Use PC as Mac file server and backups?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by keeper, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. keeper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #1
    If I had a small pc with a few hard disks in it could I have a dedicated drive just to use for my macs time machine back ups?

    With the lack Mac mini updates I'm looking at a solution to run a machine for ip security cameras plus host my movies , music and pictures.
    I'd use iCloud for PC on it and windows iTunes.

    So in reality it's a server for a Mac and ATV.

    Opinions?
    I'd actually prefer a new mini release and in the mean time I'll use my current mini until it drops.

    Or do I try and build a hackintosh?
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Hackintosh would work for what you want doubt windows would unless there is someway you could get the smb sharing it uses mounted in a recovery mode on the mac to be able to access the backups. Then there would be the file system problem how would you create a sparse bundle on the windows machine to do the backups to it over the network in the first place. Now a Linux machine running ZFS as a filesystem that is definitely possible I have done that one before. Doing that it is possible you would need to be going into Terminal in Recovery mode and mount the smb/afp share depending on whether it would be seen by the recovery process searching the network and it not being found.
     
  3. keeper thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #3
    To be honest I just fancy a small factor machine with an SSD boot disk.
    Two internals for files and backups.

    At the moment that's a mini with externals hanging off it which works perfectly, but it's getting old (mid 2011) and it looks untidy and has old outputs, USB 2 etc.
     
  4. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Hackintosh or Linux it is is then. If going the hack route make sure to get well supported hardware, Linux don't matter it runs on damn near anything.
     
  5. hartleymartin macrumors regular

    hartleymartin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    If you are using an old PC for a back-up/file server/media server then I would probably go with Linux. Linux has drivers for almost everything these days, and old computers are ideal because the drivers have been around for a while and have had a chance to be thoroughly tested.
     
  6. Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    Sure, this is certainly possible and many people do it. Here are some free NAS operating systems you may consider:

    1. nas4free.org
    2. freenas.org
    3. openmediavault.org
    4. lime-technology.com (free for up to 3 drive arrays)
    5. xpenology.com

    I'm sure there are more, but these were just some that came to mind. In my opinion, UnRAID from Lime Technology was probably the easiest one to set up. I used it for a few years before switching to Xpenology due to its ability to have 2 disk redundancy.

    I know lots of people really like FreeNAS, but I found it needlessly complicated and very resource hungry for my needs and, from your description, the same will probably be true for you too.

    The only things I would advise is to look for a system that consumes as little power as possible and to make sure the system has at least gigabit ethernet.
     

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