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My personal NAS

I built a personal NAS[1] solution back in November of 2015 and it is a “budget solution” mostly based on hardware I already had lying around here at home.

It consists of the following hardware:

  • CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8B75-MLE
  • Memory: 8GB Kingston HyperX
  • Disks: 1 WD Red 2TB for the OS and 4 WD Red 2TB for my pools
  • Cooling: Custom water cooling
  • Case: Corsair C70

k0nsl-nas-motherboard01_k0nsl

That is practically it when it comes to the hardware powering my NAS. The custom water cooling is a overkill as it could have been cooled by a cheap heat sink coupled with a quiet fan…but what fun is that?
I also have one add-in PCIe SATA III controller card as the motherboard itself has very few SATA III ports, some cheap generic brand I bought via Ebay and which was made in China; it cost me $13.00 with shipping included in the price.

rockstor01_k0nsl rockstor02_k0nsl

As for the operating system. I was very unsure what to go with at the time of assembling the system. My friend “M. Wynn” suggested that I should use NAS4Free, as he was satisfied with it himself. However, I wanted to check out something entirely new which wasn’t very widely used.
rockstor03_k0nsl rockstor03_k0nsl
So, what did I pick? Well, it’s called Rockstor[2] and it truly was something brand spanking new at the time. The first ever public release was pushed to GitHub in July 2015, so at the time I installed it one could say it wasn’t a particularly widely used operating system. In fact, I suspect it still isn’t a widely used operating system. However, I could be wrong on that count.
I am running version 3.8-14.22 and I’m pulling new releases from their test channel rather than the stable one. Yes, I like to live on the edge. The test channel, or branch, features new releases every five days (if there is one available). The stable release channel once every month. My system runs on kernel 4.6.
The four Western Digital enterprise hard disk drives which makes up my btrfs-based pool is configured in RAID 10 because that is the best option for me out of the available raid levels; there is RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and finally the one I’m using — RAID 10. There are five hard disk drives in total but only four are used for my pool; I honestly cannot afford any more at the moment as it’s over $500 already for the current amount of disks. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be a super budget NAS build and nothing spectacular or mind-blowing.

The web interface of Rockstor has a rather pleasant design based on Bootstrap 3 with a wide variety of features. You can for example create customized storage pools and you can enable their so-called “Rock-on”-feature which is just a fancy front-end for Docker; this will allow you to install various applications such as Deluge, EmbyServer, GitLab, OwnCloud, Sickrage and many more.

Thanks to my water cooling solution the NAS itself is running both cool and quiet. The temperature inside of my house is 16 C and as of this moment the NAS is reporting the following readings:

[root@nas01 ~]# uptime && sensors
 23:18:52 up 29 days,  8:04,  3 users,  load average: 0.27, 0.20, 0.16
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +27.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)
temp2:        +29.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 0:         +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 1:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 2:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 3:         +22.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)

That’s with just one fan on the absolute lowest RPM on the dual radiator.

I have to say, despite this being a so-called “curry solution” I’m satisfied with it. I have had zero issues to speak of, none that would warrant mentioning anyway!

References

[1] A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network users and heterogeneous clients. NAS devices are flexible and scale-out, meaning that as you need additional storage, you can add on to what you already have. A NAS is like having a private cloud right in your home. It’s faster, less expensive and provides all the benefits of a public cloud, giving you absolute control.

[2] Rockstor is a Linux/BTRFS based Network Attached Storage (NAS) and private cloud solution. It is distributed as a CentOS flavored Linux operating system with a newer kernel and Rockstor application software bundled together to easily install a system and manage your data. You can find more information about Rockstor, here.

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My custom Raspberry Pi 3 case

This is my custom Raspberry Pi 3 case — the material is birch wood and might have been sourced at Birkenau (I’m joking). However, it is birch wood, though. The plan is to use this RPi3 as another device for various development tasks.
My RPi 2 Model B is feeling rather sluggish when it comes to compiling projects, etc,. Hence, this upgraded device will certainly help in that respect.

Here are some inexcusably poor photographs. I’m stuck with an awful camera at the moment

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New system up & running!

Video Description

Combobulated is the keyword (is that even a word?)

At any rate, this is a system I pulled together from bits and pieces and a CPU which was sent to me from Hong Kong. The CPU is a E8400, socket 775.

Motherboard? Asus Maximus Extreme, see: http://k0nsl.org/bag/hardware/Asus_Maximus_Extreme/

Cooling? It’s passively cooled by a Thermochill PA120.3.

Temperatures? It idles at about 45 °C so heat is not much of an issue. If it becomes one I’ll just slap on a fan or three ;-)

OS? Jewbuntu ;-/

I’m still not entirely sure what purpose the system will serve nor am I fully decided on what type of OS to run. Only time will tell.

Overclocking? At the moment it’s running at 4960MhZ (9 ratio @ 440 FSB): so out of the box I’ve gained almost two gigahertz from it. It’s currently undergoing stress testing at this speed. The only worries I have is with the northbridge heat. It’s a bit toasty

Sorry about the crappy video: I’m not very good at filming, or even putting together a clip. I rush it and it comes out as a confabulated mess. Plus, Sony is not really helping out much in lieu of the horrendous focus-problem they have with their cameras. Blergh.

Specs

CPU: Intel E8400
Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme (X38), never used.
Memory: Kingston Hyperx 16 GiB
PSU: OCZ 600W
GPU: AMD 280X
HDD: Seagate 1TB (only one for now)
Pump: Laing DDCv1
Waterblock: Swiftech Storm
Radiator: Thermochill PA120.3
Reservoir: EK Dual Bay

…alas, a whole system which only cost me about $18 bucks, excluding the costs for the already available hardware. Oh, and don’t fret: Ah’ll put the stuff in a case, very soon. This is only for testing purposes

Pictures
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The E8400 Finally Arrived

My Core™2 Duo Processor E8400 finally arrived from Hong Kong today. It cost me less than $19 altogether. And I already have a board for it – my Asus Maximus Extreme. A board I have never even used. It’s in mint condition.

I’m not exactly sure what use I will have for it at the moment but I can think of a few useful scenarios. More on that at a later date. I will first of all have to see if it even functions

Here’s how it arrived:

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Fix AMD Mouse Corruption

This is only a temporary fix for the dreaded “AMD Mouse Corruption”-issue, not a final solution by any means. If all the other solutions has failed, such as re-flashing your card with another BIOS, or whatever else you may have tried, then perhaps this will be of benefit for you. It’s just a simple solution to a very annoying issue.

This is what I did to temporarily fix the issue while not gaming, because the mouse corruption appears in Windows as well, which complicates my work. Very irritating to say the least!

Enough jabber, here’s how to get it (temporarily) resolved in Windows 8.1, but it should work the same way for most versions – just locate your device manager:

Press your Windows key + F and search for “Device Manager”, or open it by pressing your Windows key + X to access the Power User Menu and locate “Device Manager” in the menu. But here is how I usually do it:
fix-mouse-corruption01_k0nsl

Open it up and browse to “Display adapters” and click on the properties:
fix-mouse-corruption02_k0nsl

Click the “Driver”-tab and disable it. As you can tell, mine is already disabled. So whenever you wish to use it, just reverse the procedure and presto! You’ve got no more mouse corruption.

Another option is to use the iGPU if you’re running Intel as I do, then just switch the HDMI cable to your motherboard – and voila! No more mouse corruption. A bit of a hassle, some may say, but in the end it’s worth it because this issue is – as I say- very irritating and annoying. You’d think AMD would’ve fixed it by now. It’s been a decade or something now, I forget, but they have not addressed the issue. At any rate, I know of no such fix from AMD and I’ve tried every damn solution out there and none of them work. The only ones that temporarily resolves it are the ones I have listed in this post.

That’s it. Over and out

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My Asus Raidr

I bought an Asus ROG Raidr today, you read more about it at Asus website: http://www.asus.com/ROG_ROG/RAIDR_Express_PCIe_SSD/

Here’s how it compares to my previous SSD drive, an old OCZ SSD. I’ll be installing Debian on the “Raidr” later today 

OCZ SSD

My trusty old OCZ SSD:
CrystalDiskMark-OCZ60GB01_k0nsl

Asus Raidr

Now for the ASUS RAIDR Express PX2-240GB:

CrystalDiskMark-RAIDR01_k0nsl

…see the difference?

Picture

DSC_0060

Update

I bought my ASUS ROG RAIDR in August 2014, alas it has been running for almost four months so far. Nothing much has changed:

rog-raidr-bench01_k0nsl

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo
                           Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

           Sequential Read :   653.318 MB/s
          Sequential Write :   384.610 MB/s
         Random Read 512KB :   574.778 MB/s
        Random Write 512KB :   362.720 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) :    26.550 MB/s [  6481.8 IOPS]
   Random Write 4KB (QD=1) :    79.871 MB/s [ 19499.8 IOPS]
   Random Read 4KB (QD=32) :   193.040 MB/s [ 47128.8 IOPS]
  Random Write 4KB (QD=32) :   297.664 MB/s [ 72671.8 IOPS]

  Test : 1000 MB [C: 39.3% (87.7/223.1 GB)] (x5)
  Date : 2014/11/28 14:41:33
    OS : Windows 8  [6.2 Build 9200] (x64)
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Replacing a HDD on a Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15

I decided to change the HDD in my Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15 for a SSD I had laying around in the house, so that is what I did.

Here’s how a gutted Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 15 looks like. Enjoy!

The replacement HDD is one from OCZ.