View Full Version : Various problems with old hardware, freenas & squeezecenter/slimnas

2008-03-27, 09:31
Hi folks,

I've trying to DIY a music server from two different machines:

1.7 ghz celeron, 256mb ram, 20 gig HDD
249 mhz PII-M, 256 mb ram, 20 gig HDD (same one as above, just swapped it)

I'm a newbie and I'm learning a lot. I've gotten pretty far trying to get one of these to head a raid 1 mirror with 2x seagate 500 gb sata 1.5 drives via a PCI card with 2x sata 1.5 connections, with on-board hardware raid.

I would prefer not to use the 1.7 ghz celeron machine because it is a full ATX chasis and has a loud fan on the cpu and is no doubt a power hog. Also, I could not get the raid1 to mount-- I kept getting "fatal error 12" and something about an LBA #.

The PII-M machine is a slimline case, the cpu is fanless, and I can get the raid1 to mount. However, I've tried to use the hardware raid in the BIOS on the PCI card (seems to set up fine) but freenas still recognizes the two drives as separate. I then set them up as software raid in freenas, and I can mount the raid and read and write to it. The problem is when I try to install slimnas the system hangs. Is slimnas/squeezecenter too much for a 249 mhz PII-M??

I'm just wondering if I should bite the bullet and throw out my attempts to reuse old equipment and get a Via C7 fanless mobo etc. instead???

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


2008-03-27, 10:38
Is slimnas/squeezecenter too much for a 249 mhz PII-M??
Assuming it can be made to work, it sounds like a borderline solution. Would be an interesting hack if it works.

SC7 performance is kind of marginal on a 500 MHz Geode LX800 (OK through SB3 interface, several seconds per page via Web UI), which has performance similar to a p2.

Good luck!

2008-04-03, 06:29
I've run FreeNAS on many different boxes for testing. The lowest power was an old Dell PII 350 with 384mb ram, performance was marginal but it worked. This setup was only tested with a 8gb drive and softsqueeze, I never actually tried it with SB hardware.

The next box was a dual PIII 733 with 512mb ram (Precision 410 workstation from Dell). I really liked this box and it performed well. The main board has on board SCSI (2 controllers actually) with the hard disk on one controller and the other is disabled (nothing is hooked up). FreeNAS is installed on the 37gb SCSI drive and the rest of the drive was setup as the share (so I didn't have raid setup). Performance from this thing was very good with hardware and software players. Currently it's configured with Ubuntu Server and is at one of my friends for testing.

The machine I currently use is a Celeron 600 (PIII architecture again) with 256mb ram. This machine uses a 4gb drive for the os and other related operating files (SC is installed there) and two 200gb ide drives in software raid. This board doesn't have any hardware raid.

Continued in next post

2008-04-03, 06:36
When you actually set the hardware and software up you will need to check that the raid controllers are supported under FreeBSD. I think the latest version of FreeNAS is still using 6.2 so you'll need to check the hardware list and be sure that your controller is on there. The processor speed from the 250mhz machine may not be adequate if you plan to use it for anything other than serving music, though it could perform adequately. You will see a little lag when changing screens on the SBC.

I'd start with the 250mhz machine and boot off the live CD. Pick up a usb flash drive and hook that up. You won't be able to boot from the USB but you will be able to store configuration information there and boot from the CD. Get the box setup with the raid hardware installed, but don't install the drives at this time. Make sure you are happy and the machine starts and loads completely on it's own (without you having to configure anything). Then shut it down and install the drives and configure the raid.

On the next boot you can then go into bios and configure them (again, if the hardware is supported) and then finish the configuration from the web interface.

On the other machine you may need to disable acpi on boot. I had one board that required that in order to boot into FreeBSD, but not Linux or Windows.