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Question Raspberry Pi 1 or 2 as NAS?

YariLei

Reputable
Oct 21, 2015
8
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4,510
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Hi folks,

I've got a few external HDD's laying around with movies, music, pictures etc. on them. I want to set up a very cheap budget NAS with these and one obvious choice was to use a Raspberry Pi as the workhorse. Since I'm on a budget, I'm looking for used parts and right now there's a Raspberry Pi 1 model B+ for 15$ and a Raspberry Pi 2 model B for 30$ available. The plan would be to have the Pi sit next to my router and simply transfer the contents of 2-4 external 2.5" HDDs attached to the USB ports.

First, can a Pi 1 model "stream" a video over a home network? I saw somewhere that with Samba it can transfer at 65MB/s with the CPU screaming for help, so in theory it should work (these are not 4K, but rather 720p maximum). I'd be playing the files remotely using VLC on my home "theatre" system. Therefore, no need for RAID or anything like that; only need to be able to play the files remotely.

Secondly, can Pi 1 power as many as 2 or even 4 2.5" HDDs via the USB ports? Can the Pi 2 do it either? Or even Pi 3? I realize maybe investing in a powered usb hub is a minimum requirement here, but just want to scout my options, since I'm on a budget...

Thirdly, what kind of a power supply would be needed for this setup? 2A? 2.5A?

Lastly, if I have to use a powered usb hub, I think using an extension cord with a switch would be good, so I can switch the whole thing off when I leave the house for extended periods of time. Can I set the Pi to start automatically whenever I switch the power on from the cord, or do I need to switch the Pi on separately? Alternatively, does Pi support Wake On LAN commands, so I could switch it on from the home theatre system or any laptop in the house? Ideally, the Pi wouldn't be easily accessible, but tucked away.

Would these early Pi's be capable of all of this?

Cheers!

Kind regards,

Yari
 
May 23, 2020
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A word of device, I have tried a 3 and 4 on mine that work great but when I have removed usb hard drive without shutting down at very least the Pi first but even more reliable to unmount in terminal it corrupts my pi install.
 

YariLei

Reputable
Oct 21, 2015
8
0
4,510
0
By 3 and 4 do you mean Pi 3 and Pi 4 or 3-4 HDDs on a Pi 1?

Just wondering if a Pi 1 can even "stream" a video file well enough with this setup. I realize I'll probably need a powered usb hub for the hard drives, since Pi1 and 2 can barely run just one.

Cheers!

Br,

Yari
 

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