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Media Centre Upgrades

Category: Notices
08 Jan 2013
Written by Andy

After a close call the other day with my media server/pc (which caused me to take the picture here: Computer Failure by Andy Rogers · 365 Project) I've realised how close I am to having un-recoverable data.  Although the disk array inside the box is raid 5, its using the nvidia "hardware" raid. I didnt realise until after I filled it, that nvidia raid with linux is actually more like "I wish it was raid" with no way to trigger rebuilds etc.

After needing to fsck the disk to get it to mount, and then to get it to boot to reinstall grub, I ran some smart checks on the disk. Fairly quickly it became apparent that one of the disk has got some problems, and when I ran bad blocks scan, a bit of a group of blocks towards the end of the disk showed a lot of problems.

What next? I could have swapped in a new disk, but I'm not sure I'd have been able to rebuild the array without getting the disks into a windows box. The other 2 options are to get a large external drive and backup to that, or to set up a nas.

I opted for the nas, as that should hopefully futureproof me, and give the option of easier expansion. I've opted for a ReadyNAS NV+ v2 4-bay and a couple of 1TB drives. This should also allow me to overhaul my photo backups, as I tend to sync them to an external disk now and then, but with this, I will try and use it as my master repository

And the PC? A long term goal of mine is to have it not running the whole time.  To aid that, it will have a small SSD. Its remaining good disks will be scavenged for the NAS.  I run mythbuntu on it, as both a combined back and front end.  I may consider relegating it to just a back end, and putting it somewhere out of the way. The problem then is what to use as a front end.

New Front end? This is still uncharted territory. But reading a review of the FAVI SmartStick on the Register I found myself wondering if it could work as a front end for myth.  In beta in the play store is Mythtv Android frontend. Having upgraded my current backend, I think I should give this a shot on my current android devices, and see where it takes me

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