New NAS build, specific questions about my hardware

Not open for further replies.


Jul 26, 2011
This is my first NAS build and I want to do it correctly to avoid reformatting drives or losing data. I’ve been reading for weeks and still stuck on a few things. I’ll list out my scenario and questions below.

Current Setup

Win Vista – 300GB (guessing on this machine since it is not mine)
Win 7 – 64GB SSD (500GB data drive)
Win XP – 80GB
Airport Extreme with external for TM backups


Home file sharing, stream media, image backups for all systems, and time machine backups.
Mirror data for redundancy
Ability to add additional space by swapping out or adding drives
Use as much of my current hardware as possible (will buy more if needed)

Available Hardware

LGA 775, gigE, Dual Core 2Ghz, 4G RAM, 6 SATA 3Gb/s, in a case *PS pending
2TB WD external hard drive with time machine backups that I don’t really want to lose
*I assume it has a EADS or EARS drive inside, I have no issues removing the drive from the enclosure
2 x 2TB Samsung HD204UI
500GB 7200RPM Samsung (currently my data drive for the win 7 SSD system, but can use if necessary)
4G USB flash drive (FreeNAS 8 release already installed on it)


Should have a PS, if not what would be the recommended needed power rating? Edit - Went with the Antec 380 green

The hard drive situation is my biggest hang up. I've read the WD green drives time out and drop out of RAID configurations. I've considered the samsung F4 drives but hear they can be hard to format due to 4k sector size. I'm not even sure that matters with ZFS file systems. I also have been reading that 8.0.1 BETA has a check box for 4K sector size which might make the 4K sector size a moot point. I would like to use the WD drives since I already have them and can't return the one, curious what you guys have found (not sure if they are EADS or EARS, but can pull the used one I have apart if need be)? I'm still learning when it comes to file systems, sector size, and file sharing protocols since I always just used NTFS in the past. What would be your suggestions for getting the proper hard drives and setting them up for good performance? EDIT - went with 2 samsung drives, I'll use the beta build or wait for 8.0.1 release to take advantage of 4k sectors

For my configuration should I use ZFS mirrored?

Is it possible to read/write windows and mac images to/frow the ZFS file system long as it is read/wrote using the accepted protocols?

I noticed in the 8.0.1 BETA release notes that Time Machine backups will be fixed for Lion. I plan on upgrading to Lion, but want to do a image backup first to go along with my Time Machine backups. Did I read correctly that a volume (or is it share) can be created as a certain size for TM backups so they don't take up more space than I want them to (ie is it possible to only allocate like 300GB for TM backups)?
Not open for further replies.