Archive for the ‘Storing’ Category

VortexBox re-appears

Posted: January 14, 2016 in Hardware, Storing
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So I rebuilt the Vortexbox CD ripper last weekend… A few new CDs appeared over Xmas, so I needed to get them on to the Sonos so I could listen to them at home, not just in the car.

Last time I looked at VB it was on version ~1.5, but the current version is 2.4. It has also moved from an .ISO format to a USB installer (good news).

Trouble is that no matter what I did I couldn’t persuade the old Intel Atom board to boot into the freshly installed VB. I initially assumed that the issue was due to re-cycling of HDD – perhaps the MBR was corrupted: all the usual things that happen when you swap between OS installs. Even with a completely blank HDD (gparted rocks) it still jumped happily through the install process and then reported that ‘no boot device is present’.

Several other people reported similar issues and it looks like the hardware won’t accept a gpt boot partition, so it can’t see that it exists and so it constantly reports that no boot device is present.

The forums also reported that you can append ‘nogpt’ to the install boot params, but that didn’t work for me either. Having wasted enough time on reboots & reinstalls I eventually I found an earlier  v2.3 in .ISO format that I could copy to USB and that did work.

unRAID Update 5

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Storing
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Edit – Ooops – Just found this in the drafts folder – should have been posted in July

So unRAID is purring along nicely. Currently running one of the later release candidates and apart from some issues relating to the plugins for SABnzbd, Sick Beard and Couch Potato, it all seems to be working perfectly.
The cache drive is a bit of a worry, it’s running almost permanently because of the use of SABnzbd et al. and the temperatures are now running quite high. I’m also using the 320Gb HDD instead of a spare 1.5Tb drive as I figured that I’d save them for expansion (DVD library rips plan…) and using them for cache duties would only shorten their lifespan. It’s almost a shame that the new plugin system for unRAID v5 doesn’t allow the addition of an extra ‘Apps’ disk outside of the storage pool. At least then we could use a slower or more power efficient HDD for Apps and config data and a fast HDD for the cache. I might seriously consider using a SSD, but I’m not sure if unRAID supports TRIM and that’s an expensive way to find out!
The use of SABnzbd has also meant that I’ve needed to alter the way that I do things a bit, with the system handling the downloads to the cache and then migrating them to the download directory. At this point I can worry about naming conventions and then manually migrating the files to their final destination.
Anyway, the system is working so well that I’ve actually now removed NAS00 from operation and it’s now turned on to be used purely for manual backups from both the unRAID and the WHS boxes.

unRAID update 4

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Storing
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A quick update to the unRAID build.

unRAID hardware is now built with the replaced CM Stacker in place.

Plus license bought and installed so I now have 1x 2.0Tb WD Black as a parity drive, 2x 2.0Tb WD Green + 1x 2.0Tb Samsung + 2x 1.5Tb Barracudas plus a 320Gb WD as a cache. That gives me a grand total of  9Tb of usable storage.

I’ve also migrated the TV and Film directories across and integrated the TV side of things with the Sick Beard/SABnzbd plugin combo.

This leaves me with 3 jobs –

  1. Update the version of unRAID from 5.0-b14 to 5.0-rc4 (or greater if I don’t get to it before the next release!).
  2. Disconnect the ‘extra’ currently unused HDDs – no sense in powering them if I’m not using them.
  3. I need to monitor the temperatures of the parity disk – seems to be getting high. If so I’ll need to open up the case and add an additional 120mm fan in either the side or the front of the case.

Now time to switch my attention back to the XBMC setup and then point it all at the new server.

unRAID update 3

Posted: April 30, 2012 in Storing
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All the best plans….

So the CM Stacker was a dud. Looks like they managed to bolt a right side frame on to the left side as well as the right. Meant that the screw holes for the HDD didn’t line up. Been RMA’d, but now awaiting replacement from the always excellent Scan.co.uk.

Anyway, the SAS card is now in and after some issues with the cable (make sure you have the right kind of SAS cable – apparently there are different types with the same connectors on them….. who knew… ) is seeing the school of Seagate Barracuda drives awaiting inclusion.

Array is now up and built with a 2.0Tb WD Black as parity combined with 2×2.0Tb WD Green for data. Top level directories have been built and are now waiting for me to pull my finger out and copy the data across.

Once the new CM Stacker appears, I’ll need to stop the array and see about re-wiring/re-threading cables to position the drives. I originally planned to put the Parity, two Green and the 320 cache in the stacker as the air flow is slightly restricted due to the closeness of the disks. BUT the SAS cable uses a huge connector that makes it a little too tight to fit behind the drives in the main disk mount. I’ll need to experiment as the WD Black gets hot – 47 degrees during preclear.

DVD Collection

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Distributing, Storing
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As I have a habit of purchasing music, films and TV shows on physical media rather than digital, it means that the collection takes up a lot of physical space. While I admit that I should probably sell on some of the older films, I feel that if I’ve gone to the effort of buying a film, I should really keep it. Thing is, that I know I’m never going to go upstairs and rummage around in the various plastic crates sitting in the spare room to try and find a film to watch. I’m either going to hit the film channels or XBMC.

I spoke in earlier posts about the potential storage pool available at home. The fact is that this is almost becoming ludicrous – who in their right mind NEEDS 9Tb of storage, let alone the 12Tb CURRENTLY possible with the hardware I have just sitting there?

Still with this amount of storage potentially available, I’m thinking that I might just rip all those DVDs sitting in boxes taking up space in the spare room to ISO and then dump them on the storage pool. Once a disk is done, I can put the physical disk in the loft out of the way. I did this with our music and it’s worked fine. So why not do it with the DVDs?

In the unlikely event that I need more space at a later date, I can always put the ISOs from the pool through HandBreak or it’s equivalent and convert them to MKV files.

Perhaps this needs to go on my project list….

unRAID update 2

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Storing
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Well I managed to rescue an additional WD Green 2.0Tb drive as well as a 2.0 Tb WD Black. I’ve also got hold of a CoolerMaster 4-in-3 disk stacker that I can put into the 3 x 5.25″ bays in the Antec tower. This gives me a theoretical capacity of 10 x 3.5″ disks plus 2x 2.5″.

My plan is now to use the WD Black as the parity (fast drive) with 2x 2.0Tb WD Greens for data. I’ve removed the 2 port SATA card that was in the tower as unRAID didn’t recognise it and replaced it with a SuperMicro 8 Channel SAS card that was thrown away at work. I’ll drop the 3 x 1.5Tb Seagate and the 2.0Tb Samsung drives on to the SAS card and use them to expand the array once I get a license.

I’ll use one of the Seagate drives as a cache drive during the initial bulk transfer and then swap that back in as a data drive and use an old 320Gb WD drive as the cache drive for day to day use.

So using the free license will net me 4.0Tb usable, upping it to the Plus license will give me 9.0Tb useable plus 1.5Tb cache. If I go for the Pro license I can get 12Tb useable and use a 320Gb cache.

Now I need to pull the box from the shelves, do the upgrade and then start the transfer. I’m thinking that it’s going to be quicker to clean the current config and start from scratch rather than try to migrate the little amount of data across to new disks.

unRAID update

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Storing
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Just as a quick follow up: the unRAID box has been build in it’s new
enclosure (Antec 302) and the mixed collection of HDDs have been
mounted ready for action. The basic server now consistes of a 2Tb
Samsung as the parity, a 2Tb WD Green and a 1.5Tb Seagate for storage.

There’s a couple more 1.5Tb drives waiting to be added as soon as I
stump up the cash for the licensed version. Might wait until the
official 5.0 stable version gets released.

Now I just need to finish building the new desktop, then i’ll have the
old NAS, new unRAID and new desktop all on the same gigabit network so
I can start shunting the files from the old to the new with a bit more
alacrity. Once that is done, I’ll need to setup NFS and re-import my
media back into XBMC.

Got a week or so off planned, so I’m hoping I might get enough time to
at least start this final phase.