Converting an old MBP into a home media server

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macoho, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. macoho macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    So I recently broke my computer, sent it away to insurance, and thinking for sure that it was totalled, bought a new one.

    Not so lucky, the old computer was repairable (and by that I mean everything down to the logic board was replaced). The older laptop is a early 2008 (pre-unibody) 15" MBP 2.3gHz 6gb DDR2, and I was thinking about stringing it up with a bunch of hdd's, throwing OSX server on, and frakensteining it into a home media server.

    My plan is to buy three spinning disks for storage, probably those western digital 3tb ones, run two through the internal sata and one through the PCI expansion slot. Probably going to custom fabricate a case for it myself and fit the display into the case (like a portable server box). After that, I am not really sure where I'm going.

    My biggest concerns are the power supply (can I bypass the MagSafe system and have a dower supply unit powering the logic board + the hdd's?) Additionally, I was wondering how to cool the system as well.

    Would be really helpful, thanks.
  2. macoho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2012
    I guess looking into it you don't really need to have OSX server on the machine, or have the display unit connected. But I'm still really confused about the power supply issue!
  3. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    I don't see how you are confused - there is no "Power supply issue". You have a MBP that is powered by a Magsafe - Period, end of story, that's how it gets power.

    You don't need server at all.

    There are fans built in to keep it cool, just don't worry about it.

    You will want a BT keyboard and a magic trackpad if you use it with the lid closed. If you want it to wake up with the lid closed you HAVE to have a display connected, I don't think any Mac notebook will operate with the lid closed and no external display.

    You can't power 3.5" drives from the Mac, the Mac doesn't work that way and the drives don't work that way. Those drives are looking for power from their PSU/Brick, not USB bus power like 2.5" drives. Plug the drives into the wall for power and move on.
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    With all the tinkering required it is probably easier to just buy a NAS case.
    Or keep it simple and simply put in two big 2.5" drives and no more.
    Or add the big 3.5 inchers via USB. Over the network you don't get any great transfer speed anyway unless you have an all Gbit LAN and for media streaming USB 2.0 is more than sufficient anyway.
    Trying to hook them up internally while powering them with some extra power brick is really not worth the trouble.

    To make it a media server just connect it to network and run Serviio. Great server for Music and Videos. Simple fast and works well with everything DLNA or UPnP AV support. Even auto transcodes stuff if you want it to.

    For Apple TV and that ****'d up proprietary nonsense you don't need anything that isn't already there in standard osx. Just set it up.

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