Help With My NAS

Hey Everyone,
I current want to setup a NAS server with RAID 5.. i think it is..
My question is should I keep windows 7 on it for the OS? or Us FreeNAS?
Thanks for any help or info ..
Its going to be a small NAS BTW 3 HDD 1 TB a piece.. I just want to have the option of not losing any data if a HDD fails.

What will you use it for? To share files, to download stuff with uTorrent (or similar software) as a multi media server, ...?

IMHO I'd probably go for FreeNas / Nas4Free / OpenMediaVault / ...

EDIT: note that if you want to start a single-parity RAIDZ (raidz1) configuration at 3 disks, there will be 2 disks worth of data, and 1 disk worth of parity.

thank you for the reply .. pretty much everything you said I want to use it for haha files, movie streaming over my network, ect..
What Raid is it where all 3 drives data is available but when a HDD fails you hot swap it out and it gets rebuilt
and should I use the motherboards Raids or Freenas?
or does freeNas use the MB raid .. lol when have done this in the past I normally just keep windows on it .. network it.. and share the HDD .. so this is my 1st NAS.. I apologize for the stupid questions

I see what you mean about the raidz .. sorry .. ya I did a boo boo I bought 3 HDD at 1 TB a piece .. I needed 4 .. I didnt realize a whole TB would be used up .. weird
Is it possible to add a 4th 1TB hdd in at a later date?

Mmh as far as I know once you create the raid you can not directly add another drive. But if you have an existing raidz1 you can stripe it with a new RAIDZ1 (and its disks). This will increase the overall size of the pool.

A good starting point would be:

EDIT: more links

This should help you understand better.

Thank you for the help I will check those links out :) .. the only part that confuses me is .. the MB I have can do raid .. do I raid the drives threw the MB bios .. then again with FreeNAS? or just let FreeNAS do the Raiding?

Mmh I haven't played around with on board RAID, so I can't speak for experiece. Maybe someone here knows which is better.
Anyway I found this topic on the freeNas forum. It may help you.

EDIT: useful raid calculator tool (I'm going through my whole bookmarks regarding RAID :D)

:D asome ty .. I always was told hardware Raid was better then software Raid.. and I'm guessing FreeNAS is Software Raid

Dedicated RAID controller > software RAID > on board RAID

o ok .. well things have changed i guess since collage at 2000 :D haha so it wont matter if i use freeNAS or on board Raid

Well onboard RAID is not hardware RAID, it's still a RAID emulation, but less flexible and less reliable.

If you use software RAID, at least you can put the drives in another machine and have a good shot for recovering the RAID. On board raid? not possible.

Oh one more thing (you probably know already): RAID is not a backup plan.

no i know :) nothing is 100% .. I have a 3TB external that I will keep for a backup.. (not plugged in put away).. however having Raid I have a better chance of recovering and keeping my Data is a HDD fails wherein if a single external fails = screwed :P

Yep. Welp I left you with more than enough links to study :)
I have an university exam tomorrow, I'll probably go to sleep now.
If you have more questions or you want to just update us, on how things are going, feel free to post.

kk ty very much for your help and links .. I will be reading up before I start anything :) ty again

If you really care about your data, raid-Z is really the only alternative. The reason is that other methods of doing raid has no way of knowing if the stored data is correct. For example, if you have two mirrored disks and the files on one of the disks is damaged, the raid controller/software has no way of knowing which of the two disks is correct. Traditional raid only covers the case when one drive breaks in such a way that the software can detect it. Raid-Z solves this problem in a very robust way by storing checksums of all data along with the data.

Teksyndicate has made two excellent videos on this exact topic:

cool ty .. i will have to check those out ty :) do I need anythings special to get raid-z? hardware wise or is it all software .. keeping my data safe from losing is is my #1 priority .. #2 is having the space to add to it.

You don't need any special hardware at all. Everything is in software. Raid-Z is made with the explicit purpose of providing excellent reliability on really cheap and terrible hardware :)

If you're using FreeNAS raid-Z is really simple to set up so I would recommend doing that. It can be done in Linux, but it's a hassle.

Teksyndicate has made an amazing video on FreeNAS too :)

o ok asome :) ty so much I'll check out these videos :) does Raid-z come with freeNAS? or is it like an addon?

The RAID Z file system is part of FreeNAS. I currently run 2 Mirrored arrays in FreeNAS.

o ok ty :)