Building your NAS is pretty much the same as building a normal PC, the exception being the RAID card, you need to make sure it fits into the PCI-e slot and the leads fit without running into other parts in the box. I did encounter this issue when I mounted a secondary hard drive cage on the box floor and had to re-jig it.
It is important to do things in a certain order so I’ll run through the steps with you now along with the slideshow further below.
- Clamp leads on sides of case to prevent them getting in your way (use paper clips or masking tape)
- Isolate required 5x SATA, 24 pin mobo and +12v leads on the PSU, bundle up the rest with zip ties, we don’t need them
- Place the PSU into position making sure fan grill faces down towards bottom of case, then tighten screws, clamp leads
- Fit your mobo’s metal back-plate into the rectangle slot, making sure it’s fitted the right way up
- Place your mobo on side of case over HDD cages with an anti-static bag underneath
- Fit external USB, Speaker, Power Switch, Power LED, HDD LED and Reset Switch to motherboard pins using your mobo’s manual as a guide
- Make sure the case’s motherboard stand-offs line up with the holes on your mobo (very important!)
- Place your mobo carefully into position, putting slight pressure towards the back-plate until the screw holes match up
- Tighten screws lightly until all of them are fitted, then tighten to a medium degree, don’t over-tighten
- Open the CPU fixing lever and metal cover, carefully place CPU into socket making sure the notches line up, then fold cover and lever down
- Put about a pea-sized amount of thermal paste onto top-middle of CPU
- After resetting the heatsink push pins, place heatsink/fan over center of CPU and make sure push pins are fitted into each hole
- Press push pins in a cross formation 1, 3, 2, 4 until each one “clicks” into place
- Connect the CPU fan and Chassis/Case fan to mobo power connectors (they will be marked CPU/CPU_FAN and CASE_FAN or similar)
- Connect the 24 pin motherboard power connecter, the +12v connector, then use zip ties to tie up power cables forming a sort of bridge over mobo
- Insert and screw in all 5 of your hard drives into the drive cages (and DVDRW drive if required) and connect the SATA power connectors to each
- Carefully insert your RAID card into the primary PCI-Express x16 slot (usually the closest slot to the CPU) and screw down.
- Insert the Mini-SAS to SATA cable in your RAID card, then conntect a SATA connector to each hard drive, zip tie SATA cables if necessary
- Now connect up a single SATA port to your SSD hard drive (preferably SATA_0) using a SATA cable
- Insert your RAM into the RAM slots making sure they are the right way up and in the appropriate slots (see your mobo’s manual for info)
- Take a last look at everything inside the case making sure no connectors have been knocked out, also check CPU fan is clear from hitting anything
- Hook up keyboard, mouse, network, screen, USB DVDRW (if you have one) and power, but do not turn on just yet.