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Basically, I have a LOT of older IDE hard drives- from 80- 250+GB. I also have a few older towers- a couple with Pentium 4 or comparable AMD (up to 2ghz, max). They probably run DDR2 at best- 2GB at most. I'd like to pack one of them full w/HDD's & hook it into my LAN as storage / file server. The issue? Two IDE channels that can run two drives each. That's four. I want more like eight or ten. Also, need a PSU that has enough molex connectors. Then, there's the software issue (open-source, please).

Your thoughts? I'm in Australia, so please don't make me cry by showing me some insanely cheap hardware that I can't get here? (shipping from US to AU is outrageous). There must be a few people here who have done this already- how did you go about it?

Cheers & thanks in advance~ :)

asked Sep 06 '12 at 08:30

geekomatic's gravatar image


option A) buy extra IDE controllers... problem solved...

option B) as long as you are buying extra hardware go with RAID, you may have issues with different drive sizes, the thing with RAID controllers is you can spend under 100 and well over 1000 depending on what you need to do.

im not going to link to any products being that you are in Australia and i don't know how much it would cost for you to get it there.

Do research and figure out what is best for your budget and knowledge base

answered Sep 06 '12 at 10:18

trueb's gravatar image


I'm still looking for a better way than having to power multiple boxes- either that or have some sort of hodgepodge of drives attached in any way I can manage. There's also the PSU issue remaining. I'll try to return when I find my answer.

(BTW- I do have a controller card- but for SATA- doh!)

answered Oct 25 '12 at 01:56

geekomatic's gravatar image


buy a beefier PSU, you can split each end if need be, just don't have too many split off of one line. but you need a PSU that can supply the power. If you plan for 30W per drive that is 240 watts right there, your processor and other parts of the computer will still need power, without knowing exacts its hard to say but a 500-800W PSU should do you.

(Oct 25 '12 at 10:18) trueb trueb's gravatar image

If you have an old PC that that you can use, then load up all of the IDE ports with hard drives, then get a cheap PCI IDE card from ebay for any additional IDE drives that you may have.

If you only need it to function as a NAS, then after building it, test the read and write performance, then try underclocking the system.

If you built the system yourself then underclock it to a little less than half of it's speed, then then keep dropping the CPU voltage by 50MV until it fails the prime95 test http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

You don't need much CPU power to create a basic server with HTTP, FTP, smb, DLNA (an old P4 CPU underclocked to 1GHz or less can handle it)

If the old PC is very power hungry, then consider seeing if you can get a old netbook for a cheap price from someone ($120-160), then get a few external enclosures for the hard drives, then connect them via USB to the netbook, while this will limit your LAN transfers to 30MB/s it is more than enough for basic use (backups will just take longer as a direct IDE connection will get you near 100MB/s and if each drive has it's own network share, then you can easily max out a gigabit connection

answered Oct 25 '12 at 13:24

Razor512's gravatar image


For software I am pleased with FreeNAS for my file server.


answered Oct 25 '12 at 22:47

sdcisdgigdiasgyusdg's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 06 '12 at 08:30

Seen: 1,141 times

Last updated: Oct 25 '12 at 22:47