Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Storage

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 3, 2010, 04:22 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default NAS question

Can any external USB hard drive be made into a NAS one? I've seen the USB to cat5 converters on eBay for around $40. Are they the only way to go?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 3, 2010, 04:39 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 29
Default

ya thare ok, but you can't have the full speed of your network for transfer of files.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 3, 2010, 05:21 PM
Allstar
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 589
Default

Buy an old computer for $40, a NIC for $10 with 100mbps at least, download and install FreeNAS and you won't regret I promise, it's what I did, works really well and so much room for upgrade!!!
__________________
http://www.thecomputermadesimple.com | The computer world in plain English!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 05:00 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default

I googled NIC and it said network interface card. (I'm not a techie at all). Anyway, if this old computer already has an Ethernet port (cat5) do I still need that? the upgradeability you mentioned, does that mean adding more harddrives to the computer?

Why don't I have full speed access to the files over my network?
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 05:11 AM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 141

My System Specs

Default

The ethernet card is the NIC, so you definitely need that. In terms of the USB to ethernet adapter, you're going to be bottle necked by the USB 2.0 transfer speed so you're not getting the full speed of the drives.

If you're looking for a long term solution, get a cheap computer and turn it into a network storage machine with freeNAS. When you run out of space, you can always throw more hard drives in the machine without worrying about transferring your data or what to do with the old hard drive.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 06:32 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default

I see what you mean about those adapters, they wouldn't be any quicker than a usb 2.0 connection anyway. I think I get it.

I have an XP machine in the basement that I currently use only for doing kitchen designs on the Ikea software. I'll download freeNAS later and turn that into my video vault!

If I didn't want to use a whole computer for this and still wanted NAS, I would be better off buying one of those docks that I just slide a harddrive or two into that has been made just for NAS. Like this?

Buy the D-Link DNS-321 Network Attached Storage Enclosure at TigerDirect.ca

Anyway, I think I have that figured out now. Thanks for all the help. Trying to figure this stuff out with no experience is very daunting! Don't want to go down to futureshop and ask because sometimes they look at you like you have two heads!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 07:56 AM
Allstar
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 589
Default

No at Future Shop they look at you like that because they have no god damn clue what you are talking about and what the correct answer is.

Correct, using a USB 2.0 external hard drive as a NAS would mean slow slow speeds.

I purchased an old used computer for $40.
Got a good network interface card for $10 (used) or if the computer already has a RJ-45 plug (ethernet) great! Make sure it's at least 100mpbs and not 10mpbs otherwise you are going to curse a lot...a LOT!
Got a small SATA card since the motherboard only had IDE connections. A cheap $20 one from NCIX did the trick.

What you can do, although a little more complicated, is keep running Win XP for your Ikea things, and run FreeNAS in a Virtual Machine (aka a VM ... basically a second operating system on the same computer, separate from the first). There are tons, and I mean TONS of great guides on how to set up a VM and FreeNAS on the web. Google is your friend!

And yes, you can start with simply one storage hard drive, and if you fill it up, simply buy another one and pop it in!

Should be a nice little project, and don't give up if it doesn't work the first time!!!
__________________
http://www.thecomputermadesimple.com | The computer world in plain English!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 08:11 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default

I spent the last hour or two going through the freeNAS site and once I realised that it is an OS, I had a look on kijiji and there are 4 computers going free in my area. Sent emails and will see what happens. Worst case scenario, I buy one of the $40 ones and go from there.

That way if I mess anything up, its not effecting me too much. Was looking on the forums for freeNAS and people have set them up on some OLD machines. That's re-assuring.

Plus, mine is one of the small desktop ones, the ones on kijiji are tower ones, so I will have room for more drives.

Thanks again mate.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old May 4, 2010, 08:13 AM
Allstar
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 589
Default

No problem. I've seen FreeNAS installed on Pentium IIs ... mine is running on and old P4 and barely uses 20% of the CPU.

I use it to share my HD movies with the rest of the house and it works awesome.
__________________
http://www.thecomputermadesimple.com | The computer world in plain English!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NAS Build lcdguy Storage 25 December 31, 2009 01:22 AM
Do I need to build a Nas server or can I do this instead Shadowmeph HTPC Systems & Software 14 October 23, 2009 11:59 AM
NAS Build lcdguy New Builds 17 January 30, 2009 01:49 PM
NAS Recommendations? SugarJ Networking 19 December 15, 2008 11:30 AM
BigA$$Nas lcdguy Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery 30 April 30, 2008 11:17 AM