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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a selection of various disk drives that I have added to my system over the years for various purposes - some usb2 drives and some sata drives (that are just sitting on my desk). These drives are of various sizes, the usb drives are 320 GB, 500 GB, and two 1000 GB. The sata drives sitting on my desk are 1.5 TB and 1 TB in size. I would like to clean up the mess of cables and get the sata drives off my desk and put the side of the computer case back on.

    I had read somewhere about someone who built an enclosure like this -- I think, but not sure because I can't find the link where I saw that project.

    What I have... an old system that I am not using which has an ASUS A7N8X mobo and was running XP but I could put Linux on it if that could help solve the problem. I also have an eSata connection on my current computer that is currently unused.

    Are there any suggestions on how to build an enclosure that can gather all these drives into one enclosure? I would like to get away from the usb2 interface if possible, because it is so slow and time consuming when I am making a backup copy of a video before editing it, for instance.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Start by searching through newegg's external enclosures: Search newegg USB2.0 & eSATA
    or
    or
    or
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Clint - I had looked at NewEgg, TigerDirect, Amazon, etc, and didn't find anything that really did what I want. I would think that it's possible, but I don't know enough about the hardware interfaces - I guess I'll have to do some researching.

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    You want a NAS (Network Attached Storage) system You can buy NAS cases and add you drives to them, or build yourself a NAS system out of regular "parts". Complete NAS systems can also be bought, but you won't want that as you already have the drives. There's loads on the web if you google - try DIY network attached storage for a home build, and network attached storage enclosures for ready built.

    Good basic explanation click here

    You can use specialised Linux and BSD versions for the software - example click here. Make sure the drives are kept nice and cool for long life and less issues - don't stick them tightly in a cabinet one above the other.

    Use Gigabit ethernet for speed. A big advantage of NAS is that the drive cabinet doesn't need to be anywhere near where you keep the system(s) you work on - 100m cables are allowed on all ethernet networks. And you can share the storage with any other system you might have on the network.

    Here's an interesting thread to read with lots of ideas, tips etc. click here

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    I added a NAS storage device to my home network with the D-Link DNS-323 two bay enclosure ( http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=509 ). It runs around $100 and you can put any two 3.5 inch SATA drives in it that you wish. I have two 750 Gb drives in mine that were purchased separately and at different times. The device allows the drives to spin down normally and spin up on demand. They are accessable from anywhere on the network as network drive(s) and even anywhere on the Internet since it has a built in FTP Server capability. It also has a USB Printer port and Print Server capability so it can make your printer available to your network as a network printer without the need for any special network capability in your printer and without the need for any system to be 'always on'.

    Most other NAS enclosures have the capability of handling more than two drives and are typically much more expensive, They probably also offer more features such as LAN speeds of 10/100/1000 (vs 10/100 in the DNS-323) as well as things like a http Server function, hot swappable bays, etc.

    Of course, you could do all this with any old PC but that involves a rather large box that may be hot and noisy. It also means maintaining and supporting the additional OS along with its regular updates, patches and AV protection. One advantage of doing the job with an old PC is that it will likely be quite happy to accept PATA drives but probably not too happy about SATA drives.

    If I were you, I would look to put your SATA drives in a NAS enclosure and the PATA drives in an old system if they are worthwhile using. You may be able to find an 'External Drive' enclosure that will accept PATA drives (they are readily available for SATA drives) but they are not a versitile and useful as NAS enclosures. They usually accept only a single drive each and are typically designed to be portable.

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