I’ve been looking at the hard drives I have spare or in various external enclosures, and the drives I have in my current fileserver and in my old desktop that will become my new fileserver (on top of 1.25Tb in my new desktop). I’ve found:

Old desktop: 3x250gb and a 200gb SATA

Fileserver: 2x500gb and 2x250gb SATA, 80gb IDE


  • 160Gb 2.5″ SATA (in eSATA enclosure)
  • 6Gb 2.5″ IDE
  • 20Gb 2.5″ IDE (in USB enclosure)
  • 2x 80Gb IDE (one in Firewire enclosure)
  • 160Gb SATA (in eSATA enclosure)

I then looked at the number of SATA controllers I have in the old desktop (to be new fileserver):

  • SIL3124 PCI card: 2 internal, 2 external
  • SIL3114 motherboard: 4 internal
  • ICH5R motherboard: 2 internal
  • Promise TX2: 2 external

The TX2 will be replaced by the 3124, so that will leave me with eight internal SATA2 and two external eSATA ports!

So I’m thinking of going mad and PSU/heat/space permitting putting 2x500Gb and 5x250Gb in there for primary storage and using the 200Gb and smaller drives in external enclosures for backups.

It seems a bit naff having 2.25Tb spread over seven drives, but it seems a waste otherwise, and its only two more drives than the fileserver currently has for 1.6Tb, and it free’s up at least one 250Gb internal drive I was using for backups.

Or I could buy a 1Tb and put the 2x500Gb plus the 200Gb as a boot drive, giving 2.2Tb over four drives, with 5x250Gb drives for backups in one of these.

Update: or I could buy a 1Tb and the 2x500Gb and a 250Gb boot drive in the new fileserver, and 4x250Gb and an 80Gb IDE boot drive in the old fileserver, which could be used for backups – perhaps using Wake-On-Lan to turn it on in the middle of the night and do an rsync. Better than buying a eSATA port multiplier or multi-bay NAS.