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Need a new NAS/Media server...

Too many options not enough knowledge.

 

Basically I have a "server" with 4 - 8TB drives in raid 0 (hardware raid via M/B) running plain ole windows 10. I mainly only run a plex server but on rare occasions run game servers as well, or anything I want. I really want to switch to an actual server OS but what I'm afraid of is losing everything in the process. I imagine that since my raid is on a M/B level I shouldn't lose anything by installing windows server/Linux/Unraid/etc. I just need someone smarter than me to confirm that.

 

With the thought that I might lose everything I figured it would be best to build a new server from scratch then transferring all my data over. I would be doubling my capacity to 64TB with 4 - 16TB Nas drives but that's about where my wit ends.

 

I've searched Amazon and Newegg and found a multitude of NAS Raid arrays from synology and the likes. I'm sure, however, that's cost ineffective to building a regular PC running server software. I've also thought about just finding a raid external enclosure but as stated before there's too many options.

 

I can google all I want but everything just looks like gibberish to me. I've had a friend of mine and even looked through some posts on here that explain Unraid and I can't make heads or tails of it. I have determined though that Unraid is most likely my best option. I did read something that said it will let you add drives later on? Does that mean you can essentially increase your capacity on a raid 0 without reformatting and losing everything? Or is it just adding another drive like normal? If that's the case then I definitely need that cuz then my current 4 drives wouldn't go to waste.

 

With all that I would have a plethora of other problems my main concern I'd maintaining a headless system, minus initial setup of course, as I currently just use RDP being windows and all. I used to remote in outside my network but found out that was a bad idea to forward those ports. I was told to use OpenVPN but again couldn't make heads or tails of it to get even remotely close. 

 

At this point, as you can probably tell, I have no idea what I'm doing and just need someone to ELI5. My preferred option to start would be that my hardware raid holds up and I can just run unraid, probably even without uninstalling windows, being it runs on a USB. worst case scenario... my budget is about $1500 and the drives already take up $1100 of that. If Unraid allows adding more drives later then I really only need 2 drives to start which opens that budget a lot.

 

Worst worst case scenario... is there a rentable server based solution that could still run everything I need with 50-100TB for less than $100/month?

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360mm AIO 
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
Monitor: 3x 27" AOC Gaming monitor with QHD 2K 2560x1440 144hz
Keyboard: Logitech G915 
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Headphones: Sennheiser RS 175

Mic: Blue Yeti

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2 minutes ago, MrSimplicity said:

Too many options not enough knowledge.

 

Basically I have a "server" with 4 - 8TB drives in raid 0 (hardware raid via M/B) running plain ole windows 10. I mainly only run a plex server but on rare occasions run game servers as well, or anything I want. I really want to switch to an actual server OS but what I'm afraid of is losing everything in the process. I imagine that since my raid is on a M/B level I shouldn't lose anything by installing windows server/Linux/Unraid/etc. I just need someone smarter than me to confirm that.

 

With the thought that I might lose everything I figured it would be best to build a new server from scratch then transferring all my data over. I would be doubling my capacity to 64TB with 4 - 16TB Nas drives but that's about where my wit ends.

 

I've searched Amazon and Newegg and found a multitude of NAS Raid arrays from synology and the likes. I'm sure, however, that's cost ineffective to building a regular PC running server software. I've also thought about just finding a raid external enclosure but as stated before there's too many options.

 

I can google all I want but everything just looks like gibberish to me. I've had a friend of mine and even looked through some posts on here that explain Unraid and I can't make heads or tails of it. I have determined though that Unraid is most likely my best option. I did read something that said it will let you add drives later on? Does that mean you can essentially increase your capacity on a raid 0 without reformatting and losing everything? Or is it just adding another drive like normal? If that's the case then I definitely need that cuz then my current 4 drives wouldn't go to waste.

 

With all that I would have a plethora of other problems my main concern I'd maintaining a headless system, minus initial setup of course, as I currently just use RDP being windows and all. I used to remote in outside my network but found out that was a bad idea to forward those ports. I was told to use OpenVPN but again couldn't make heads or tails of it to get even remotely close. 

 

At this point, as you can probably tell, I have no idea what I'm doing and just need someone to ELI5. My preferred option to start would be that my hardware raid holds up and I can just run unraid, probably even without uninstalling windows, being it runs on a USB. worst case scenario... my budget is about $1500 and the drives already take up $1100 of that. If Unraid allows adding more drives later then I really only need 2 drives to start which opens that budget a lot.

 

Worst worst case scenario... is there a rentable server based solution that could still run everything I need with 50-100TB for less than $100/month?

For the love of god, I hope you have a backup. 4 HDDs in Raid 0 is not a great idea. If one of the drivers craps the bed, you loose everything.

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21 minutes ago, Blue4130 said:

For the love of god, I hope you have a backup. 4 HDDs in Raid 0 is not a great idea. If one of the drivers craps the bed, you loose everything.

I'm aware. They're just movies and shows mainly. I have no data that I'm not willing to lose. Though I'd only be pissed if I lost it all from some mistake I made. I can't be mad if one of the drives fail. I knew what I was signing up for. That's partially the reason for this post as well.

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360mm AIO 
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
Monitor: 3x 27" AOC Gaming monitor with QHD 2K 2560x1440 144hz
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Headphones: Sennheiser RS 175

Mic: Blue Yeti

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1 hour ago, MrSimplicity said:

Too many options not enough knowledge.

 

Basically I have a "server" with 4 - 8TB drives in raid 0 (hardware raid via M/B) running plain ole windows 10. I mainly only run a plex server but on rare occasions run game servers as well, or anything I want. I really want to switch to an actual server OS but what I'm afraid of is losing everything in the process. I imagine that since my raid is on a M/B level I shouldn't lose anything by installing windows server/Linux/Unraid/etc. I just need someone smarter than me to confirm that.

 

With the thought that I might lose everything I figured it would be best to build a new server from scratch then transferring all my data over. I would be doubling my capacity to 64TB with 4 - 16TB Nas drives but that's about where my wit ends.

 

I've searched Amazon and Newegg and found a multitude of NAS Raid arrays from synology and the likes. I'm sure, however, that's cost ineffective to building a regular PC running server software. I've also thought about just finding a raid external enclosure but as stated before there's too many options.

 

I can google all I want but everything just looks like gibberish to me. I've had a friend of mine and even looked through some posts on here that explain Unraid and I can't make heads or tails of it. I have determined though that Unraid is most likely my best option. I did read something that said it will let you add drives later on? Does that mean you can essentially increase your capacity on a raid 0 without reformatting and losing everything? Or is it just adding another drive like normal? If that's the case then I definitely need that cuz then my current 4 drives wouldn't go to waste.

 

With all that I would have a plethora of other problems my main concern I'd maintaining a headless system, minus initial setup of course, as I currently just use RDP being windows and all. I used to remote in outside my network but found out that was a bad idea to forward those ports. I was told to use OpenVPN but again couldn't make heads or tails of it to get even remotely close. 

 

At this point, as you can probably tell, I have no idea what I'm doing and just need someone to ELI5. My preferred option to start would be that my hardware raid holds up and I can just run unraid, probably even without uninstalling windows, being it runs on a USB. worst case scenario... my budget is about $1500 and the drives already take up $1100 of that. If Unraid allows adding more drives later then I really only need 2 drives to start which opens that budget a lot.

 

Worst worst case scenario... is there a rentable server based solution that could still run everything I need with 50-100TB for less than $100/month?

You would lose your data, yes. What I would do is build a new machine, or even just set it all up on your gaming machine, transfer all the data over to the new “server” (which would be running on your gaming PC, just need a SSD for boot, I’d use unraid for this) copy everything over, then move that boot SSD and the drives to your current server mobo. That way you can transfer all the data without having to build a new PC. 
 

Unraid would be optimal so you can actually use different size drives so you can then re-add your current 4TB drives once the transfer is finished. 
 

You will have a good bit of learning to do, but I’d start looking into unraid. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

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As aforementioned, RAID 0 has been at high risk of disk failure and consequent data loss, and is no longer recommended. You may wish to build a Just a Bundle of Disks (JBOD) array, which is supported by Unraid. By this way, you only take risk of partial data loss caused by single drive failure.

On Windows, just make a single partition per drive.

 

For remote access, you may wish to take something easier to cope with. Zerotier or Tailscale can suffice.

 

Then with that budget, just take a bunch of drives, and arrange them with robust RAID 5/6 through the OS (like TrueNAS). I think the current setup should be sufficient enough for just storage plus Plex.

And lastly, there do have solutions for archived storage in cloud services. In my country, for example, the charge for 1TB of storage can be as low as 1.1 USD per month (Alibaba Cloud), however with limitations in access & loopback.😆

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19 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

or even just set it all up on your gaming machine, transfer all the data over to the new “server” (which would be running on your gaming PC, just need a SSD for boot, I’d use unraid for this) copy everything over, then move that boot SSD and the drives to your current server mobo.

So basically install the new drives into my Main PC then move everything? Wouldn't I just be able to setup unraid on my current server at that point? then move everything back then add in the 2 or 4 16 TB drives? Does Unraid wipe the drives then? or could I just install the drives without moving everything back again? If so I have hot swap bays in my Main PC to make that super easy and will be the route I take there.

 

On the note of Unraid does it actually create a Raid? or does it just utilize all of the drives simultaneously as if it was a Raid? Or would I be better off keeping things separate and divvy all my data up but still grouped per drive? What I need to do is see if I can find Linus' video on Unraid again. Though if I remember correctly it wasn't exactly ELI5 enough for me to understand it. As mentioned previously I've done quite a bit of googling and looking through forums and no one explains it in a way for my peanut brain to feel comfortable just jumping into it.

 

Now if I wasn't starting with 16TB of data, that I'm rather not lose if I don't have to, then I'm sure this would be a lot easier to just jump in and mess with but that's entirely a me problem. honestly, if I can find a cost effective way to just move everything off my server (as you noted, just using my main PC) so I can just wipe it and start from scratch then that's probably what I'll do.

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360mm AIO 
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
Monitor: 3x 27" AOC Gaming monitor with QHD 2K 2560x1440 144hz
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Mouse: Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED
Headphones: Sennheiser RS 175

Mic: Blue Yeti

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4 minutes ago, MrSimplicity said:

On the note of Unraid does it actually create a Raid? or does it just utilize all of the drives simultaneously as if it was a Raid? Or would I be better off keeping things separate and divvy all my data up but still grouped per drive? What I need to do is see if I can find Linus' video on Unraid again. Though if I remember correctly it wasn't exactly ELI5 enough for me to understand it. As mentioned previously I've done quite a bit of googling and looking through forums and no one explains it in a way for my peanut brain to feel comfortable just jumping into it.

It's right in the name. unraid. It is not raid. Each drive is basically seperate, but they are pooled together and parity lives on one or two drives. If you were to pull one drive out of the pool, theoretically, you could get all the data off of the drive, unlike raid.

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2 hours ago, MrSimplicity said:

So basically install the new drives into my Main PC then move everything? Wouldn't I just be able to setup unraid on my current server at that point? then move everything back then add in the 2 or 4 16 TB drives? Does Unraid wipe the drives then? or could I just install the drives without moving everything back again? If so I have hot swap bays in my Main PC to make that super easy and will be the route I take there.

 

On the note of Unraid does it actually create a Raid? or does it just utilize all of the drives simultaneously as if it was a Raid? Or would I be better off keeping things separate and divvy all my data up but still grouped per drive? What I need to do is see if I can find Linus' video on Unraid again. Though if I remember correctly it wasn't exactly ELI5 enough for me to understand it. As mentioned previously I've done quite a bit of googling and looking through forums and no one explains it in a way for my peanut brain to feel comfortable just jumping into it.

 

Now if I wasn't starting with 16TB of data, that I'm rather not lose if I don't have to, then I'm sure this would be a lot easier to just jump in and mess with but that's entirely a me problem. honestly, if I can find a cost effective way to just move everything off my server (as you noted, just using my main PC) so I can just wipe it and start from scratch then that's probably what I'll do.

It will quote the devices. Unraid is a software “unRAID” RAID solution, so it can not manage data from a hardware RAID device. Maybe in practice it could read the array, but just don’t do this. You will need to have old and new server booted at the same time to transfer data off old to new, thus why I am saying use your gaming PC to boot the new unraid setup and get your data copied over. Once copied, move the boot drive plus harddrives to your old server mobo. Once it’s all working and happy, add your old drives to unraid and let it wipe them and add them into your “array” (I don’t know if unraid calls it an array, pool of drives?”  

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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22 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

It will quote the devices. Unraid is a software “unRAID” RAID solution, so it can not manage data from a hardware RAID device. Maybe in practice it could read the array, but just don’t do this. You will need to have old and new server booted at the same time to transfer data off old to new, thus why I am saying use your gaming PC to boot the new unraid setup and get your data copied over. Once copied, move the boot drive plus harddrives to your old server mobo. Once it’s all working and happy, add your old drives to unraid and let it wipe them and add them into your “array” (I don’t know if unraid calls it an array, pool of drives?”

There's no old data that I need though other than said movies and shows. So I don't see why I would need to maintain the old server when setting up unraid. I can't imagine it's any different than just starting a server from scratch which is technically all I'm trying to do. It sounds like I'm just not understanding what you're saying but from what I've gathered: simply moving the data off the server, remove hardware raid "wipe drives"(which they'd already be empty at this point), install unraid on USB and run it via nvme already in my server now, transfer files back to server. Correct? as I'm not trying to maintain any settings or anything like that. You're also making it sound like what ever data I put on it when I set it up will be what I'm stuck with forever or something. 

 

Otherwise the only other thing I can think you're trying to say is that the larger drives need to be attached to the server first? Isn't part of the appeal of unraid being able to add more and larger drives later? Don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate all the info you've given me, I just really want to make sure I understand it entirely.

 

On 6/5/2023 at 6:58 AM, Blue4130 said:

It's right in the name. unraid. It is not raid. Each drive is basically seperate, but they are pooled together and parity lives on one or two drives. If you were to pull one drive out of the pool, theoretically, you could get all the data off of the drive, unlike raid.

Ok, yeah, that's about how I was thinking it was. Makes sense, thanks

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
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Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
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1 hour ago, MrSimplicity said:

simply moving the data off the server

This is all you have to do. Typically, it’s difficult to back up all of the data on a server to somewhere else. If you have the ability to store all the data either on your desktop or external drives, yes, this would work. I was just providing you a solution to this problem via initially setting up unraid on your gaming PC so you can transfer all the data directly from old server to “new server”, and not actually have to build a new server… 

 

Whatever mobo and CPU is in your current server would almost certainly be plenty for this new unraid machine, so I am simply providing a path to reusing it. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 128 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone 14 Pro - 2018 MacBook Air

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2 hours ago, MrSimplicity said:

install unraid on USB and run it via nvme already in my server now, 

 

Unraid will remain on the USB, I would leave the Nvme depending on the size and use it as your cache drive or toss in a larger 2.5 SSD. A downside to unraid is the slow write performance to the array, read speeds are limited by the single drive performance but when it writes to the drive pool it typically is 1/2 to a 1/3 of what the drives can do because it also has to process the parity data. Plan for the initial setup/transfer of files to take along time since it will do an initial setup and parity check with the empty drives then the transfer to the server will take awhile depending on how much data you have. I would temp disable it from using the cache during the transfer, then once it's up and running re-enable it to use the cache drive. If you plan to set up dockers, vms, etc... I would make that share specifically use only the cache. This will keep them using the SSD and not the harddrives. This makes a big difference with plex loading all of the video information and thumbnails. Check out space invader and byte my bits on youtube they are a great resource for getting things up and running and how to do things like gpu passthrough, ram transcoding, etc..

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11 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

This is all you have to do. Typically, it’s difficult to back up all of the data on a server to somewhere else. If you have the ability to store all the data either on your desktop or external drives, yes, this would work. I was just providing you a solution to this problem via initially setting up unraid on your gaming PC so you can transfer all the data directly from old server to “new server”, and not actually have to build a new server… 

 

Whatever mobo and CPU is in your current server would almost certainly be plenty for this new unraid machine, so I am simply providing a path to reusing it. 

Got it, thank you

 

10 hours ago, voyager_ said:

If you plan to set up dockers, vms, etc... I would make that share specifically use only the cache.

Yeah, Dockers are going to be a whole other battle for me to figure out but I'm sure I'll be able to figure that one out.

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360mm AIO 
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
Monitor: 3x 27" AOC Gaming monitor with QHD 2K 2560x1440 144hz
Keyboard: Logitech G915 
Mouse: Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED
Headphones: Sennheiser RS 175

Mic: Blue Yeti

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On 6/4/2023 at 9:11 AM, MrSimplicity said:

I imagine that since my raid is on a M/B level I shouldn't lose anything by installing windows server/Linux/Unraid/etc. I just need someone smarter than me to confirm that.

It's a safe bet to say this will not work for you. Motherboard / fakeraid raid is theoretically able to be emulated in linux, but it is not at all guaranteed for your specific motherboard, and if you remove your os to check, you are risking data corruption and loss. Windows, of course, already works with it.

Your best bet for switching to a new transferable raid/unraid option is to keep your current server online and then copy the data in it over to a new setup and separate set of drives through your network, or if you're feeling risky, through the extra sata ports on your current setup. I say risky because at the software level its really easy to accidentally erase or overwrite one of your old drives while trying to install the new ones.

If you do not have new drives for your new os and you want to move your current setup to a different operating system and raid software you will need an intermediary drive or location to store everything. it is not really possible to switch the underlying raid setup to a new one and keep the same data on the drives. in theory you could do some shit with partition sizes, but that would take weeks and would also be incredibly risky.

 

it might be worth it to buy a single drive that can hold all your current data (16tb drives can be found at less than 200$ right now), move everything to that inbetween drive, gently set that drive in a different room, and then completely reformat your old current raid setup to install the new os and raid plan.

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

 

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11 hours ago, DaGeek247 said:

it might be worth it to buy a single drive that can hold all your current data (16tb drives can be found at less than 200$ right now), move everything to that inbetween drive, gently set that drive in a different room, and then completely reformat your old current raid setup to install the new os and raid plan.

Yeah, that's what I plan on doing. I have hot swap bays in my Main PC so I'll just shove a couple 16tb drives in then transfer everything. Being that I plan on going with unraid I'll be able to just get rid of the raid entirely. just gotta get those drives first.

CPU: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7 GHz 10-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360mm AIO 
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING ATX LGA1200 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Boosted to 4400MHz

Storage: Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2
Storage: Silicon Power A55 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ASUS ROG Strix 3090
Case: Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL 
Power Supply: Asus ROG Thor 1000w
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home
Monitor: 3x 27" AOC Gaming monitor with QHD 2K 2560x1440 144hz
Keyboard: Logitech G915 
Mouse: Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED
Headphones: Sennheiser RS 175

Mic: Blue Yeti

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