This was my Windows XP machine for the better part of a decade, maybe longer...not sure what year I originally built it. I built a new gaming rig last year, and was looking to give this machine some sort of purpose. I tried a couple different Linux distros on it, and was less than impressed. It was the old hardware, not the OSes.
I started looking for a GPU to update this machine for Linux...and that turned into an entirely new (re-cycled) build for Linux...that still left this machine sitting. I had read about NAS...and thought why not? I fought with FreeNAS for hours...and was basically ready to throw in the towel and do what a buddy had been begging me to do with this machine for a while...put it down for good...via the 4x4 in the driveway! :D
I have a hard time tossing something that is working...so I didn't cave, not yet...Then I stumbled across NAS4Free, and thought OK, last chance... I had it running in 15 minutes. I've been using it as a movie server ever since.
I've not had a single issue with it. I was reading about a build on here a few days ago running NAS4Free that in the comments sections people were talking about ECC RAM, and that you can't do a ZFS drive pool unless you use ECC RAM. I'm running a ZFS pool with NON ECC RAM. It's probably NOT recommended...but there is no mission critical data on this machine, it's simply a media server. I'm NOT worried about losing data, I own the physical media to everything on the server...all I could potentially lose is time.
I've had as lot of fun playing around with this, I like learning new things, and giving old things a purpose again. For what I need/want it to do, it's basically perfect.
So the parts:
The case, motherboard, CPU, and RAM were all in use for years as my only PC, running Windows XP. My PSU died about 6 months before I built my gaming machine, and a friend gave me the Rosewill that's in this build. 630w is beyond overkill, but it was free. The hard drives had been pulled for the re-cycled Linux build. The friend that supplied the PSU, donated the two hard drives as well. Between the two of us, we've been building PCs for over 20 years...so we have all kinds of old parts stock piled.
I had the USB drive as well. It's the oldest, smallest, and until this build basically most worthless drive I owned. Too small for my normal day to day use. Perfect for this build. Initially I had it plugged into a back USB port. I found an old case back plate that had two USB ports that were bolted to the plate. So I had an idea...I took the plate, unbolted one of the ports and removed it. I connected it to one of the motherboard USB headers, and plugged the USB drive into it, and just stuffed it inside the bottom of the case, out of harms way, out of sight.
If I ever stumble across the drive bay covers that were originally with this case...I'll pull the ROM drives and floppy drive. Although they are actually hooked up, from when it was the XP machine...they serve no function or purpose in this build, other than to avoid having exposed open drive bays. I did not include them in the parts list for this reason. Also regarding the case...I have no idea whatsoever what brand it is. If anybody knows, I'll add it to my parts list.
Playing with this, has me thinking about building a 100% new NAS server in the not too distant future.