Author Topic: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question  (Read 6889 times)

Offline lewis

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Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« on: March 18, 2009, 07:59:23 AM »
Here I am again – UNRAID to me is like that elusive pretty girl

This is my second attempt at building an UNRAID server. I tried back in May of 2007 and I could never get her to work - so here I go again.

My question is very basic – after I install all the parts into the computer case – do I update all the drivers and then boot from UNRAID.

For instance, the Adaptec PCI card has a driver disk – I am afraid though the disk will install the RAID program, but I need the disk to install an operating system so it works (just not the RAID program).

I know it’s basic – but in searching the forums I did not find it

Thanks guys

As an aside, my updated build is below. I 100% copied the “official” system that UNRAID uses to minimize any hardware issues

I am using my original CoolMaster Stacker case that I had from my failed UNRAID build before. All these items I bought at NEWEGG (except for the Sony flash drive) – total cost was $906.45 (that includes the 4 WD 1 TB drives)


Adaptec 2240900-R PCI Express 4-lane 2.5 Gb/s SATA 1430SA Kit
Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9K2/2G
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready
ZALMAN CNPS 8700 NT 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
SILVERSTONE SCOOL121 120mm Case Fan
Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEE-O LGA 775 Intel G43 ATX Intel Motherboard
COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hardisk Cage
Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Sony MICRO Vault Tiny - 2GB

Offline NAS

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 09:32:36 AM »
Unraid is self contained and has all the drivers on it already. The discs you have are almost certainly of no interest to you at all.

basically make the key.
change the bios to boot the key
boot it
make coffe and use your drivers discs as a mat :)
Have a USB card reader working with unRAID? or know one that doesn't work?
Contribute its model number here http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=23008.0

Offline bjp999

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 09:36:20 AM »
You are good to go!  I am hoping you have more than 1 hard disk, though.  ;)

There is no need to install drivers.  In fact, you couldn't even if you wanted to.  All of the drivers are built into unRAID's version of Slackware.

Here is a high level list of the steps you should follow ...

1 - Put the machine together.  Take your time.  Make sure that your cabling to your drives is secure.  Do not use mangled cables or ones that have caused you problems in the past.  Factory fresh cables are recommended.

2 - Double check all connections. 

3.  Then boot the machine and make sure all of the drives are recognized by the BIOS and/or add on controllers.

4 - Get your USB stick formatted and the unRAID distribution files installed.  It should create a subdirectory structure.  If all of the files are on the root you didn't unzip the contents right.

5 - Power down the server, install the USB stick, reboot, go into BIOS settings (usually pressing DELETE), and configure it to be the boot device (this is motherboard specific configuration - post if you have questions and someone with that MB may be able to help).  On my motherboard I was able to configure the USB as a "forced FDD", and configure the motherboard to boot off of that as a removable drive.  Again, the Supermicro BIOS settings may be similar or totally different.

6 - Confirm you can boot off of the USB stick - you should get a boot menu with 2 choices - unRAID and memtst.

7 - Boot into memtest and let it run for 2 cycles.  Later you might want to come back and run it over night, but 2 cycles should give you pretty good confidence that you don't have a memory error.

8 - Press ESC to reboot, this time go into unRAID

9 - Run Joe L.'s preclear script on each of your drives.  (Several of these can be run in parallel, as these tests take time).  Although pre-clearing the drives won't help you, this script really runs the drives through their paces, and if they have any SMART errors they will likely get detected before you put them in your array.  (Although recommended, you don't have to do this step in order to proceed to step 10).

10 - Configure your array

You may want to hold off assigning parity if you have a lot of data to copy over.  I'd suggest copying it with no parity installed, but that you install and build parity before you delete backups of anything you put on the array.

11 - Start the array

12 - Copy your data from your workstations / existing servers to an array disk.

13 - Install your parity disk (if you haven't already)

14 - Start unRAID and let it build parity

15 - Run a manual parity check - make sure it completes with 0 sync errors

16 - Run smartctl on each drive to make sure that no serious errors have developed.  Post them as well as a syslog and a forum member can help make sure there are no errors to be concerned about.

17 - Only then can you delete backup data and think about moving existing data disks from other machines into your unRAID box

Post back if you have any troubles and I'll try to help.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 09:40:01 AM by bjp999 »

Offline BryantD

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 10:05:14 AM »
For instance, the Adaptec PCI card has a driver disk – I am afraid though the disk will install the RAID program, but I need the disk to install an operating system so it works (just not the RAID program).

I know it’s basic – but in searching the forums I did not find it


During bootup you will be given an option to go into your Adaptec 1430SA and disable the bios on it (you will need a monitor hooked up to do this). Make sure to disable the bios and you'll be good to go as far as the Adaptec 1430SA.
ASRock M3A785GXH/128M/Micron DDR3 4GB/AMD Sempron 140/ABS Black Pearl Case/PNY Attache 2G USB (4.7 Pro)/Cosair CMPSU-650TX 650W/Sabrent SATA-PE2P/2-Adaptec 1430SA/2-Lian-Li EX-23NB 3to2 Drive Bay Exp/1-Lian Li EX-3to4NB/8-Sea ST31500341AS/2-Sea ST31000340AS/3-Sam HD753LJ

Offline lewis

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 10:30:57 AM »
Guys - this is awesome,

bjp999 - thank you for the detailed instructions - particularly the idea to not assign parity until i copy over all my data; this is HUGE - i am transferring about 2.5TB of backed up data (photo's, home movies, backed up movies, etc) - not configuring the array will allow it to copy much faster i would imagine. First i will transfer all the data to all the drives other the than the parity drive, then i will create parity - Awesome

NAS - Thanks for the feedback

BryantD - Thanks for the detail on the Adaptec 1430SA - i was worried specifically how to handle that one - so thanks for the good detail

This weekend it the big day - i am excited

By the way i would recommend my build for folks who want a very quite build. I have used these exact fans on my HTPC and it sits in the living room and we can not hear it at all. The fans have heat sensors on them so they turn more quickly only when they need to.

Offline lewis

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 10:39:23 AM »
Oh - one other thing, in response to bjp999's question on having more than one hard disk

I have 8 disks in total - 4 Western Digital 1.0tb, and 4 Seagate 750gig

The price i quoted in my first post of $906.45 fopr my build included the purchase of 4 WD 1.0tb disks; the price DOES NOT include the four Seagate drives. I had the 4 Seagate 750gig drives from my first attempt at the UNRAID build back in 2007 (i paid $1k for the four 750gig drives back in '07 - man have the prices of drives come down)

So in total i will have 8 drives - i will use one of the WD 1.0tb as the parity drive and the remaining 7 drives (in total 6.0 tb) will be data

This will more than double the amount of space i have now - at a fraction of the cost of the NAS i am currently using

Offline prostuff1

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 12:15:54 PM »
Oh - one other thing, in response to bjp999's question on having more than one hard disk

I have 8 disks in total - 4 Western Digital 1.0tb, and 4 Seagate 750gig

The price i quoted in my first post of $906.45 fopr my build included the purchase of 4 WD 1.0tb disks; the price DOES NOT include the four Seagate drives. I had the 4 Seagate 750gig drives from my first attempt at the UNRAID build back in 2007 (i paid $1k for the four 750gig drives back in '07 - man have the prices of drives come down)

So in total i will have 8 drives - i will use one of the WD 1.0tb as the parity drive and the remaining 7 drives (in total 6.0 tb) will be data

This will more than double the amount of space i have now - at a fraction of the cost of the NAS i am currently using

Obviously you will be buying the Pro license, so i would suggest that you take a look at setting up a cache drive drive as well.  Once you get all the the data transferred and the User Shares created you can assign specific User Shares to use the cache drive.  This will increase the write speed to the array (data is not really written to the array right away).  I have an older 160GB SATA drive set up as my cache drive and it work perfectly fine for my needs.  See this section in the FAQ for a little more detail.
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Offline bjp999

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Re: Second attempt at a UNRAID server - quick question
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 07:03:55 AM »
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