Forums Forums (
-   Project Logs (
-   -   Case Mod iNode OSX Server (finished!) (

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:15

iNode OSX Server (finished!)
The story about my iNode OSX Server

The beginning...

It all started 25th of April 2012 when I started planning a home server running the NAS oriented software unRAID.

My wife was pregnant and I wanted something I could put all our music on and share it with a future Sonos music system I had planned to buy.

Went through a lot of troubles with the build, lastly when we got our baby daughter the 6th of August thatís when I gave up.

Sat down and started thinking about what else I could doÖ

Growing needs

My needs started growing when our baby was born - specifically the need to back up our photos and video safely!

After a long discussion I settled with a CrashPlan+ Family Plan, unlimited storage in the cloud for offsite backup of the media we can never get back in case of natural disasters, fire, water damage, theft, mechanical breakdown and other accidents.

A problem with CrashPlan is that no consumer NAS drives support their API in the box (as of August 2012).

Another nice to have feature except for cloud backup and Sonos music sharing would be a Plex server to share video with my Mac Mini I am using as a HTPC.

What can support Plex, CrashPlan and Sonos all in one??


As I am used to Macs and know they can handle the tasks in my demands, the idea of getting a Mac OS X Mountain Lion Server is born - only trouble, Apple currently make two servers, the Mac Mini Server that have too little storage or the Mac Pro Server that is too expensive and too powerful for my needsÖ


A Hackintosh!!!

Let's start building!

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:16

Shopping list, core system

The Processor

Intel Core i3-3225 Processor (3M Cache, 3.30 GHz)

Native DDR3 1600MHz support
Intel HD Graphics 4000

Plenty quick, very low wattage and heat + build in average graphics

The motherboard


Socket 1155 with support for 2nd and 3rd gen. Intel Core
Native support for DDR3/1600MHz
Realtek 10/100/1000 mbps LAN
4x SATA ports (1x SATA3, 3x SATA2)
1x PCIe 3.0
2x onboard 4pin Fan headers
Black PCB

Stylish, small motherboard with all the essential features you need in a server.

The processor cooler

Noctua NH-U12P SE2
Silent operation
Best in class heat transfer

Stylish, reliable cooling with plenty of headroom

The Memory

Corsair Vengeance DualChannel Low Profile 8GB Kit DDR3 1600MHz

Low Profile
Native DDR3 1600MHz
Black heat spreaders

More than enough speed and memory for normal server use, notched up with better than normal heat spreaders for keeping them cool

CPU cooling fans

Will swap out the Noctua fans with these.
NoiseBlocker 120mm Multiframe S-Series M12-S1
8dB extremely low noise

CPU fans will be driven off the Power Supply via a Molex to 3x3pin adapter from BitFenix

The Power Supply

Seasonic X-Series X400
Ultimate fanless/passive power supply
33Amp on the +12volt lane!

As you might already have an idea about I am into design and looks of my things, that's also a big part of why I use Macs in my daily life - so I want an hacintosh that looks good, inside and out.

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:16

Shopping list part 2, chassis, extras and storage

Case fans

A 120mm NoiseBlocker MultiFrame S-Series M12-PS PWM, max 23dB
Driven directly off the motherboards CPU fan header
One 80mm NoiseBlocker MultiFrame S-Series M8-P PWM, max 17dB and one NoiseBlocker MultiFrame S-Series M8-S1, max 6dB
Front fans driven off the motherboard through a Gelid PWM splitter

The chassis

Fractal Design Node 304
Compact case for ITX
Space for normal ATX PSU
Accommodate up to 6 harddrives

Inside of case will be covered in AcoustiPack[/URL] ULTIMATE PC Soundproofing Kit (APU) triple layer foam


OS drive:
Plextor M3 SSD 64GB

Clone Drives:
1pcs. Hitachi Deskstar 5k3000 3TB
1pcs. Integral Xcel USB3 stick 64GB

Data drives:
2pcs. Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB

NZXT sleeved LED[/URL]s for internal light

Sata cables
3pcs. round Akasa SATA III and 1pcs. angled Akasa SATA III black cables.

Finishing touch:
3M Di-NOC CA-421 Carbon fiber vinyl

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:16

Carefully planning

I am among many things a Google SKetchUp geek, so whenever I see fit to play around with some 3D drawings I do it.

Before I ordered everything I was wondering if the humongous CPU cooler could actually fit?
Thing is that at this time the chassis had not yet come on the market, so nobody had exact measurements and I had to do with what I could see from various forum pics and Fractals website.

According to the info I had, then yep, no problems!

Actually I made a little discovery when drawing, because I had originally planned on using a USB3/SATA III controller card, to maximise throughput compared to the SATA II ports on the motherboard.
Problem is the width of the CPU cooler and the width of the motherboard:

The card would not be able to fit next to the cooler, so had to ditch that plan. Hooray for SketchUp!

Here we jump a little in time until two weeks ago, that's when I decided how to use my disc drives in the most optimum way.

Due to very limited space in my chassis I was only able to fit in 2x2TB+1x3TB+64GB+64GB.

As in, one primary data drive of 2TB, run in RAID0 with the second drive also of 2TB, but partitioned into 2x1.5TB and 2x0.5TB were the remaining 0.5TB partitions run in RAID1 for TimeMachine of the 64GB OS SSD. The OS SSD is then cloned once a day to an external 64GB USB3 stick and the RAID0 2x1.5TB drives are cloned twice a day to the 3TB drive.

Covers data corruption due to the time machine, covers drive failure due to the clones and also already have a brand new 2TB spare drive in original box laying on itís shelf here at home for the event one of the 2TB drives gives up.


AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:17

Components arriving

Original parts before I made some changes


All internal drives

The chassis was still not on the market, so had to wait with going much further until it arrived.
In the meantime I modded the CPU cooler :dremel:




The point being I want the air to move over the CPU and out the front, the server is for now going to be placed very close to the floor so with the air intake up on the middle of the backside instead of bellow the front will draw in less dust.

Like this

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:17


Checking if everything works in my original server chassis for the unRAID build I gave up in.

The original chassis was a Norco RPC-430 old 1x 5.25bay model (the current model have 2x 5.25 bays.
Had space for 6 HDD drives and 2 OS drives (parity and OS) for unRAID use.
Huge case I wanted to hide under my sofa, but ended up having trouble with my SuperMicro motherboard so sold most of the components for that build.
Genius big open case now being re-used as test bench for this and future builds.

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:17

The chassis arrives

At this point in time I am one of the first who actually owns the chassis, had ordered it before the price was locked in so ended up actually getting it much cheaper than what it cost's now :D
I guess there is now many people who have the case and am as happy about it as I am.


First look

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:17

Small size inside and out

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:18

Starting the build

1st thing to do, take out the fans and sell them!

2nd thing, take out the fan grills

3rd, take out the fan controller

Install new much quieter fans

Pre-install hardware and make sure everything actually fits

Now when you are sure it fits, install it for real

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:18

Finishing touches

Carbon fiber vinyl on what used to be fan grills
First test

Then apply

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 11:18

Finished build!

Here we are about 6 months after it all started and the time to finish off has come.
Last installs, add one extra fan and the last drives and cables, so this is how it ended up looking on the inside.

Add the LED lights


Guinevere 21st Jan 2013 11:26

Brave going with a hackintosh for this. I found the install + update + rebuild issues were too painful to consider using in times of dire need. I would go with a thunderbolt based drive enclosure with a mac-mini. EG A Lacie 5big.

PS. This is a thread I'd like to read but probably won't remember to as the updates to it won't show up as the most recent posts.

Do consider putting your updates in as normal posts rather than edits to the old posts. That's how 99% of logs are run here on BT.

RobotNerd 21st Jan 2013 12:50

Because I'm about a month away from building basically the exact same thing.... You have most successfully captured my attention.

B NEGATIVE 21st Jan 2013 12:54


AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 13:05


Originally Posted by B NEGATIVE (Post 3269594)
This needs to go in the Modding section,no progress =no log.

Wait for it, it's already build and done, just need to write everything and arrange pictures in the right posts. Give me a few hours before moving the thread please

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 13:52


Originally Posted by Guinevere (Post 3269543)
PS. This is a thread I'd like to read but probably won't remember to as the updates to it won't show up as the most recent posts.

Do consider putting your updates in as normal posts rather than edits to the old posts. That's how 99% of logs are run here on BT.

Here is an update for you, edits are done and a few last new posts will be added to finish everything off.
Did not think about it when I had done it like that in the beginning, it makes the thread more easy to read I think when all the OP have to say is written first.

Anyway, hope you like what I build.

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 13:53


Originally Posted by RobotNerd (Post 3269591)
Because I'm about a month away from building basically the exact same thing.... You have most successfully captured my attention.

Cool, looking forward to seeing your build :) I have just finished updating the thread, check back for many more pics and info.

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 14:00

Now when it's build I have actually not taken it home and started using it yet, mostly because whenever I am home I want to be with my little daughter and wife more than I want to be with machinery.

Soon I will have more spare time from my daily job and that means I can setup the last few software tweaks and have an awesome OS X server.

A few finishing pics
Yes, that is my startup key for the machine, an actual USB key!

Booted OS X installation just fine trough Chameleon

Funny to see it's saying thank you and start using your MAC... If it just knew...
Even funnier when I go into system information, it's showing up as an MacBook Pro - because I wanted something with native HD4000 graphics and USB3.0.

AT0MAC 21st Jan 2013 14:14

Who am I?

For those who might be wondering, yes I am not your typical moder.
I don't mod every day and all the time, but I do have some experience in the field.

I have one of the fastest Mac Mini Mid-2012 models still in use, using it as my HTPC.
A big reason for it being one of the fastest is not it's DDR1866 memory or it's 2.7GHz Core i7 processor, no it is it's two Intel 520 series 240GB SSDs bought as soon as they came on the market!

Setup in RAID1 for ultimate read speeds and silent data protection when I don't attach my little noisy TIme Machine drive or Clone drives (I have also used it in RAID0 were it could read/write close to 500/1000MB/s!).

Before that I turned my Magic Trackpad and Apple Keyboard black, with a vinyl cover and a iSKin ProTouch overlay, not rally much of a mod but people notice it when they come by.

Before that I wanted to bring my extended FLAC collection of music with me on the go, so re-build an old broken (white) iPod Color to use flash memory for less jittter, longer battery life, less weight and filled it with RockBox to play FLAC files.

I am also the guy behind one of the only Sonos ZP120 Connect Amps in black!

I have on more than one occasion spoken to people from Sonos and they all know it but did not know it was me who did it.

I also rebuild an PSP to make it white/chrome. Even the screen had foil that showed up as a mirror when the screen was off and let the light from the screen pass trough when it was on.

Lastly my first mod is maybe my best known, I build a black Mac Mini 2010 server edition!

jrs77 21st Jan 2013 16:55

Depending on how much you paid for all the parts, I would've probably just bought a LaCie 5big Network 2.

Oh, and why do you actually use the third 80mm fan inbetween the disks there? I think it's not improving the cooling all that much and only adds noise.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:46.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.