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Acer AC100 mini server upgrade/mods. Should be interesting


kojack
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I have had this acer mini server for years and it's been sitting just waiting for some love.  Well, in the next week or so I will be firing it up for a NAS storage unit for our businesses. I have been doing some research and I can supposedly install a bootloader from sinology to make this into  a "new" NAS unit.  I will be adding the noctua cooling solutions to it as I think It has a 120mm fan space in the rear and I will get the low profile cpu cooler for the system. 

For drives I will install 4 8tb Seagates and run them in a raid array to give protection of data. If I can't get this to work correctly I may swap in a whole new board, chip and go that route for the server.  Either way,  it will be setup in the next two week for use! 

 

I will keep a progress report going once I start in on it!

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I figure once I get up and running with the photography/videography/design business, I will need all the storage I can get.  So building for future needs.  I have over 10tb of personal stuff right now on 5 drives hanging around the house and workshop.  I don't think it will take long to be going into more after doing work for others. 

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I think it's all I can fit in there.  It's an older system, and I think the max drive you can actually fit it 2tb each but I am going to try to see if it will see the 8tb drive.  If so, plan moves ahead, if not.  I will get a synology NAS box and load it up!

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Funny we are doing similar projects.  I just put together an HP Mediasmart server and upgraded it to a quad-core xeon with 4GB of ram.  I put 3x8TB drives and a 14TB drive in it for backups. It's not fast, but it runs UnRAID and is small enough to fit in my fire safe.

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3 hours ago, Custom90gt said:

Funny we are doing similar projects.  I just put together an HP Mediasmart server and upgraded it to a quad-core xeon with 4GB of ram.  I put 3x8TB drives and a 14TB drive in it for backups. It's not fast, but it runs UnRAID and is small enough to fit in my fire safe.

That's why I want to use this system.  It fits in my printer stand like a smack in the face.  I will take a picture after of the spot it sits in.  I don't need fast,  I need Lots of storage after I am finished with a project.  Got any pics of your system?  

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14 hours ago, kojack said:

That's why I want to use this system.  It fits in my printer stand like a smack in the face.  I will take a picture after of the spot it sits in.  I don't need fast,  I need Lots of storage after I am finished with a project.  Got any pics of your system?  

 

Sure, here it is next the the server:

 

It's not a bad little build considering I have <$75 into it excluding the drives. 

20230117_055953.jpg

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Desktop | Intel i9-12900k | ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F | 2x16GB Oloy DDR5 @ 6400mhz CL32 | EVGA 3080 FTW3 Ultra | AW3821DW| 980 Pro 1TB PCIe 4.0 | All under water |

Server | SM846 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7F52 | Supermicro H12SSL-I | Tesla P40 24GB | 256GB 3200MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Backup Server | SM826 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7302 | Supermicro H11SSL-I | Tesla P4 8GB | 256GB 2133MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Dell XPS 9510 | Intel  i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16GB 3200mhz | 1TB SX8200 | 1080P |

 

 

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9 hours ago, Custom90gt said:

 

Sure, here it is next the the server:

 

It's not a bad little build considering I have <$75 into it excluding the drives. 

20230117_055953.jpg

Cool.  Love the older HP cases.  shiny coolness.  I will grab a shot of mine tomorrow and post it for you! I am into mine for zero since I scabbed it from our business when we were closing.  ha ha.!  mods will be my only cost.  I love that little machine you have there though.  reminds me of my DV7 notebook!  awesome external system chitty motherboard. 

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Here's my little rig in it's home.  Once upgraded I will see what it can do.  

20230118_135104332_iOS.jpg

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I need to get my office cleaned up and set up correctly.  The stand that the server is in, is going to be painted I think.  I am still undecided on that, as the desk I am going to use for writing etc is the same color and my new editing desk is black.  Decisions decisions.  I love old stuff.  Old cameras, old computers, old bicycles, etc.  It brings me back to that time.  

 

 

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On 1/11/2023 at 6:32 PM, ryan said:

like I say keep us posted. 32tb might sound like alot but in todays world is it really?

 

Depending on the type of RAID @kojackruns, it may be less than 32TB.  I don't have my backup server running any type of redundancy since it only has 4 bays and it's my 3rd line backup.  It also lives in my safe unless I'm actively backing up files to it.

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Desktop | Intel i9-12900k | ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F | 2x16GB Oloy DDR5 @ 6400mhz CL32 | EVGA 3080 FTW3 Ultra | AW3821DW| 980 Pro 1TB PCIe 4.0 | All under water |

Server | SM846 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7F52 | Supermicro H12SSL-I | Tesla P40 24GB | 256GB 3200MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Backup Server | SM826 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7302 | Supermicro H11SSL-I | Tesla P4 8GB | 256GB 2133MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Dell XPS 9510 | Intel  i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16GB 3200mhz | 1TB SX8200 | 1080P |

 

 

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I am not sure how I am going to set up the drives yet.  I need to find out if it will actually take more than 1tb hdds yet, that's what the owners manual says.  But I am going to toss a 2tb in.  If it runs that, there is no reason to think it won't run large drives.  I may even say EFF it and put 16tb drives in it.  will see what happens.  The 8tb drives are inexpensive, so use them maybe until they fill up.  I will want redundancy in my setup so 16tb of storage for now.  

 

It will be an interesting project anyways. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have been doing alot of reading etc about doing this system. TrueNAS is an open source software package that I think will create the raid array for me.  No limitation.  I am going to be adding a 256gb ssd on a PCI adapter (if I can) for OS, so my 4 hotswaps are Nothing but storage.  I am adding 16gb of ram to it, and I need to cut a hole in the back of the case to mount the 120mm arctic cooling fan I have. I had bought 2 120mm fans for a project build and the case had provisions for 92mm and I didn't notice.  So, I have two of these fans.  One will be used on this system, the other will be sold.  

 

This project will be moving along quickly now, I almost have my new office setup done and I am putting the editing system in it's new home today. 

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I recently signed up to the acer community and asked the question regarding booting and operating my OS from a PCI-e mounted drive. I got confirmation this morning that it, indeed can run the OS from that.  That's great news as I can pop in one of my 512gb ssd I have sitting here and add 4 18tb drives in the box for storage. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I had my acer apart.  it's already running a nice fanless heatpipe cpu cooler.  I noticed the boards are mounted on the back area of the case so 120mm will not fit there...HOWEVER,  There is already a 120mm fan mounted on the side to push air through the CPU cooler.  So swapping that to a Noctua will be easy, as will be the 40mm in the PSU.  I am getting ready to order the PCI-E nvme drive card so I can install the OS on it and see if I can get it to work as OS based drive. 

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  • 1 month later...

Just to bump this up, I was looking for one of these for a friend but I just cannot find one.  It would be a great little device for his use case...

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Server | SM846 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7F52 | Supermicro H12SSL-I | Tesla P40 24GB | 256GB 3200MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Backup Server | SM826 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7302 | Supermicro H11SSL-I | Tesla P4 8GB | 256GB 2133MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Dell XPS 9510 | Intel  i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16GB 3200mhz | 1TB SX8200 | 1080P |

 

 

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Ok, I am getting ready to order my PCI-E SSD expansion card for my OS drive. My AC100 has PCI-Ex8. The card I am looking at is PCI-Ex4. Will these work together?

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On 5/11/2023 at 5:09 AM, kojack said:

Ok, I am getting ready to order my PCI-E SSD expansion card for my OS drive. My AC100 has PCI-Ex8. The card I am looking at is PCI-Ex4. Will these work together?

 

They will

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Desktop | Intel i9-12900k | ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F | 2x16GB Oloy DDR5 @ 6400mhz CL32 | EVGA 3080 FTW3 Ultra | AW3821DW| 980 Pro 1TB PCIe 4.0 | All under water |

Server | SM846 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7F52 | Supermicro H12SSL-I | Tesla P40 24GB | 256GB 3200MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Backup Server | SM826 | Unraid  6.12.0-rc4.1 | AMD Epyc 7302 | Supermicro H11SSL-I | Tesla P4 8GB | 256GB 2133MHz ECC 8-channel | 100+TB ZFS |

Dell XPS 9510 | Intel  i7-11800H | RTX 3050 Ti | 16GB 3200mhz | 1TB SX8200 | 1080P |

 

 

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Thanks for the clarification.  that will be awesome. 

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