Computer case that can hold lots of hard drives

July 13th, 2014

I’ve been looking for a while for a not-silly-expensive, normal-ish computer case that can hold lots of hard drives.

I’m building a home NAS, and want the flexibility to fill it with lots of hard disk drives. Normal decent home computer cases can hold about 5 hard drives (3.5″ bays), plus 3-4 CD drives (5.25″ bays). I just want lots of room for HDD, so looking for a case with lots of 3.5″ bays.

Here’s a write-up of my findings, in case it’s of use to anyone else…

You can also get HDD enclosures that fit in the 5.25″ bays, but hold HDD instead:

  • 4-in-3 adapter for about £30 puts 4 HDD in 3 5.25″ bays (4-in-3), with a big 120mm fan cooling them. (It’s a faff to change the drives around with these, but the cooling is good)
  • 5-in-3 adapter for about £28 puts 5 HDD in 3 5.25″ bays (5-in-3), also with a big 120mm fan cooling them.
  • Fancier ones (costing ~£120+) are hot swappable, and provide better cable management etc.

It was surprisingly hard to find many cheap options, but my hunt has lead me to the following.

  • Antec 1900 (about £170) has 12 3.5″ bays, plus 3 5.25″ bays, so could hold up to 17 HDD, with a 5-in-3 enclosure. It’s a huge case – 700mm tall
  • Antec 1200 (about £120) has 12 5.25″ bays and zero 3.5″, but comes with 3 3-in-3 5.25″ to 3.5″ adapters. This one is great if you want to start with decent capacity (9 HDD), but also the option to scale up to 20 in the future (for about £120). Still big – 650mm tall
  • Antec Nine Hundred Two (about £75) is similar to the 1200, but has 9 5.25″ bays, and adapters for 6 bays come in the box. Could hold up to 15 drives (with 3 5-in-3 adapters, totalling about £85 extra) – normal sized at <500mm tall
  • Fractal Design ARC XL and Fractal Design Define XL (£100 or £85) are similar to each other. Both have 8 3.5″ bays, plus 4 5.25″ bays, so could hold up to 13 HDD. Not too big – 570/560mm tall

Wake on LAN (WOL) for the Point of View ION 330 motherboard

May 3rd, 2010

I’ve built myself an unraid server, using an atom-based motherboard – the POV/ION330, complete with a picoPSU, so it’s completely silent, apart from the hard drives.

Getting Wake on LAN to work on the POV motherboard wasn’t particularly easy. The settings in the BIOS weren’t clear. PME is a Power Management Event. It also has wake-on-ring. I enable both, but WOL still wasn’t working. Read the rest of this entry »

Screen sharing over the internet, through SSH

February 6th, 2010

I’ve been using SSH to play with my home Mac for a while, but now figured out how to get VNC working through the VNC access.

For clarity, the home Mac is called Coruscant.

I had to set up screen sharing on Coruscant locally. I tried to enable it throught the command line SSH access, but didn’t get very far. Locally, you use the Sharing Preference pane. (I think) It’s important to enable the VNC password for non-mac systems to be able to connect.

Now, I left home and went to visit family. The first step to connect is to open a tunnel from a port on the local machine, through SSH to port 5900 on Coruscant.

The following command does it.

ssh -C -L 59001: user@coruscant external ip

-C enable compression, which can help performance over the slow Internet.

-L 59001: configures the tunnel – 59001: is the local port and address to connect with. 5900 is the port on Coruscant to connect with.

user@coruscant external ip is the normal SSH connect to use. I have dyndns set up so I use that address to resolve to the external IP address of Coruscant.

Next, just go to vnc:// in safari, and screen sharing opens and connects (after prompting for authentication)

It’s pretty much the same to connect from a non-mac system (at least the numbers are)