Turning JUNK into a NAS with FreeNAS : My experience

Hard drives wedged into DVD / Floppy drive slot.

If you are looking for tips on turning your old desktop / Frankenstein PC into a filesharing device? Do you have several old hard drives collecting dust? If so FreeNAS may be the solution for you! Below I will cover how I turned my old Dell 755 into a RAID NAS that also acts as new age PVR, Plex server, as well as file share for any OS.

Firstly I adopted an old Optiplex 755 desktop. This old 2008 Quad core processor white box is a perfect fit for my lab NAS. I threw 6 gigs of ram into the box and it runs seamlessly. It. Currently it’s running 3 1tb raid 5 ZFS along with one 500gb drive for sparse storage. I installed FreeNAS on two Kingston 16gb USB3 drives for redundancy.

To start a FreeNAS install all one needs is a live cd or dvd. I chose to install it onto two usb drives for redundancy. if you choose this route FreeNAS will alternate drives based on the last proper configuration, rotating between drives for a backup point. For a price of a usb drive one cannot go wrong with redundancy. To configure FreeNAS itself isn’t To hard. The built in wizard will help configure all your drives / do software raid for you with just a few clicks. One key rule: NEVER apply permissions recursively / to all folders. This may break your apps.

Another great think about FreeNAS is application support.


I am a Canadian developer, designer, and technician. Here is where I post projects, tutorials, and obscure help tidbits to problems I have discovered along the way. My goal is to provide information I learn in my struggles to save time for others.

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