N00bs First FreeNAS System

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Dec 7, 2011
I wanted to share my first FreeNAS systems build.

I've only had the system up and running for a few days in a very limited manner. My original external setup was a 1.5TB and 650GB drive in a two-bay external USB case attached to my 21" iMac with 500GB drive.
I have been meaning to setup a RIAD solution for some time but kept putting it off.
My FreeNAS system will hold my iTunes folder run off my iMac streamed to my AppleTV, hold the Vault (backup file) of Apple Aperture and backup copies of Mail and Documents folder. As we'll as all the junk files and torrents i keep accumulating over time.

Originally I wanted to get a DROBO but after some research and inspiration from Frankly At A Glance (http://frankleng.me/2010/05/01/zfs-...ative-to-drobo-droboshare-the-complete-guide/) I decided to make my own FreeNAS system.

Below is a list of the components I purchased to complete my system.

Zotac M880G-ITX motherboard: ($214 with -$40 sale and $40 rebate = $174 + rebate)
- Mini ITX form with AMD Turion II Neo Dual-Core Mobile (1.5GHz)
- 4x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports
- 6x SATA III ports at 6MB/s
- LAN (10/100/1000 Mbps)
- 1x PCI-e 2.0 slot
- Optical SPDIF Audio Out, HMDI, Built-in Wireless
(NOTES: cannot boot from USB 3.0 ports)

OCZ MODXStream-Pro 500Watt Power Supply ($65 - $20 Rebate)
- Modular cable system

G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3 Memory 2x 4GB = 8GB Total ($45)

LIAN-LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Case ($99)
- 1x 5.23" Drive bay
- 6x 3.5" Drive bays

Patriot Supersonic Xpress 8GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($18)
- 50MB/s Read, 20MB/s Write

iCAN USB Keyboard

Total without Drives ($409 Canadian - $60 rebates = $349)

Hard drives:
- 2TB Seagate (New $149)
- 1.5TB Seagate
- 650GB WD
- 300GB Seagate
- 200GB Seagate
(Waiting a week or two and I will be getting at least one more 2TB drive)

I bought the USB Drive to boot from the USB 3.0 ports but as it turns out the Zotac motherboard only support booting from USB 2.0 ports.
And even after update the Zotac BIOS and upgrading to FreeNAS 8.0.3 BETA1, you still can see the USB drive on the 3.0 port. :(
The main reason for the Zotac board was the 6x SATA III ports. The other features are a "nice to have/future proof" if I convert the system to Windows or Linux.

I had quite the time moving and deleting my files to clear off my 1.2TB drive. Finally managed to do that. I'm waiting to purchase 1 or 2 more 2TB drive before I setup the RAIDZ.
My plan will be either:
2TB + 2TB + 1.5TB + 650GB = in RAIDz1 + 200GB+300GB Striped.
or (preferred)
2TB +2TB +2TB + 1.5TB in RAIDz1 + 650GB+300GB Striped.

The goal to replace the two smaller drives and eventually end up with a 4x 2TB RAIDz1 solution. But with the high prices ($160/2TB) on hard drives I'm not sure when I will be able to pull this off.

I'm running out of time before I have to run to work. I look forward to being part of the FreeNAS forum comminity.
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