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[Build Log] "Mini Minerva" | 4 Bay HDD Enclosure Converted/MOD to Server/NAS

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- Mini Minerva -
Quote:
Minerva: The Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy...

Intro/Mission

So many years ago I got a 4 bay HDD enclosure, the Rosewill RSV-S4-6G. I used it for a relatively short time and then packed it away. Since then I have built myself a server ("Penny" in my sig) and thus have no real use for the RSV-S4 until now!

I thought to myself, "How great would it be if you could have a server with 4 bays at that size?". I mean why not most NAS boxes are about this size. At first it was just a concept, could I turn this 4 bay HDD into a useful server?...more of me posing the question if it could be done. The more I looked the more I realized it should be possible. Then I started to consider actually doing it, as my first real attempt at a mod. Also, this would only make sense to do if I could do it relatively cheap.

The first thing I looked into was CPU/motherboard. Could I find a platform small enough to fit into the RSV-S4 without settling for something too anorexic to make a decent home server. Since I primarily use my home server as a Plex server, file server, and client backups I wanted something that could at least handle this with Plex doing at most 1x 1080p transcode on the fly. I started to find a few CPU/boards around the $100-$150 mark that could possibly fit. Overall I wanted to keep my budget excluding drives under $250 (not inclusive of the enclosure cost as I had that already)

So to start I had to look at the RSV-S4 and measure the free space and determine what space was usable, what parts I could use, and what else I would need to make it work.

My Technical Requirements:
  • CPU powerful enough to run Windows (Server 2012 R2 Essentials), run client backups, act as a file server, and handle at least 1x 1080p on the fly transcode via Plex
  • Able to connect to the backplane to use upto 4x 3.5" HDDs
  • A mSATA or m.2 for a 5th drive to host the OS
  • Handle at least 8GB RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet

RSV-S4 Specs/Pics

Dimensions: 5.30" x 7.10" x 10.00" (W x H x D)

4x SATA 2 Hot Swap 3.5" bays
150W PSU built in
1x rear fan ~ 80mm
eSATA port on the rear
Stock Pics (Click to show)









After review I had found the following:
  • Under the drive cage I had 5" width and 2" vertical clearance from the bottom of the unit to the bottom of the drive cage.
  • I should have enough space to move the PSU to the front bottom of the unit under the drive cage and position it horizontally
  • The backplane is powered by 2x 4pin Molex
  • The backplane has 1x sata connection
  • With drives inserted and the door closed, i would likely have enough clearance between the door and drives to mount a thinner case fan.
  • At the back, bottom of each side of the case I may have space for a small fan on each side.
  • It is feasible I could power a platform via 12v DC and use a cable with Molex pass-through and a split off 12v DC cable to use the built in PSU to power everything.

Parts List

Motherboard/CPU: Nano ITX J1900. 120mm x120mm (~4.75" x 4.75"). $130 shipped. Quad core J1900, 1x sata, 1x mSATA, Gigabit ethernet, 12v DC power, 1x SODIMM upto 8GB RAM Here
RAM Crucial 8GB SODIMM DDR3 1600. $30 Here
OS Drive/SSD Sandisk X300 mSATA 128GB SSD. $55. Here
Molex/DC Adapter cable Something like this ~ $5 (have to search and make sure I find the right one, not sure about this specific one but it conveys the idea for now)
Misc Fans, cables, etc. Things I may decide to add at the end or realize I need while im making it.

HDD's Im going to get the cheapest 4x 3.5" HDD's I can find to just test this out and make sure the backplane is fully functional. Likely about $150 (WD Blue 250GB drives are about $35/each)

Total: ~$220 w/o 4x HDD's, ~$370 with 4x cheapest HDD's I can find

Progress
  • Plan/Conceptualize
  • Order Parts
  • Test parts outside of the case
  • Start modding case to fit parts
  • Test with parts implanted into case
  • Add 4x HDD's and benchmark/real world testing

Expectations

To fund this I will likely pick up a couple extra hours at work the next couple weeks. The motherboard is from China and looks to take about 15-26 days to ship anyhow, so it gives me some time. I will likely order that soon, and then order the rest a few days prior to when I expect to get the board. This project is all about me taking the plunge into trying to mod something and give the enclosure new purpose. Since I do not need it for myself, I plan at the end to either give it to a family member/friend or sell it. If I do sell it I will likely do so without the 4x test HDD's and without an OS installed, but with everything else. I look forward to the learning experience as I anticipate this will be alot of fun. I plan to add alot of pics as I go through and work on the project as well as info and opinions. In the end if it works I hope others will find my work helpful if they want to pursue something similar. Thanks!
Edited by Zer0CoolX - 2/19/16 at 11:17pm
post #2 of 4
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Parts arrive/testing
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Case mod
post #4 of 4
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Final build and testing
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Overclock.net › Forums › Case Mods & Cases › Builds & Case Mods › Build Logs › [Build Log] "Mini Minerva" | 4 Bay HDD Enclosure Converted/MOD to Server/NAS