6 Steps From FreeNAS (USB) to TrueNAS CORE (SSD)

Last week I talked about adding the Plugadget 2.5″ mounting bracket PC cards to my file server. I’ll be switching from FreeNAS on mirrored USB flash drives to TrueNAS CORE on mirrored SSDs in six steps. Since my motherboard has a legacy BIOS, step number four took a lot longer than it should have.

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Adding A HDD/SSD 2.5″ Mounting Bracket for PC Slot

I did a video about a $3 US mystery PC expansion card called the Athena Power 2.5″ backplane two years ago. A 2.5″ drive in a removable carrier that was accessible through the back of the expansion slot. Newegg still has that card in stock but no longer discounted and cost $30 US for that and a floppy-to-SATA cable. I needed a cheaper alternative and found a $7 US PC expansion card that can mount a 2.5″ drive.

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Installing The SilverStone Slim 120mm Case Fan

Every five years I rebuild my FreeNAS file server by replacing old hardware with new hardware. One component that I always toss out after running 24/7 for five years is the case fans. For the 2015 rebuild, I had Deepcool 120mm fans in front, NZXT 120mm fans in back and bottom, and a pair of Apevia 140mm fans at top. There’s nothing special about these fans except for the bottom fan, where air circulation is needed to avoid overheating the hard drives. The regular 120mm fan was 25mm thick and blocked the bottom drive bay. Not a problem when I only had six hard drives. For the 2020 rebuild, I added two new hard drives and needed all eight drive bays. How can I have a fan and a hard drive occupy the same space at the same time?

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