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Poglavica

Building a Home Media Server from an old PC.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

In short I will be combining 2 HDD's in an very old PC rig that I want to turn into a Server to store movies and shows on so everyone in the house can use them on their computers.

My idea to do this was to install windows on the PC and open remote control so I can connect with my main PC and run downloads on the server PC.

Or should I go with freeNAS (which im pretty new to) and use it to start downloads and share media on our network?

 

P.S. I'm really new to the whole server / NAS world so keep that in mind if I said something dumb in this post.


Main Rig 

CPU: Intel i7 6700 

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 

MB: MSI H110M PRO-VD 

RAM: HyperX 2x4GB 2133MHz 

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel 

SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5''  

HDD: 1TB Seagate Baracude 

PSU: Corsair CX650M

 

Home Media Server (old PC)

Under construction

 

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You will be able to remote-control the server under most (all?) operative systems, and if the native way isn't convenient to you, there will be third-party utilities for it. Hence, you should be covered on that dimension regardless of how you choose to set your server up.

 

FreeNAS is a common choice (and free), as is LTT's favorite Unraid (non-free), for your purpose. But you can always just set it up with normal Windows os Linux and have it share the relevant folders over the network. It's probably less efficient, and less flexible if you want anything else on top of sharing files, but it would work.

FreeNAS comes with its pros and cons, such as being widely used, tested, and meant for the job, as well as an official community convinced that unless you built an enterprise-grade file server you don't deserve any help and in fact you'll lose all your files any minute anyway :P 

 

If you don't need to run Windows-specific programs on the server (and if you are considering FreeNAS, I assume you don't), it could be an opportunity to install a Linux distribution on it and tailor it to your needs. That may take longer, though, as you will have to make many decisions usually made for you (like what file system will be better for your use case), but with the time and will you'll get there and probably learn a lot along the way. The opposite extreme is to just build a windows machine like any other in the hose and simply have it share folder(s) locally, "quick and dirty".

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If you have a Windows license and just want to share movies and shows on your network, Windows 10 Home will work just fine. Add the two HDDs (Windows RAID or hardware RAID) and share that. If you want DLNA (media sharing) you can activate that too, then right-click on the folders and add the folders you want to Video library.

For more advanced web services you need Win 10 Pro.

 


Politics: "Poli" a Latin word meaning "many" and "tics" meaning "bloodsucking creatures".

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So one of the reasons why I wanted to go with windows is because I have 2 small HDD's (350 GB and a 500GB) which will be enough for the amount of movies and shows that I plan to download anyways. Therefore I've heard that using freeNAS means you cannot upgrade later on (dunno if that's true or not just remember hearing it somewhere) so would having windows be more convenient if I do decide or need more storage to upgrades later on. Ok did some research and wanted to ask if its worth doing RAID 1 on a 350 GB and 500GB HDD and how much storage would I end up with?


Main Rig 

CPU: Intel i7 6700 

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 

MB: MSI H110M PRO-VD 

RAM: HyperX 2x4GB 2133MHz 

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel 

SSD: Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5''  

HDD: 1TB Seagate Baracude 

PSU: Corsair CX650M

 

Home Media Server (old PC)

Under construction

 

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Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Poglavica said:

So one of the reasons why I wanted to go with windows is because I have 2 small HDD's (350 GB and a 500GB) which will be enough for the amount of movies and shows that I plan to download anyways. Therefore I've heard that using freeNAS means you cannot upgrade later on (dunno if that's true or not just remember hearing it somewhere) so would having windows be more convenient if I do decide or need more storage to upgrades later on. Ok did some research and wanted to ask if its worth doing RAID 1 on a 350 GB and 500GB HDD and how much storage would I end up with?

You can expand a ZFS pool by appending vdevs. This is basically a pool of drives that you created a RAID level on and added to the primary pool. I believe you are required to add a number equal to or exceeding the volume of a single vdev. Little more complicated than just adding a disk but you can expand existing pools on FreeNAS.

 

Assuming it lets you create the RAID you'd have one 350GB logical volume. RAID1 is a mirror and it can only mirror up to the capacity of the smallest drive.


Guides & Tutorials:

How to Format Storage Devices in Windows 10

A How-To: Drive Sharing in Windows 10

VFIO GPU Pass-though w/ Looking Glass KVM on Ubuntu 19.04

A How-To Guide: Building a Rudimentary Disk Enclosure

Three Methods to Resetting a Windows Login Password

A Beginners Guide to Debian CLI Based File Servers

A Beginners Guide to PROXMOX

How to Use Rsync on Microsoft Windows for Cross-platform Automatic Data Replication

 

Guide/Tutorial in Progress:

A Beginners Guide to Servers

 

In the Queue:

[Taking Suggestions]

 

Don't see what you need? Check the Full List or *PM me, if I haven't made it I'll add it to the list.

*NOTE: I'll only add it to the list if the request is something I know I can do.

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