Can I turn my old gaming PC into a NAS?

The answer is yes you can turn your PC into a NAS but it requires a bunch of steps to follow. It’s most commonly known as network-attached storage and this storage can be retrieved from everywhere, by everyone attached to the system just using a remote desktop connection. With the passage of time and advancements in technology, it’s not difficult to make a NAS at home with older stuff. This storage allows multiple people to access the same storage by leaving the tension of taking other external hard drives with you.

The main thing you need to know is that a NAS can be made now with an older personal computer which is less costly than a newer NAS system or SAN system. If you are going to make your own NAS system, then you came to a perfect place where you will come to know and all of your questions will be answered related to, can I turn my old gaming pc into a NAS? We have enlisted numerous important steps that might help you out in an appropriate way along with some rules and regulations to complete the process.

What you should have to follow the process?

Your older PC: The PC that is spare and you are not using can be your Network Attached System. It should not be an antique one as it cannot qualify for becoming a NAS.

Hard Drive: Hard drives are necessary to make any PC a NAS. This storage can be increased later. Usually, these drives last for 3 to 5 years in a NAS.

Minimum RAM: 4GB RAM is good but NAS officially requires 8GB of ram to work better. If your system has enough volatile memory, you’re good to go.

Minimum USB device: You must have a USB with at least 4GB storage capacity to store the OS on it and it will work better in this way. So, make sure you have one.

The UNRAID/FreeNAS OS: These OS are used for remotely controllable storage devices to access them from different places. Make sure to have one of these downloaded USB devices.

Method of converting the old gaming PC into NAS

Installation

Step 1: Download the “FreeNAS” software from the quoted link. FreeNAS is a Unix-based OS that can be installed on both 32-bit and 64-bit. The OS requires at least 8 GB of RAM to work smoothly. Our main focus is to make an older gaming PC a NAS, but the only thing you need to keep in mind is an ancient computer cannot be converted into a NAS because it doesn’t satisfy the required specs and can’t bear the load.

Step 2:  Burn that to the flash drive/disk drive. Now you have to configure the boot sequence by pressing F2 when starting the system. It is recommended to install a NAS on a CD or USB drive that can be permanently inserted. After configuring the boot order, insert the drive in which the OS is burnt. 4 GB RAM can also handle this task if you use it to run this OS on a USB flash drive that’s installed permanently.

Step 3: At the start of the installation process, it will ask you to select the drive in which you want to install FreeNAS, all attached drives will appear here, then select a drive and apply changes. Now reboot the system and place the URL at the bottom of the window and plug it into another PC’s browser in this way you will have access to your NAS system from other devices. The URL can be made just like https://101.0.2.14. It will also ask for a password instantly you’ll need to keep it in mind for future use.

Basic setup

If you prefer, then you can remove the Monitor/LCD because it no longer needs it now. After the password is entered, the system will require storage allotment, click on the storage icon and use the ZFS volume manager to create partitions if you have 8GB or more RAM, and use the UFS volume manager to create partitions if you have RAM less than 8GB. The storage allotment is mandatory for the time when you want to store data.

Now if you need to access the storage over the device then visit the sharing panel. Every Operating system has its protocols but the FreeNAS allows one to elevate Linux, Windows, or Apple shares. A few operating systems allow various protocols at once. No matter which protocol you used, the parted folder can be accessed just like any other folder. Now everything is done, the files can be transferred from other devices using the Remote Desktop Protocol.

Advantages of converting a PC into NAS

  • This system is easy to configure and install because it needs no other connections.
  • Because the other servers take more space and connections and NAS doesn’t need it.
  • NAS can be accessed from anywhere in the world just because it is connected to the Internet.
  • It can be easily shifted from one place to another because it is not huge.
  • Many hard drives can be attached accordingly to the storage needed.
  • It lasts according to the service life of the drive, usually 3 to 5 years.

Don’t forget these downsides

  • Only one user can have access to the system at a single time.
  • Basic knowledge of system networking is required for the setup process.
  • Its performance goes down the same if the protocol speed downs.
  • Large files and videos can also cause the slower performance of the system.
  • Lower equipment will also affect speed.

Conclusion

You can purchase a new pre-built NAS but it may cost higher than converting an old system to NAS. To save some bucks, many people have asked us the question, can I turn my old gaming PC into a NAS? Well, you can make this conversion possible by following a simple set of rules that we discussed earlier. First of all, you can check whether the PC is compatible to do so—you can take the help of the given conditions at the beginning of this post. If the system has all those aspects, you are not ready to follow the next process.

The next step is to install the required software—you can take help from some steps given in the installation section. After installing the software, set up your system as per your requirements and your needs. Now, your NAS is ready to go. For your information, converting an old PC to NAS enables you to save some bucks. But, if you purchase a built-in NAS, it’s most of the time more effective than the converted one. In short, if you have enough bucks in your pocket, I suggest you go for a new only.

Arslan Ashraf
Arslan Ashraf is Computer Expert. He developed his passion for reviewing the latest tech products. He likes to review every single piece of Hardware. If you have any questions related to Tech Products. He'll be happy to answer you.