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I'd like to turn my several (four or five) old 80GB SATA hard drives into a RAID 5 drive.

4 to 5 bay NAS cases can be about $300. But I should not need one.

What would it take to essentially build one of those $500 5 bay NAS cases externally without the case? I would prefer to not buy new hardware.

I'm envisioning 5 drives stacked on top of each other, connected into some kind of adapter/hub, which then connects to my laptop via Ethernet right? Or is it USB?

I only have an old laptop running Ubuntu these 80GB drives. I don't want a desktop PC or case or PCI card, just the necessary cables or adapters or hub . Does this require a motherboard and processor for the external assembly?

  • With usb hub it won't be raid. You can build raid with controller or softraid, both require motherboard etc. I've built my home raid 5 with Elitegroup mb, core2duo and Ubuntu server. It's far cheaper than 300$ – Nafscript Jun 15 '15 at 10:32
  • Can I ask, why is a motherboard required? Your response has begun to make things more clear for me. I've watched tons of youtube videos on the subject but they don't answer my questions about the hardware required. – Joshua Robison Jun 15 '15 at 23:02
  • You can find controllers in standalone NAS cases, and as PCI extension card. Not long time ago I was searching for simple solution, as like you, but finally decided to use old PC desktop with Ubuntu server x64 and software raid 5. It provides some advantages. There're only 4 SATA II interfaces on mb, but I can use PCI-e card to extend my raid, PCI card for additional network interface or USB slots, etc. And with Ubuntu you can install whatever you want - FTP-, Web-server, BIND, torrents, etc. – Nafscript Jun 16 '15 at 7:59
  • The thing is, I'm afraid of what using an old desktop would do to my electric bill. – Joshua Robison Jun 16 '15 at 9:54
  • I was hoping for a low energy solution. Basically NAS runs over Ethernet , correct? How about a raspberry pi solution – Joshua Robison Jun 16 '15 at 10:02

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