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Building a NAS with stuff in my basement (bits and pieces)


Staff member
I need to build a NAS to store the ever expanding amount of digital files that seem to be accumulating. I want to scan a bunch of transparencies and negatives and this is going to use up more space.

I have a lot of bits and pieces in the basement including an old tower computer case and power supply, cables, etc. but the motherboard in it may be too old or power hoggy to use.

I have an Adaptec 3405 raid card.

My goal is to stick three or four 3tb or 4tb drives into it and that should serve my purposes for a while. Super speed isn't a requirement, but reliability and security is. I will most likely keep it in the basement and use my house cat5e to wire it to my switch upstairs.

Some questions:

1) I have never used FreeNAS b4 is it OK for something like this?

2) What kind of motherboard should I get? The less I have to spend on this, the better.


TRIBE Member
Im not sure you need any special kind of mobo - just one with a PCI slot for that card!

Would reco a cheap Asus Z97 to get you current with at least some more modern features, like a UEFI BIOS, but just get the cheapest ASUS avail I would say, socket 1150/Z97 is your best bet IMO


TRIBE Member
FreeNAS or NAS4Free will be fine, I've been running NAS4Free on an old PC with a bunch of drives for years now. Works great and is rock solid. My first system actually died last year (motherboard went bad) but it was easy enough to transfer to a different PC and remount the drives without losing anything. Recommend you run off a USB key as it makes it easier to switch to a different system if necessary.

Just find the cheapest mobo that will work in your case/with your power supply.


TRIBE Member
The only negative I have about using an older PC as a NAS is the amount of power that they used to suck up. If that's not an issue for you then FreeNAS or NAS4Free is a good option. I ended up going with a QNAP 4 bay NAS as my old PC sucked way too much power on idle.

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TRIBE Member
Thats the one advantage of getting cheapest, latest gen components - should suck a lot less power.

but you're probably right to look at purpose built NAS solutions, which could be even less of a power concern

Point is you'd be building a computer from parts to perform one function, may be better to get a whole system liek that off the shelf... can be 600-1200 for a good standalone NAS


TRIBE Member
I'd be wary of a 4-bay NAS. I bought in and am swiftly running out of space. Wish I had bought the 8bay synology.

Reason being? RAID10. With having seen a URE on RAID5 before and all of the data loss that goes with it, I'm using RAID10(4x 3TB drives) and it's just not quite enough space for all of the bits and pieces of data I seem to hoard.

And at the price of 8-bays vs a mobo/raid card and using freenas...it might actually be better value to go the freenas route.