Building a home file server. Need Help!

Hye all,

I have previously built simple gaming rigs but never one in the server category. Basically what I want here is a system that can function as a home file server (for music, movies, pictures, etc.) which can be accessed by any device on my home network. It should be affordable and not too expensive to burn a hole in my pocket. It needs to have atleast 5 TB of storage space with some kind of redundancy (I have lost critical data before due to hdd failure).

I already got a spare power supply and a chassis.



just use some of the spare parts laying around your house

How bigs the Case/How many drive bays and How many Watts/The make of the PSU

The Case has 5 native 3.5" tool less bays and 5 5.25" bays, which I can convert to 3.5". I got an old 80Plus Bronze Tagan 600W psu, having 8 SATA and 8 molex connectors.

You could perhaps try out FreeNas once you got the parts.

Id Grab a decent Cpu and Mobo that will handle simple tasks, so something like an fx4300 or a Phenom II x4 and a low price motherboard to go with them. 

As For the Hard Drive grab some Western Digital Red's in and the TB flavour you choose( 1,2 or 3), and an LSI or intel raid card with at least 2 internal Mini sas (allows up to 8 Hard drives to be connected) and run the hard drives in Raid 5 for Speed and redundancy. 


 or You could get a Motherboard with at least 6 SATA connectors and use Windows 8 storage Spaces or something similar for a software type Raid.

theres quite a few way you can go about having Redundancy, so id reccommend doing some research into what youd be comfortable with and what suits your needs.

I would recommend checking out Unraid. 
Using it myself at the moment and I'm really pleased with it. Good redundancy and easy to customize. 

Biggest downside is that you need to buy it if you wish to use more then 3 disks. 

I second unraid.

Also, I really wish someone had a buildlog of one of those Backblaze Pods... 

I got an old Intel Dual Core Pentium (775 socket) lying around, I'll try to get a good G41 board (believe it or not, they are still readily available in my country), and slap a raid card on it. raid cards with sas are expensive but i already got a processor good enough for simple tasks, and a compatible motherboard for it is dirt cheap,


should I get a new processor as BeyondNight said, I heard that he new AMD 990fx chipset supports all SATA 6GB/s ports. should I do raid on this? lets say I get Phenom II x2 560, (quad core might be overkill), with a decent board, and put in a bunch of big fat hard drives.


Any decent and affordable motherboard with onboard SAS support (intel or amd does not matter)

Which of the options is better?

As of the operating system, is there anything I could do with linux?

Also please suggest a good NIC.

edit: Getting an old motherboard from a friend, ASUS P45 with intel ICH10R has 6 native sata ii ports

Okay, I looked into unraid and it looks reasonably good for the purpose.

I've had no problems with a dual pentium 3 1ghz, 2 gb sdram on windows home server. Works wonders with remote music software, hard disks had low access times (only had harddisk failures). Old and reliable. Also it had an old TRENDNet PCI ethernet 100mbit card and works just fine on a router.

The interface of home server console and it's overall GUI friendliness is good for Windows users.

Acquired most of the stuff. I got a couple of 500gb drives and will do a test run first before i invest into those 3tb ones. here's what I have till now:

Case, 600w PSU, Dual core pentium 3.0 Ghz LGA775 processor, ASUS P5Q motherboard, some old cheap ddr2 memory(need to get some decent ones, how much should i put in? suggestions welcome.) 3x 500gb drives(hitachi, seagate, western)

The reason I need a good NIC is because the board has a single GbLAN port and I need separate upstream and downstream channels to a Gb router.

I'll be checking out unraid. It looks really good on paper.

Make sure your motherboard can support 3TB drives.  If you're going unraid, you have to use unraid 5.0+ to use the 3TB drives, too.

Grab any Intel gigabit NIC, you'll be fine.

There is no bios update for Asus P5Q to support 3tb drives. So I am getting Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 board and a Phenom II to go with it. I got an old amd 5450 lying around which i can use for the display.

My final RAID setup will be 2 arrays running raid 1.


Final Update:

Scrapped my earlier plan with the amd. I am back with ASUS P5Q and got six 2TB western digital drives for running 3 sets of Raid 1 arrays.

Final config:

Intel Dual Core 3.0 Ghz (LGA775) - pre owned

ASUS P5Q motherboard - for free

Gskill DDR2 2x2GB 800MHz DIMMs - pre owned

ASUS Radeon HD5450 silent - pre owned

Intel PRP/1000 Dualport NIC - INR 2000

Tagan 600W 80plus bronze PSU - pre owned

Samsung 160GB IDE HDD for OS - pre owned

iball Workhorse case - I made a few mods to fit more HDDs and airflow - pre owned

6x WD RED 2TB HDD for storage - INR 33000

TOTAL investment = INR 35000 = USD 650

Have you factored in backups ?