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N40L - what to do with it

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Hi, hoping for a bit of guidance on what todo with my N40L box.  I have it sat in the living room connected to the TV.  Its running Windows 10 with Kodi, sabnzb, torrents, and a bunch of discs with all my files and media.  I would like to have a solid setup that can be used to access my data,, share game ISOs, download NZBs, do backups, etc.


I'm going with WHS 2011, is this the best option considering the other HS OS's available such XPEnology, FreeNas, etc? 





  • 8GB
  • BIOS Hack
  • 128GB SSD (OS sitting in DVD Bay)
  • 1.5TB HD
  • 200gb HD
  • 200 gb HD2
  • I have a 750GB SSD - not sure what to use this for?


Thanks for your help!



Edited by fakiee

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Why not stay with Windows 10?

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Some ideas ... 


1. Stick with Windows for the time being. Whether you plan to use OUTLOOK email, or not, get a Microsoft email account (MSA). Register the N40 against that account. That way should the 128GB SSD fail you can replace it and Windows will activate automatically via 'digital entitlement'.

2. Buy an older AKASA DUODOCK or similar. This allows you to mount bare 2.5 and 3.5 disks and attach them to a PC. Make sure the model handles eSATA since this is the N40's fastest connection (USB is much slower).

3. Assuming your 4 current disks are full-ish buy a 6TB NAS drive.

4. Mount the drive in the DUODOCK and format a partition with the GPT (not MBR) style so that you can see all 6TB.

5. Set up a backup process to secure the data on the existing 4 disks, creating a base backup on the 6TB drive.

6. Copy a folder on the 1.5TB drive to another location, delete the original and then test recovery from the backup.

7. Every week, month, whatever ... do an incremental backup. Put the AKASA and disk somewhere safe in case the house burns down.

8. When the disks are almost full buy a 2nd 6TB NAS drive.

9. Remove all the small disks and put the new 6TB disk in bay 1.

10. Do a full restore from the backup drive to the new 6TB drive.

11. Start the process of Identifying a portion of the 1.5+.2+.2 = 1.9TB of 'cold' files - those you rarely look at ... and will probably never look at again

12. Reformat the 3 small drives and put the cold data on them. Eventually delete the cold data from the bay 1 drive.

13. When the 3 small drives are full of cold data, delete the full backup and do a new base backup with the reduced set.

14. I would keep the 750GB SSD up my sleeve or try and find another system in which to use it or sell it for a decent price.

15. In future buy pairs of 6TB drives and repeat the process.

16. You don't have to stick at 6TB all the time ... but if you continually buy the same model and size then those disks can be repurposed in a future RAID array, which will be much faster than single disks. You will tire of manipulating TB's worth of data on single disks.


... but many options possible.

Edited by JackoUK
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You might find it useful to upgrade to W10 Professional on the N40.

That way you could use Remote Desktop to administer and control the server - even from a tablet.

If that sounds expensive consider that 250 x 4GB films = 1TB ... at £10 a pop is ... is £2,500 worth of data!


if the N40 doesn't have the media interface you want - e.g. 4K video - then you can still keep it in service as a data server by putting a streaming device next to the TV and pulling the data from the server.

For example my hi-fi system is fed by a LINX1010 tablet (cost £70 2nd hand) with the data on an old N40.

Wi-Fi is fine wrt bandwidth, so the noisy N40 is in one room and the silent LINX next to the DAC in the audio room.


Guess I'm saying building up a bit of knowledge on networking is worthwhile.


Of course you can do all this by installing a LINUX distro on the N40 too. Depends what you are comfortable with or willing to learn. 

Edited by JackoUK
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On 3/3/2018 at 7:46 PM, schoondoggy said:

Why not stay with Windows 10?


Yeah thats a good point, I thought that by switching to a more server/nas setup it would manage the setup of 'stuff' better and can be left on 24/7.   I currently only use it to watch some anime file I have downloaded with VLC.


I ended up installing WHS 2011, in the long run it probably was pointless.  I may go down the XPEnology route or Ahari(?)



Thanks for the detailed replies @JackoUK


Very informative and gives me lots to think about :)

Edited by fakiee

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