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Anyone using old pc or laptop as NAS with external HDD attached?

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rsjaurr

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I plan to use NAS as both source for audio files and a destination for ripped audio files. So thought of post my queries in this section. So here I go.

Well, I have been ripping my few thousand audio CDs in the wav format and I thought of having NAS in my home. Currently, I am using a 5TB portable HDD attached to my current laptop (2020) which I use for ripping CDs.
I want to set up NAS as the destination for ripped audio files which then can also be used as source files for my stereo setup. But I do not want to spend 30K just for Synology or QNAP especially when I have a couple of old laptops (2007,2014) gathering dust. I have already spent a lot last year and do not plan to spend further on pc and related stuff.

I plan to install TrueNAS or similar software on the more recent HP 15-n201ax laptop. I will buy one more 5TB portable HDD and attached both HDD to this laptop turned NAS. Both HDD will work as a mirror image to each other so that I will be relatively safer in case of a hard drive failure.

Has anyone done this before and anyone has any suggestions for me before I start my new endeavor?:)
 
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I recently tried TrueNas on a old laptop (i5 5th gen, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD for OS, External hard drive on USB 3.0 for data) but I wasn't impressed with the results since the data transfer speeds I got was around 4MBps. I used this link to help set-up the system. The guide is super simple to use.

Make sure you try out TrueNas first on a spare harddrive first, see if you are getting decent speeds on file transfer..if that works out, then you should be good to go! I didn't troubleshoot the reasons for slow speeds further, you might have better luck!
 

rsjaurr

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I have seen that excellent Youtube video in the link.
BTW 4MBps is very low speed.

I will use a USB stick for a try though I wanted to use either 60gb SATA or old 120GB HDD in a optical drive of laptop.

Any wild guess why it was so slow?
And what did you buy afterwards?
 
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I have seen that excellent Youtube video in the link.
BTW 4MBps is very low speed.

I will use a USB stick for a try though I wanted to use either 60gb SATA or old 120GB HDD in a optical drive of laptop.

Any wild guess why it was so slow?
And what did you buy afterwards?
No idea why it was slow, my internet is fast, I have a great router..I attached the laptop with a LAN cable..maybe something in the settings was off. The only thing I did different from the video was that I used one disk, and didn't use any other for redundancy (RAID 0 and all), maybe that messed things up? But it shouldn't, though.

Maybe FreeNAS doesn't play well with USB-attached disks, I would need to buy a CD-drive to SATA converter to try using an internal drive, sometime in the near future.

I haven't bought anything yet, currently saving for a speaker system. Might troubleshoot the FreeNAS problem later, will update here if I make any progress.

Good luck with your attempt!
 

rsjaurr

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Any idea if it will be possible for me to add 2nd portable HDD later and still be able to set up the desired RAID configuration?
I don't want to spend money for a 5TB external drive only to end up in a situation like you.
 

sbg

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... as an alternate solutions on a lighter side.
I ended up this way. Absolutely Satisfied :) .
 

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Joined
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Any idea if it will be possible for me to add 2nd portable HDD later and still be able to set up the desired RAID configuration?
I don't want to spend money for a 5TB external drive only to end up in a situation like you.
Not sure if that can be done on a laptop, at this point you should probably consider an actual NAS (WD ones are relatively cheaper). I'd say the FreeNAS fix on laptop is only okay for not very sensitive data and a very basic setup. Alternatively, going for an HTPC is probably a better option if you want to scale up.
 

rikhav

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Either get a NAS or atleast try this with a desktop PC where you can connect Internal drives
 

rsjaurr

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I have a spare motherboard, Intel processor and 8gb RAM. I just need to buy a case, UPS and a couple of hard disks.
But first I will try it on my spare laptop and see how it goes.
If I'm not satisfied buying a dedicated NAS is always a option.

I tried flashing TrueNAS with BalenaEtcher but lost two USB drives in the process. Now both drives are not even getting on three different window based systems.:(
 

rikhav

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Use usbit and try to reset and see if it comes back to the original size and gets recognised properly on windows
 
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rsjaurr

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Use usbit and try to reset and see if it comes back to the original size and gets recognised properly on windows
I recovered both drives by going to disk management where drives were visible but not in explorer. There I right-clicked it and chose the option "create new volume". Then both drives were visible in explorer too. Now I will Rufus instead of BalenaEtcher.:D
 

rikhav

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I recovered both drives by going to disk management where drives were visible but not in explorer. There I right-clicked it and chose the option "create new volume". Then both drives were visible in explorer too. Now I will Rufus instead of BalenaEtcher.:D
Yes that method also can be used
And also you can reset from usbit
 
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I tried flashing TrueNAS with BalenaEtcher but lost two USB drives in the process. Now both drives are not even getting on three different window based systems.:(
Installing TrueNAS on USB drives is not recommended tbh. Are the drives not even showing up on partition managers like Easeus?

Edit: nvm, read the rest of the comments later. Rufus is the better option for sure.
 

Kannan

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I had used FreeNAS with a core2duo laptop with 4GB RAM and SATA drive. I did not face any buffering issues up to 24 bit wav files.
Never tried DSD or other hires formats, so cannot comment on them.
 

rsjaurr

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Tried with Rufus but no luck again.
After I select boot order and press enter I get the errors as shown in attached pics on 2020 model Asus with red background and 2014 modle hp with blue background. I want to use hp laptop for NAS.
Also when I right click on USB drive with iso image I do not see any files or folders inside the drive.

Will try Amahi and other alternatives tomorrow.
 

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keith_correa

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Tried with Rufus but no luck again.
After I select boot order and press enter I get the errors as shown in attached pics on 2020 model Asus with red background and 2014 modle hp with blue background.
Disable "Secure Boot" from your BIOS settings.
 

rsjaurr

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I tried with USB stick and 100GB external HDD. With external HDD it went littler farther till where everything is installed and there are four options and removing your installation drive.

So when I choose reboot option systems boots back to windows instead of TrueNAS. Checking BIOS shows that external HDD where TrueNAS is installed is not listed on BIOS.

So now I have to try the 2nd option of using sparing components for desktop. This will have TrueNAS on it.

Can I only install TrueNAS and not Windows10?
 

rsjaurr

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Update - Old laptop did not work out for NAS so I used old desktop components and bought a cabinet, PSU and a 120GB SSD for TrueNAS. Old 100GB HDD will be used for Win10 installation. Also I bought two 6TB WD gold enterprise hard drives.
Today I installed Win10 and tomorrow I will install TrueNAS on SSD.

Now all I need is to access music stored in NAS from custom built computer audio transport/server which has Arch Linux based OS installed.
 
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