Question 2 SAS drive system for occasional wifi backup

GunsMadeAmericaFree

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Jan 23, 2007
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I've decided to build a new system to replace our old Intel based one. As part of this, I've realized that I haven't been doing backups of our family photos and such, and I want to transfer our old Intel I3 system (running Windows 10) into a system that I just turn on every couple of months and do a wifi backup of the drives in our other systems, especially the one that has 20 years of our digital photos and videos on it.

Looking back on the system, we have just over 1 TB of photos and videos. I've gone ahead and purchased a SAS controller that folks have said works fine with Windows 10 - got it for 5 bucks shipped on Ebay. Then I purchased 2 4TB SAS hard drives for about $23 each.

I'm planning on putting Windows 10 on an external 480GB USB SSD that I got for 12 bucks, then putting the 2 drives and the controller inside the case. Then I'll add a wifi dongle, and do occasional hard drive backups to one of the 2 drives every 2 or 3 months, and copy that drive over to the other drive for an additional backup. Then I'll turn the system off for another few months, until i want to do another using the wifi router.

Right now I'm looking for some inexpensive SAS cables to hook the drives up to the controller card. Obviously, I'm trying to do this on the cheap, since you can see that I only paid 5 bucks shipped for the controller card. I only need these for the 2 drives, and don't need to hook up additional drives. Can anyone recommend a place where I might be able to find some inexpensive SAS cables? With my inexperience, I'm a little worried that I might buy the wrong cables, since there seem to be a wide variety of them. Thanks in advance!
 

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VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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You seem to go WAY out of your way, just to save a buck. I would have advised to save up some money ($180 for an AS1102T @ Amazon) and just bite the bullet and buy a consumer NAS. Attach it to your router via a LAN port, it can backup all the PCs on your LAN (and depending on the NAS, Macs and Android too...) That's what they're for.

BTW, you are going to have a HORRIBLE time, trying to back up to your "server", using a USB Wifi dongle.

edit: Sorry, looks like those NAS units are in short supply these days. The cheapest is $249.
 
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VirtualLarry

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At least, hard-wire the server. Using wifi for a server is just asking for problems, not to mention, the wifi dongle overheating and dropping off. If you're lucky, if won't permanently fry itself.

Edit: Given the shortage of affordable faster NAS units, then setting up your own server (unRAID? FreeNAS?) makes some sense. Just not on wifi.
 
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Shmee

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I agree, setting up an older/spare computer as a freenas makes sense.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

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At least, hard-wire the server. Using wifi for a server is just asking for problems, not to mention, the wifi dongle overheating and dropping off. If you're lucky, if won't permanently fry itself.

Edit: Given the shortage of affordable faster NAS units, then setting up your own server (unRAID? FreeNAS?) makes some sense. Just not on wifi.
My wife wouldn't put up with me having yet another computer in our front room. We have plenty of room in the basement just underneath there, hence the wifi solution. Basement is also cooler, and I can put a heatsink on the wifi dongle, which is about 1.5" wide and 3" long.

Note that I'm not using this as a "server" - I just want to turn the system on every few months for a bit to backup our digital photos, then turn it back off. It won't be turned on 99.9% of the time.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

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You seem to go WAY out of your way, just to save a buck. I would have advised to

Agreed, sometimes probably too far. As an environmentalist, I especially like to use existing old PC's for things if I can, rather than buying a new one. Since I'm building a new gaming PC, and have the old I3 based system, when I saw the cheap 4TB SAS drives and $5 shipped SAS card, I decided to buy them. Now I just need the right cables to hook the 2 up.

Since I only need this to occasionally back up photos, this will also allow me to not have a system turned on all of the time, which will decrease air pollution, and my electric bill. Not to mention that since everything I'm using is used, it will save on any pollutants that would have been generated manufacturing a NAS, and save me the $$ I would have spent on it.
 

GunsMadeAmericaFree

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Ok, from looking at the drive specs and the controller specs, it appears that what I'm needing in the way of cables is called SAS 2 8087 cables.

I'm a little confused that some of the ones I see say "mini". A lot of the others that I see seem to split into sata cables.

Are other cables backward compatible with this older format? I would assume so, just as newer SATA cables are, but wanted to double check before ordering some. Totally new to this, so I could easily end up with cables that won't work at all for me. Thanks for any suggestions, to help me avoid pitfalls.
 

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