooked up the front panel? I have the same board and almost the same case, but without the hot swap

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I used the C236-WSI manual available here: http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/C236%20WSI.pdf Pg-17 has the front panel diagram. Pg-18 shows the specific pin-outs for the server auxiliary wire leads but the markings are not easy to cross reference. I had to try different placements.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I saw it, but did not understand where to insert id and fail

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice. I wish I'd built my own instead of getting the Synology one I have. Not that there's anything wrong with it, I just prefer to make my own. Have you had any issues with the Toshiba drives? They seem to be the only reasonably priced 7200 speed drives in the 4TB range, and I'm considering putting together a server using them.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, the Toshibas are doing well. They do run a bit warmer since they are 7200 rpm vs the typical 5400 for NAS drives. I recently swapped out the 1TB 2,5" WD with a Seagate 4TB. I usually avoid Seagate since the reliability rate seems less than the other brands but they are the only ones who made a 4TB version in the 2.5" size that fits on the extra internal mounting inside the case. That way I have 12TB now for storage using the 4TB Toshiba N300 as the parity drive.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you using the stock CPU cooler? Any idea what the max CPU cooler height is?

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, it is the Intel stock low-profile heatsink + fan that came with the 6100 CPU. With it installed there is still about 5mm of space between it and the hard drive caddies.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! I've been looking for this case. How do you like it so far? It seems perfect for a compact NAS/NVR build.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, yes this case works very well for a compact iTX motherboard. Because the case is small the hard drives do tend to get warm since air flow is restricted. I keep mine in a cool basement. Lian Li also makes some nice aluminum iTX size cases.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll check Lian Li out, thanks. I also plan on keeping this in the basement. I can't seem to find this case, I wonder if it's discontinued.

I might go Fractal Design, their Node 304 seems like a good NAS case too.

Thanks for the reply.