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Old 8th May 2009, 13:34   #1
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Default Nasty little N.A.S project! with old parts...

I'm planning a little NAS box to work as my download rig.
Running the main PC/Laptop as a downloader is a hectic task, and risks many a parts! So I decided to get some old parts, assemble them together, and get a download rig working 24x7.

I have a old P3 but that has a board failure. No beep sounds, no display nothing. So I decided to get some old throw-away parts from friends and you guys and get going with the project.

Here is what I have,

1. A Pentium III processor, a mother board.
2. A network card.
3. An SMPS
4. A Keyboard
5. and two cabinets and lots of cables, and RJ45s and miscl. stuff.

And anandleo gave me a Pentium celeron system with a fried board, or it may be the SMPS.

So I'm planning to either make the celeron board work or the P3 board work. I might need some more parts namely
Either:
1. A P3 Board that is in working condition
2. A Celeron SMPS that works,
3. Or some other old PC that has USB onboard, and a USB BIOS support.

Some old systems, do support booting from a USB key.

My plan is to have a 2G or lesser thumb drive and boot from it.
OS will be some NAS software open N.A.S are available. They are very less footprint and hence will take up least memory. They can be accessed via web interface, so we do not need a keyboard, or monitor.,

Any inputs would be nice.,

cheers,
MS
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Old 8th May 2009, 14:25   #2
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An SMPS has nothing to do with the processor. So if you have an SMPS already, and the SMPS on the Celeron box is dead - you can use the spare in it.

For the software, I recommend FreeNAS (FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server - Home). It is simply wonderful. It can be run from a USB drive, installed on hard disk or even run from a LiveCD (no need to install, just boot from the CD).

I don't see any hard disks listed in your components - what are you using? Because you are building a NAS, you need storage capacity!

I've done a lot of FreeNAS installs on old boxes and can help every step of the way.
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Old 8th May 2009, 14:50   #3
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@ the_mask: I have already checked the SMPS on the celeron box and it seems to be fine. The celeron board is not beeping, the fan is working meaning the SMPS is doing good.

Yeah I was thinking of FreeNAS only. It is simply superb, I have a live CD made, and tested it.

The old celeron MB has a option for USB, and Im looking for the MB USB cable and socket. Once I get this, I will be good to go.

I want to know if the Intel Celeron 566 has a USB Bootable BIOS?
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Old 8th May 2009, 15:00   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionSwords View Post
@ the_mask: I have already checked the SMPS on the celeron box and it seems to be fine. The celeron board is not beeping, the fan is working meaning the SMPS is doing good.
The board not beeping could could mean either the buzzer on the board is bad or the board itself is bad. I would suggest you connect everything up with a monitor and then look for a BIOS POST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionSwords View Post
The old celeron MB has a option for USB, and Im looking for the MB USB cable and socket. Once I get this, I will be good to go.

I want to know if the Intel Celeron 566 has a USB Bootable BIOS?
Again - the processor does not have anything to do with being able to boot from USB. This is a feature on the motherboard. If you can let me know the make and model number on the motherboard, I may be able to help.
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Old 8th May 2009, 15:33   #5
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I fixed the MB issue too, the beep is fine now. [I removed the BIOS cr2032 and checked, it beeped, I replaced it with newer cr2032]

The board and processor are fine, it shows the BIOS screen, need to get the keyboard that works with this CPU now! :O

Guess it is a serial keyboard - where on earth am I gonna find a "serial keyboard"
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Old 8th May 2009, 15:47   #6
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Does that MB have USB ports? Then you can enable USB keyboard after booting into Linux.
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Old 8th May 2009, 15:51   #7
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Yeah, USB keyboard is one option (but you don't have the USB port with ribbon cable for the board to connect to the USB header I suppose). Alternatively, I think you can find a serial to PS2 adaptor for using a PS2 keyboard on a serial port. Try asking some computer peripherals guys around.
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Old 8th May 2009, 16:45   #8
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thanks netfreak and the_mask, i was just about to do that. Look for a PS2 converter or look for the USB ribbon cable, and make the USB keyboard work with it.

Something should work out,


if some one has used FreeNAS tell me if it has a torrent downloader built-in??
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Old 8th May 2009, 16:54   #9
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FreeNAS comes with Transmission BT. This is a fantastic bittorrent client with a WebGUI. Once you set FreeNAS up, you can configure the WebGUI for Transmission.
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Old 8th May 2009, 17:06   #10
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great. i saw the screenshots, its cool.!!
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Old 9th May 2009, 00:52   #11
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if you have multiple HDD's, try unRAID. The best NAS software by far as per many reviews.
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Old 9th May 2009, 22:54   #12
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I plan to use a 250giga USB external HDD
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Old 9th May 2009, 23:16   #13
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Happy to know the MB works, was little worried it would not work. I did have the PS2 connector wires for the key board, sorry I could not find it for you. All the best with the project.

What USB HDD are you looking at? I am asking this because I was doing a little research on the best ones in the last two weeks for my Buy. I finally got a 320 GB Transcend USB Storejet for Rs.3645.
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Old 10th May 2009, 11:22   #14
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Thanks a lot for the board Anand. I'm thinking of a Western Digital 250 Gig @ Rs.3,340
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Old 10th May 2009, 13:46   #15
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If you are planning to use USB external on a p3 mobo , please understand that it will work in USB 1.1 specs and not on USB 2 .
This is very important as You are planning to use a 250 gb ext HDD .

Another thing is rather than get a used p3 , you might be better off with a nice Via miniITx or a AMD based sempron Low power CPU .

Also , the VIA boards/AMD boards will usb boot where as p3 will not . For the P3 to boot you will have to get a IDE to CF card adapter and you can use a CF card for the OS .

Also you will get 4-6 SATA ports and you can use the cheaper SATA laptop drives rather than USB drives . This will definitely save more power rather than the USB way .

I have also built a lot of NAS boxes , but I kind of feel that even though a old pc makes sense to reuse it , the features that we expect these days
makes it a not so cost effective solution compared to a new pc .

Cost of a used p3 approx
board = 700
processor =500
memory 256 = 500
smps cabinet =500
Power consumption = 40 W

Cost of a new AMD sempron
Board +processor = 2700 Approx
memory 512 =300
smps and cabinet ( used 1 ) =500
Power consumption = 45 w ( but CPU supports a lot of sleep states ,so power drawn will be not more than 20 W )


The above costs are approx prices in the market and I havent "quoted" any price to sell a computer ..LOL
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