- AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Desktop APU - $64.99
- ASRock A75M-ITX - $89.99
- AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 - $22.99
- Seagate Barracuda Green 1.5 TB ST1500DL003 - $99.99
- Seagate Barracuda 2TB STBD20001 - $99.99 x 2
- Thermaltake Mini-ITX - $64.99
- Total - $542.93
I paid about $550 for our old HTPC in 2012. We housed it near our TV for nearly two years and it would get annoying due to the noisy fans. I finally decided to make it into a NAS and hide it in the basement office. Rokus would be used thorough the house to playback the media. I didn't really have a budget but I knew I didn't want to spend too much. We also had our basement project going on at the time so that had full financial priority (besides getting things for the new baby of course). I ended up going a little overboard, but I am very pleased with how everything turned out. Here is the upgraded parts list:
- Lian-Li PC-Q25 - $104.99
- Corsair CX430 - $44.99 (would have been $24.99 but I lost the UPC for the rebate)
- Sandisk 4GB Cruzer - $6.99
- ADATA 64GB SP600 - $49.99
- Seagate Backup Plus 3TB - $99.99
- unRaid Plus License - $69
- APC BN600G - $58.29
- Total - $434.24
I went with the PC-Q25 not just for looks, but also because of the easy access to the drive bays. Real easy to remove a drive if one fails or add a drive to expand storage. The SSD is for the cache drive (more on that later), and finally a small UPS to shut the server down in case of a power outage.
Next step was to actually install unRaid. unRaid is installed into the USB and the server will boot off the USB. All you have to do is go to http://lime-technology.com/, navigate to downloads, and download the latest version. As of 4/23/2014, the latest version is unRAIDServer-5.0.5-i386.zip. Head over here to find out how to install unRaid unto your USB drive depending on which OS you are currently running.
Before you boot into the USB, lets go ahead and install some plugins to make unRaid even more awesome. Head on over to the unRaid 5 Plugin wiki to get some additional plugins. We'll be using Apcusd which works with most APC UPS to shutdown your NAS due to power failure, Dynamix webgui which adds nice features and cleans up the GUI, and of course Plex Media Server to organize and serve up your media.
Download (Save link as) the following plugins into your /flashdrive/plugins folder (create if needed):
Once installed, the plugins should automatically install every boot up and you shouldn't have any issue. Boot up your NAS with the USB installed and make sure you change the BIOS to boot off of the unRaid USB. I installed my license since I will be using a cache drive. You don't have to, but I hooked up a monitor to the NAS during this phase just to make sure everything boot up correctly. Make sure you have the NAS hooked up to your network. Now, lets try and boot into it!
Go into your preferred browser and type in /tower/. If everything boots up right you should have just booted into your NAS! If not, you may need to hook a monitor up to the NAS and figure out if it is an IP address issue or hardware related. You should be greeted by something that looks like this:
It is always good to use the preclear script on your HDDs before you use them for storage! Head over to the preclear post and find out how to use it!
Go to Settings>Share settings then enable user shares. Do the same thing for the cache disk if you will be using one. Go ahead and setup your drives in the Main menu. I used the SSD for the cache drive. My Apps share will use the cache drive to mainly store Plex information and not constantly spin the drives when not necessary.
Now, turn your array on by going to Main>Array Operation. Once it's on, we're going to add shares for each of our media types. Head over to Shares and click "Add Share". The shares I added were:
- TV Shows
- Apps ( make sure to check "Use cache disk only")
When you made the shares, you're basically making logical folders. unRaid will "combine" all you HDDs so it makes it seem like it is one big HDD. I made sure to use a parity drive just in case one drive fails. If two drives fail, I'm SOL. It is important to use the preclear script to rule out possible bad HDDs.
Now its time to make sure our Plex Media Server is running and Apcusd plugin is good. Head over to the Settings page. You should see these two icons:
If your APC UPS is hooked up to your NAS via USB, you should be able to enable APC UPS and see the battery status. I left all the settings default.
Before going into the Plex Media Server settings, go into the settings.ini file located in the \\TOWER\flash\config\plugins\plexmediaserver folder. Change the following settings: