My NAS future build – some questions also

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    • My NAS future build – some questions also

      Hi guys,



      New user here, happy to say hello to everyone in the forum. This is my 1st post here and it might be a bit long one, so bear with me, as I have some questions at the end…



      I have been willing for quite some good time to either buy a pre-built NAS, like Synology, QNAP or Asustor, or build it by myself. I read dozens of articles, reviews & other stuff about both areas and I came to the conclusion that I would better build my own NAS.
      End of last year, together with my son, we built what was supposed to be a gaming/video-photo editing/NAS desktop system; well, it became only his gaming/video-photo editing system, while the NAS part of it became a no-go for me… it’s his toy in the end …


      So back to the DIY phase, which I always enjoyed.



      All my current stuff is stored on external USB HDDs, different sizes (500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB) and tons of (still) DVSs, but also the internal HDDs inside my laptops/desktops. I know, not synchronized…
      I had some of my HDDs attached to the USB port of my router, but it was not a good option for me, one of the HDDs crashed after a power outage and the read/write speed was quite awful.



      Now what I want out of it:

      • Purpose: store my quite big photo library and movies recorded by myself/family; docs; music library; books library
      • Storage: big enough
      • Scalable/Expandable: I’ll start with 2 x HDDs (4 TB most likely)
      • Accessible: from my intranet & internet
      • Served devices: couple of laptops (all Windows based), tablets, smartphones, Android mini PC
      • NAS availability: it won’t be (yet) 24x7, I’d like to start it when I need it (at least for now)
      • RAID: from what I have read, it would be most likely a no-go, rather I’ll prefer to use any sync possibilities of the NAS OS



      Through all my readings about which OS would suit my needs (and tech skills), I came to the conclusion that OMV would best suit them. Now about the HW part, I read also quite many stuff either about different SBCs, or classic PC based architecture. What I have came up with, as a 1st shortlist of HW would be (but not yet concluded):

      • Case: BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX or Fractal Design Node 804
      • MoBo: GIGABYTE B360M DS3H (or an equivalent MoBo with 4-6 SATA ports)
      • RAM: Corsair Value Select 8GB DDR4 2133MHz CL15
      • CPU: Intel Coffee Lake I3 8100
      • PSU: be quiet! Pure Power 10 350W ATX24
      • Storage: 2 x 4 (or 6) TB to start with (WD Red or Seagate Ironwolf)
      • OS: Adata SSD 120 GB



      As I have one of my Windows 10 Pro laptops laying around for quite some time, after watching TechnoDadLife’s video tutorials on this forum, I said what the heck, why waiting till I’ll have all the HW available.

      This Lenovo G50-70 laptop has 2 hard disks, one SSD (120 GB used for OS) and one HDD (1 TB, used for storage, for now it’s only an empty NTFS formatted HDD)

      So I prepared a 32 GB USB stick with the OMV 4 iso, I removed the bootable Wind SSD from my Lenovo G50-70 and replaced it with the Adata SU650 120 GB SSD. OMV 4 installation went smooth till the last step: remove the USB stick to boot the OMV from the SSD: well, the SSD was not seen as a bootable drive, instead it wanted to boot from LAN…



      I entered BIOS and there surprise: my SSD where I installed OMV was not seen in BIOS. I tried any BIOS settings (I can post screenshots), though I cannot boot into OMV to set it up. Reading on some Lenovo forums it somehow look like it’s stuck with Windows, many people were asking how to install Linux on it.

      To still play with OMV, for now I installed it as a VM under Win 10 Home, but I could not test it yet if any of my other PCs can see the shared folder I created on the 2nd HDD (the 1 TB one), it was quite late last night when I finished installing OMV this way.



      Now the part of my burning questions:

      • Is there any way to use the damn SSD 120 GB by changing any BIOS setting, so that the installed OMV on it can boot up?
      • I started to read through the forum also, but I wasn’t able yet to find the answer to another question: 2 of my laptops are in the domain of the company I’m working for and I cannot change its domain or the workgroup. So is there any way that I will be able to map the OMV drive into these Laptops (Win 10 Enterprise, always latest build), so that I can copy/fetch files from/to the OMV NAS?



      Thank you all & cheers
    • I can't answer your question on the SSD boot (I can't really understand why it's not booting either from your post)... Is Secure Boot enabled? Is there a way to disable it in the BIOS.

      I want to comment on your motherboard. I'm a big fan of Gigabyte motherboards, but I loathe Realtek NIC's as they have been nothing but problematic for me (the 81xx series in particular)... The board's specs look fine to me, so if your heart is set on that board, I would probably consider factoring in an Intel NIC since you should have an available PCIe slot.

      I disabled my onboard Realtek NIC on my Asus board and replaced it with this one after a year of frustration, and there is no way I'd go back to it as the Intel has been flawless (that was a couple years ago, there may be a newer version of this card by now)

      amazon.com/10Gtek-Chipset-Giga…-EXPI9301CT/dp/B01M28WJ00
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • 1st of all, thanks for sharing your thoughts @KM0201.

      Regarding the motherboard, indeed, I did chose a Gigabyte one based on my past experience with products from these guys. I filtered the motherboards in my search by the number of SATA III ports, format (mATX) and CPU socket. Though I can pick & choose another one, now that you are saying that for a NAS specific use case it would make a difference an Intel NIC rather than a Realtek one, so I found like ASRock B360M-HDV might be a good alternative (Intel NIC).

      Regarding my Lenovo BIOS: I was also looking for such "secure boot" option, which becomes visible only if I choose "boot mode" to "UEFI" (instead of "legacy support"), then in "Security settings I can see a "Secure boot option", which is is anyway "disabled". BIOS is quite old, I saw a new BIOS on Lenovo support portal, though I won't flash it.
      I thought initially that this SSD is broken, but as soon as I format it as NTFS, it's seen instantly in the damn BIOS, but if I install OMV, which is formatting it as EXT4 then BIOS will not see it... I saw earlier today on a blog or something a guy with same issue and he reported he managed somehow to install Linux, so I'm thinking to try the option of installing Debian 9 1st, but I guess I might face the same format issue (if this is the issue...)

      Anyway, I inserted back the other SSD I have with Win 10 and the Oracle VM+OMV and at least I can play this way. I also tested that I can see/copy/delete data over WiFi for now with another Lenovo laptop (B590, Win 10 also), so 1st toy to play with.

      But I remain with the other issue of not being able to do the same with an HP laptop which is in the domain of the company I'm working for. (that I cannot change it not because I don't have admin rights, but because if I change the domain/workgroup, I won't be able to use it in my office network)
      Any tips & tricks that I could try?

      Thanks again & cheers
    • I've never used an ASRock board, so I can't really comment on that... but I'll tell you that I think you'll be way happier with that Intel NIC. If you find you really like the Gigabyte board, the NIC card I linked isn't outrageously expensive...

      If you were trying to boot in Legacy mode before hand (ie, UEFI and Secure Boot were disabled).. then I have no explanation as to why you're having this issue. Usually installing Debian 9 first, is done to get around tricky hardware (NIC's not being recognized, etc.). The Debian ISO's are updated w/ newer kernels way more often that OMV ISO's. It's not a huge issue usually on older hardware. If you use the Debian ISO the only real difference you'll see after you've installed OMV there, is you'll probably have fewer updates to do once you're complete. Where a new install from the OMV ISO, you're going to have quite a few updates, but once it's updated, you'll be exactly where you would be going from Debian 9. It's worth a try, but not sure how much it would help in your case.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • adi_tca wrote:

      I entered BIOS and there surprise: my SSD where I installed OMV was not seen in BIOS.
      From what I have searched for that Lenovo, when you say it's not seen is that within the Boot Option Menu?

      adi_tca wrote:

      But I remain with the other issue of not being able to do the same with an HP laptop which is in the domain of the company I'm working for. (that I cannot change it not because I don't have admin rights, but because if I change the domain/workgroup, I won't be able to use it in my office network)
      This could be more of problem; do not change/alter from your domain to your home workgroup name, domain's will use group policy to apply settings to machines on the network and most software is deployed this way. Removing a machine from a domain will trigger an uninstall of the software, the second problem is you're using Enterprise this version will not connect to guest shares see this guide here this seems to be specific for Enterprise and Education versions.
      Third depending on who looks after your network most settings/changes will be disabled for users through group policy, but any changes you are able to make could impact usage within the domain.

      Once at home on your domain laptop select network and in the address bar type \\<ip address of omv> press enter if the shares display i.e you are connected the next step will be to access them, that would mean setting up a user/s on omv. Personally I have always set up a user on omv the same as my windows machine but I have no idea regarding this and domain machines.

      Another option, which I have not done but I have come into contact with is a dual boot windows option whereby you select domain access or single use, but this would have to be set up by the network admins, that's if it's doable in W10 it was in W7.
      I would suggest getting advice from your network admin as to what is possible some can be helpful, I was :)

      *Brain fart :) I wonder if setting up something like Nextcloud in Docker then adding an smb share from omv would overcome networking and access at home, might be worth investigating.
      Raid is not a backup! Would you go skydiving without a parachute?
    • geaves wrote:

      From what I have searched for that Lenovo, when you say it's not seen is that within the Boot Option Menu?
      Yep, neither there, nor in the BIOS Setup - Information menu. If I format it as NTFS in Windows and insert it back, then it appears in BIOS and I can install Windows, for instance. But if I install on it OMV from a USB stick, the installation goes smooth till the end, when you have to remove the USB and reboot to start configuring OMV. This is when the SSD becomes again "not detected" in BIOS and I get no booting source error.

      Till I'll build my new NAS with the new HW I have though OMV installed as a VM under Win 10, so I can play with it and get used to it. I will try FTP or Nextcloud for that HP office laptop and see what I get. I really need to back up my personal docs from this laptop to the NAS, it would have been nice to simply map a network folder.

      Thanks & Cheers
    • adi_tca wrote:

      Yep, neither there, nor in the BIOS Setup
      Ok it will boot from a USB, what about installing to another USB, if that worked by selecting the OMV USB all you would need to do is to edit then update grub to point the USB with OMV on it, that might be worth a try.
      I did find some threads where some had a dual boot, Windows and Linux Mint.
      Raid is not a backup! Would you go skydiving without a parachute?
    • adi_tca wrote:

      geaves wrote:

      From what I have searched for that Lenovo, when you say it's not seen is that within the Boot Option Menu?
      Yep, neither there, nor in the BIOS Setup - Information menu. If I format it as NTFS in Windows and insert it back, then it appears in BIOS and I can install Windows, for instance. But if I install on it OMV from a USB stick, the installation goes smooth till the end, when you have to remove the USB and reboot to start configuring OMV. This is when the SSD becomes again "not detected" in BIOS and I get no booting source error.
      Till I'll build my new NAS with the new HW I have though OMV installed as a VM under Win 10, so I can play with it and get used to it. I will try FTP or Nextcloud for that HP office laptop and see what I get. I really need to back up my personal docs from this laptop to the NAS, it would have been nice to simply map a network folder.

      Thanks & Cheers
      For backing up your personal docs (if you can't get the laptop on your domain)... If you can install the Syncthing Desktop App on that laptop... Setting up the Syncthing docker container is really easy.. and you could just point it at your personal documents folder on the laptop... Personal Documents on the laptop are now backed up on the NAS.

      That should get around the domain issue I do believe.

      syncthing.net/

      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • @geaves: I was thinking also to try to install OMV on an SD card and see if I can boot from it after the OMV installation. Though, having OMV installed on this Lenovo laptop is just a temporary solution, to get used to OMV and see if it fits my long term NAS solution needs.
      As mentioned, I have OMV as a VM under Win 10 on this laptop and I can play with it and I assume that, once I'll have available all the HW I planned to use to build my NAS, I will not have this "booting" issue and everything will go smooth.

      @KM0201: thanks for the tip, I also saw the TDL's "Installation and Setup Videos - Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced" thread over the last week end :)
      Usually, my "play time / free time" starts after 10 PM or sometime during the weekends...:)

      By the way, in the attached pic you can see what I'm referring to regarding the SSD not seen in BIOS as a bootable device after OMV has been installed on it.
      Images
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