VioletDragonsNetwork

VioletDragon runs both a internal Network & External Network

VioletDragon Network is hosting for both Storage & Services which can be accessed outside the network over OpenVPN for Clients and for the private network which can only be accessed by me. Clients have access to there own little bit of Storage. Clients are friends & family. Private & Guest APs are on the network. Guest WIFI is separated to the private network. Internet can only be accessed only on the Guest AP not the whole Network all done via VLANs in both pfSense & Gigabit Network Switch.

A huge database is also hosted on VioletDragons Network is running on a Database Server.

I run several Servers which are based on both Linux & FreeBSD (OpenSource).

Server 1,
Telsa,
Telsa is a 24TB Linux ZFS File Server which is used for both Storage & Clients Storage.

Hardware,
• ASUS P8H77-LE.
• Intel Pentium G2020.
• 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz.
• 8x Seagate NAS Disks.
• Dell Perc H310 LSI RAID Card Flashed to IT Mode.
• HP NC360T Round-Robin.

• Age 6 Years Old
• Estimated decommission date 2026
• Services
• NFS Kernel Server
• SMB Server
• ZFS Replication Server for Vaultmort.
OS
• Ubuntu Server 16.04
• Uptime 255 Days
Server 2,
Vaulmort,
Vaultmort is a dedicated ZFS Replication Automated Backup Server which does automated backups from Telsa every night at 3am.

Hardware,
• Intel Desktop Board DQ67SW
• Core i3 2120
• 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz
• 4x 3TB Desktop Disks
• HP NC630T Round-Robin.

• Age 4 Years Old
• Estimated decommission date 2026
• Services
• NFS Kernel Server
OS
• Ubuntu Server 16.04

Server 3.
Elm
Elm is another server which is only used monthly to do offline backups from Telsa which are Manual Backups over NFS Shares. (Only backups of important DATA.

Hardware,
• MSI G41M-P25
• Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400
• 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz
• 4x 1TB Disks in a RAID (Stripped)
• Realtek 8111 Ethernet Card
• Marvell HBA

• Age 3 Months Old
• Estimated decommission Date (Unknown)
• Services
• NFS Common.
OS
• Ubuntu Desktop 16.04

Server 4
Velvet
Velvet is used for a Bittorrent, Web, Mail Server & a Archive Server also runs two VM Servers.

Hardware
• Gigabyte Z77-DS3H
• Core i3 3225
• 8GB DDR3 1066Mhz
• 2x 1TB (Stripped) Using EXT4.
• HP NC360T Round-Robin

• Age 5 Years Old

• Estimated decommission date 2026
• Services
• Public SMB Server
• Web Server @thelinuxguy
• Roundcube Mail Server @violetdragon
• Transmission Web Server (Torrent Downloader)
• Windows 7 VM Server for Business
• Windows 7 VM @RetroServer
• Mail Sender @ violetdragon
OS
• Ubuntu Desktop 16.04
• Uptime 215 Days
Violet
The Firewall is running pfSense. I built this machine to act as a Router & Firewall.

Hardware
• H97n-WIFI
• Core i3 4360
• 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz
• HP NC360T.

• Age 3 Years old
• Estimated decommission date 2026
• Services
• Squid Caching & Transparent Proxy Server
• Traffic Shaper
• VLANs
• Guest Network
• OpenVPN Server
OS
• pfSense (FreeBSD)
• Uptime 120 Days
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HP NC360T Linux Config

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Overview

Link Types: 10/100/1000 base-T, both full and half duplex
Connection: PCIe x4*
Power Consumption: 4.25W
RX Buffer: 4096kB
TX Buffer: 4096kB
IEEE Standards Support: 802.3, 802.3u, 802.3x, 802.3ab, 802.3ad, 802.1p, 802.1Q
Supports TCP/IP Checksum and Segmentation Offloading
OS Support: Linux, Windows, BSD

The card is wired for PCIe x4, however the Intel 82571EB chipset supports PCIe x1 as well. It is possible to cut off the excess pins on the PCIe connector to make the card fit in an x1 slot.

Bonding Support

For Linux

The NC360T supports all types of link bonding but i used the ifenslave package under Linux.

Windows

HP does not offer support for the NC360T for systems running OSes other than Windows Server. However, despite being an HP product, the NC360T can use the Intel PRO/1000 PT adapter driver. This driver is continually updated by Intel and supports up to and including Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10. This driver contains all the necessary functionality to bond the NIC into 1 of 5 different configurations.

Config i used for Linux Ubuntu 16.04. As all of my Desktops uses The HP NC360T in Round-Robin mode i used the same interfaces config on all of my Desktops.

/etc/network/interfaces requires the following edits.

First NIC
  auto eth0
  iface eth0 inet manual
          bond-master bond0
          pre-up /sbin/ip link set dev $IFACE mtu 9000
          post-up /sbin/ethtool -G $IFACE rx 4096
          post-up /sbin/ethtool -G $IFACE tx 4096
  
 
   Second NIC
  auto eth1
  iface eth1 inet manual
           bond-master bond0
           pre-up /sbin/ip link set dev $IFACE mtu 9000
           post-up /sbin/ethtool -G $IFACE rx 4096
           post-up /sbin/ethtool -G $IFACE tx 4096

Virtual NIC
   auto bond0
   iface bond0 inet dhcp
   #       address (IP Address goes here)
   #       netmask 255.255.255.0
   #       network IP address goes here)
   #       broadcast (IP Address goes here)
   #       gateway 192.168.30.1
   # dns-* options are implemented by the resolvconf package, if installed
   #       dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8 
   #       dns-search 
           bond-mode balance
           bond-miimon 
           bond-slaves eth0 eth1
           pre-up /sbin/ip link set dev $IFACE mtu 9000
           pre-up /sbin/ip link set dev $IFACE address address for Ethernet device

 

This config will bond 2 NICs together into a round-robin bond using DHCP. The interfaces are permitted to use 9000bit jumbo frames. The links are checked for upness every 2 seconds. The TX and RX buffers on the network cards are allowed to be used fully, 4096kB each, per card.

Why I’ve left Apple & Switched to Android & Linux/Free Source Software.

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Howdy folks,

A lot of you probably know why I’ve left Apple & the Hackintosh Community but last year i started having Battery Problems with my iPhone so i sent it to Apple as it had Apple Care, Apple sent me a new device which was fine but that iPhone had the same issue with the battery it was like a countdown timer from 100% to 50% then just power off this turned out to be on Apples side. I reported back to Apple and because Apple Care ran out i had to buy a new device which i was not doing because the the phone was in contract with EE. I spoke to EE the Contract Carrier they only offered me to pay the contract off which was £300 to end the contract then re-new the Contract which i paid off. EE then offered me the iPhone X and 7 for £100 a month with a upfront cost of £200 which i was not doing. A iPhone is not worth the money, the pricing of Apple and there devices is just ridiculous.

I decided to just get rid of the iPhone completely because there devices are not worth the money & for there software whether its iOS or macOS its just riddled with bugs. Apple are not what they use to be. So got rid of everything that is Apple from the iPhone, iPad to macOS on my machines & macbook.

I went out and bought myself a Android Phone which is a Samsung J5 2017 which is running Nouget version 7 it cost me around £249 Sim Only Phone i then switched to Network 3 which im paying £15 a month i get more data than i was getting with EE for £70 a month for the 6s. Its a huge difference. The Samsung Galaxy J5 is a better phone than the iPhone reason being your not being controlled like you are with Apple. You can even install Kodi or uTorrent on the Android which you cant do on the iPhone. One thing i can do with the Android phone is SSH into my Servers & pfSense Router which i couldnt do on the iPhone due to it being Locked Down. I like to SSH into my Server on a regular basics to monitor the ZFS Tank, because i use OpenVPN which allows me to access my Home network when im not at home the whole lot with OpenVPN in iOS sucks because you cant download the certificate from pfSense on the iPhone like you can with Android you have to sync the certificate via iTunes on a iOS device which is just dumb.

Recently upgraded my Server as you know it was running macOS Server but yet again it was very limiting to what you can do, the VPN in macOS sucks just like macOS itself. I moved my Server from macOS to FreeNAS which runs on FreeBSD, FreeNAS is Open Source its very reliable unlike macOS due to the bugs. When macOS Server was running i was having huge problems with Networking with Kodi or Linux most of the time it wasn’t stable the machine would just hang/lock up this is new in Sierra/High Sierra due to a Graphics Problem. In the end i couldn’t be bothered with Apple and there buggy Software. The Server which is now running FreeNAS has a LSI SAS Card along with a Quad Intel LAN Card which all ports are bonded together which gives 4gbps throughput.

I switched all of my machines which were running macOS to Linux Ubuntu, all machines have there own built kernels and modules which i built from bare. My main Desktop has a Dual LAN Intel HP NC630T which is also in bond mode so its 2gbps throughput which would never work in macOS. Even tho Ubuntu is Open Source its very stable unlike Apples Software. The backup Server is running Ubuntu with ZFS modules.

Over all switching from Apple to Open Source Software i.e Ubuntu is no longer limiting and very stable same goes for switching to Android i havent seen any bugs and it just works. I will not be going back to Apple, Apples pricing its just stupid and there software is just crap same goes with there Eco-System you have to do what Apple says and i was just getting annoyed with it. Its just a waste of money in reality your only paying for there crap Apple Logo.

The way forward is to just use Open Source & Android because you must be stupid to pay those prices for Apple Devices.

Overall im happy with the switch to Open Source & Android i will no longer bother with Apple.

New Desk & Hackintosh

So for awhile im wanting a new desk as my old desk was falling apart old desk was chipboard well we all know that chipboard furniture doesn’t last right? So I decided to buy a Corona Wood Pine Desk it matches my Corona TV Unit so makes more sense to have matching furniture. Ive also switched to a Mini ITX Motherboard H77N-WIFI its a very nice board I paired the ITX board with a Bitfenix Prodigy ITX Case. The new Desk cost me £115 from Mercers Furniture. It took me a few hours to build up the desk as it came flatpack I made the desk more solid by using Wood Glue as I spent a lot of money on the new desk decided to do a proper job. With this desk its big enough to fit 3x 24inch monitors or 2 27inch monitors. Ive also switched down to 2 monitors and sold my GTX760 now using onboard iGPU HD4000 with 2 24inch monitors but planning on changing the monitors to a 27inch monitor not decided which monitor to go with yet but im thinking of a 27inch Dell monitor. Ive also been creative and hidden the Cables which makes it look a lot better.

Anyway enough of my rambling here are some pictures. Enjoy.

 

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Home Server Update.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 15.14.50.pngThe last few days I’ve been really busy upgrading the Server to 10.12.6. Spent a few hours backing everything up as i wanted to put all the drives into a RAID0. You’re probably wondering why i used RAID0 and not RAID1 with redundancy this is because i wanted all the storage and not half of the storage I’m currently building a off site backup server which will be in a RAID and with redundancy but due to the fact if i used RAID1 in macOS with redundancy i would need to to buy more Drive in order to have more than 3TB space in RAID1. The Backup Server will have more Storage than the main Server only because all 8 Drives in the Backup Server will be in a RAID with redundancy in macOS Server i will do a build write up too. I had to use a few 1TB Drives to back everything up as the data on the Server isn’t just mine but Family & Friends data which they access through the VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures etc. I have to have a think and decide wether to leave the Backup Server on 24/7 if this is the case ill end up moving everything into a server rack along with the pfSense machine which is a plan in the near future as I’m wanted to get my own office for my business. Apple has brought back RAID Assistant in 10.12 which is nice makes things nice and easy. At the time of doing all this it gave me a chance to move somethings around in the cupboard as i installed a UPS to keep both the Server & pfSense routers uptime up as where i live we have a lot of Power Cuts so i installed a
APC BK650EI 400 Watt which keeps the machines up time for 30 minutes which is plenty of time to get everything turned off. Ive set pfSense to send me text which tells me how much battery is left and also tells me when the electric goes off. When the battery gets low it shuts down both machines which is handy.

Enough of my rambling heres some Screenshots of the work I’ve been doing.

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pfSense Router Build Project

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Parts Used,

HP Elite 8000 SFF (Small Form Factor)

HP NC630T 2 LAN Card.

VigorNIC 132 – PCI Express VDSL Card. (Still waiting to come)

30GB Kingston SSD.

160GB Seagate 5400RPM Drive.

TP-LINK TL-WA901ND.

Ive been having a lot issues with ISP’s BT Homehub Routers for awhile now. As a lot of you know my ISP is BT i.e (British Telecom). There Routers have never been that good anyway. I first started out with the Homehub 4 then a 5 then a 6 (BT Smarthub). Had so many problems with them from cutting out to completely locking up and requiring a reboot. I started to do a lot of research i didn’t want to spend too much on a router. So I’ve decided to Build my own Router using a old HP Elite 8000 Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz with 4GB of RAM. Bought this machine from a eBay auction as i have a really bad eBay addiction. Added a few NIC’s which are all Intel. Bought a HP NC630T which i also use in my Server its a very nice card its a dual NIC card based on 82571EB chipset. Works well in pfSense as well as OS X/macOS. Bought another 2 of them single NIC cards also based on 82571EB chipsets. Ive also ordered VigorNIC 132 – PCI Express VDSL Card which allows me to connect my Fibre Line to a internal card instead of using a BT Fibre Modem which I’m currently waiting to come so atm I’m using the BT Fibre Modem which works fine but want to have it all in one machine. Ive added 2 drives one SSD and the other is a 160GB 5400RPM Drive. Your probably wondering why i have two drives in this machine? Thats because i set up something called GEOM Mirror which is a RAID Configuration in RAID 1 the reason on why i did this is because if one drive goes down i have the other to back me up so i won’t loose internet access or VPN access to my Server. It took awhile to set up LAN 3 which is to my Access Point in order to use more than two NICs you need to bridge the cards together so it acts more like a Network Switch once setup it works brilliantly.

With the BT Homehub Routers my bandwidth was all over the place but ever since implementing the pfSense Router to my Network i noticed a lot of a difference with the bandwidth wether its sending or receiving Packets.

The old Core 2 Duo seems to be coping with my Fibre line i get around 80 to 90 down 22 to 23 up which is more stable than the HomeHub router. I have connected the pfSense machine to my 1gbp Network Switch to give all my machines over LAN internet access i only use WIFI for my iPad & iPhone everything else is connected via my 1gbp Ethernet line.

For WIFI if it wasnt for my iPhone or iPad i wouldn’t really of bothered with WIFI so i bought a Access Point which cost me around £30 its made by TP-Link the model is TL-WA901ND then just hooked that up to LAN3 instead of my Switch.

I must say that i have a better uptime on my Connection now after a day it hasn’t cut out like on my old Router as to where every night at 8pm the internet would just disconnect but don’t seem to have this issue with my pfSense just goes to show that these BT Routers are not that good.

Ive also installed a 400watt UPS to keep the uptime for both my pfSense Machine and my Server both machines don’t use a lot of juice like Server grade hardware. So if theres a Power Outage its all covered by the APC 400Watt UPS i have set both to turn off if the battery is low over Ethernet which is very nice.

Overall its a very Stable Router and has indeed sorted out my Internet Problems.

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Home Networking Project

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Ive been planning this project for quite awhile now. Ive installed Ethernet Cabling 3 to 4 years ago but decided to upgrade the old cabling only because it was (CCA) Your probably wondering what CCA means? Well it means (Copper Clad Aluminum) or Copper Coated Aluminum, which isn’t real Copper its basically Aluminum coated with Copper which isn’t the best and its defiantly not to standards as Pure Copper Ethernet Cabling the problem is with CCA Ethernet Cabling is that it picks up more interference also won’t achieve 1gbps speeds with this sort of cabling. You will notice with some Ethernet cabling it causes coil whining or feedback through speakers and headphones when transferring data across the network or when uploading or downloading a file from the internet but other Ethernet Cables doesn’t. I think its probably interference or maybe just crappy cabling.

A lot of Ethernet cabling you buy on the market is Un-twisted Copper Clad Aluminum not the best stuff in my eyes it is (FAKE!) I personally wouldn’t recommend this CCA Ethernet Cabling for PoE (Power Over Ethernet) unless you fancy having a fire in your home or at your business. And it will be useless for CCTV Powerlines.

So i went out and bought some CAT6A Twisted Copper Ethernet cabling the cabling i bought is also Solid instead of Stranded the reason why i bought solid is because its easier to put under the floor boards or through walls or skirtings and use stranded cabling for Ethernet Wall sockets etc but i decided to just use solid for everything as it will last longer.

I bought CAT6 Connectors and started making my cables in B configuration as its a new Network i used B configuration only because its what people uses nowadays you can use A configuration all it is is Orange and Green switched around. For A Configuration its Green in Pin 1 or B Configuration Orange in Pin 1 its pretty straight forward.

Not just the Network i did work on I also did work on my VDSL Line and bought a BT MK4 Wall Socket using the CAT6A Ethernet cabling for the Phone Line which in better than British Telecoms Spec Cabling only because BT uses un-twisted CCA Cabling. Oh yes this CCA comes up again BT uses Copper Coated Aluminum Cabling which causes horrible noise on the Line which i recommend to keep noise on a line to a minimum or you’ll have problems with internet dropping out or crackling on your Land Line Phone. I also used CAT6 from the Wall Socket to the Router Home Hub 6 with a RJ12 to the MK4 & Hard wiring to A & B on the Wall Socket its pretty straight forward.

After changing all cabling to CAT6 Ethernet cable even for the VDSL Fibre Line I’ve noticed higher speeds also noticed that the Internet Connection no longer cuts out and a crisp clear line which is something you want.

British Telecom probably won’t like what I’ve done but hey they can’t do much about it. One thing i do recommend is that if your not confident enough to be in the world of Telecom wiring then i recommend getting a BT engineer in to do the job but then you will probably have the same issue again by using CCA Cabling. This was my first time doing Telecom cabling and engineering but its simple.

The job isn’t quite finished yet as I’ve got to tidy up the wiring in the cupboard and put some CAT6 Ethernet Wall Sockets up on the wall so got a lot more work to do.

The Old Faceplate for my old Line was in the Living but i moved the Faceplating by using CAT6 Ethernet Cabling and instead of using the old Faceplate i decided to buy a new Faceplate which is the BT Faceplate MK4 which supports RJ45 or RJ11 or RJ12 but i decided to hardwire the Router into the Faceplate with CAT6 Cabling.

I put two Shelfs up one with the router and External Drive, the second shelf has my Server on it which is used for storage and hosting my VPN and soon to be Web site. Im still waiting for a Network Switch to come which will be on the first shelf. Im wanting to move the main Ethernet cabling to a 1gbp switch instead of using the 1gbp Lan Ports.

Lets move onto the pictures,

So this is the Tool Kit i bought to do this project the reason why i bought this as there will be many more job to do for people. So i decided to spend £12 on this guy also bought from Ebay.

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So the Ethernet Cabling i went with is CAT6A UTP Solid Twisted Copper Ethernet Cabling I bought this from a place called Kenable. It is High Quality Cable it came in a 100m Reel. It cost me around £40 here in the UK.

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The Shoes i bought are just generic Shoes which fits CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cabling. Cost me £2 from Ebay.

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The CAT6 Connectors costs me £2 from Ebay which are very nice. One thing to note that CAT5e & CAT6 Connectors are different.

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Here are the RJ12 Connectors they have 6 pins unlike RJ11 the reason why i bought RJ12 connectors is because of the CAT6 Cabling is thinker but you can use CAT5e cabling with RJ11 connectors. The RJ12 Connectors cost me £2 from ebay.

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The BT MK4 Faceplate which cost me £12 from Ebay.

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Theres no need for Filters no more! Thats right the Filter is built into the Face plate. This Face plate supports both RJ45 & RJ12/RJ11 but can hard wire it to A & B inside the Face plate.

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You will see that the Blue Wiring is connecting to A & Orange Wire is connecting to B on the back of the Faceplate this is for the Telephone line and BT has made them idiot proof only because there is no longer a IDC like on the older Faceplates there is no longer a 3rd wire that is because the ringer wire is no longer needed with Phones that are on the Market. Just push Blue to A & Orange to B then put the latch down and the IDC inside will clamp the wires its simple as that. When this picture was taken the cabling was BT spec. You will noticed that its un-twisted so had to be changed.

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Now lets move onto the VDSL. You will notice that theres only two wires thats because this is DATA for your Router I’m using CAT6 with a RJ12 crimped onto the cable and hard wired the Blue into A & Blue White into B it really doesn’t matter which way you hardwire the cable into the Face Plate along as Blue White is in Pin 4 and Blue is in Pin 5 the only problem is with CAT6 cabling its much thicker wire so requires RJ12 but still quite hard to put on the connector. You will also notice that Orange is in Pin 1 & Orange White is in Pin 6 is because to make the connector a bit stronger but they are cut off on the Face Plate end.

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The new Face Plate is on the Wall with Cat6 Ethernet cabling.

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This is one of the cables I’m currently making. The colour code goes Orange White Pin 1, Orange Pin 2, Green White Pin 3, Blue Pin 4, Blue White Pin 5, Green Pin 6, White Brown Pin 7, Brown Pin 8. This is for B Configuration.

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This is the first Ethernet Cable i made it took me awhile to get the hang of but got there eventually. I made this one without the Shoe on only because on my HP Probook 4540s the Ethernet Port is on upside down so hassle with a shoe on it.

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This is another Ethernet Cabling i made with the Shoes on.

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This is the finish result with all the Cables done but will be moving all Ethernet cables to a Switch. The DSL cable as you can see is also CAT6 which is Hard Wired into the Wall Socket.

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So after making all the Ethernet cables I’ve connected to them in each room. Some of my devices such as Zgemma Box, Raspberry Pi only have 10/100 Ethernet NICs on them but other devices such as my hacks and MacBook has 1gbp when in sleep the hubs turn to Orange which is 10/100 but when on out of sleep they’re on Green.

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After doing this i tested in Both macOS & Windows 10 to check if everything is working as it should. Windows detects the connection as UTP which is correct because the cabling is UTP anyway. In macOS the connection gets 890.55mbps. Which is better as i wasn’t even getting this with the old CCA Cabling.19400059_1464320560281186_7674824318771027198_n.jpg

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So people before you go out and buy Ethernet Cabling for your home Networking or for your business make sure that its a proper twisted pair and proper Copper and not this CCA Fake Stuff.

I will update once I’ve finished everything. Im currently waiting for Cable Trunking to come and Ethernet wall Sockets. But a lot more work to do.

Update 30-06-2017

RJ45 CAT6 Wall Sockets came. I will install them once i get the time.

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Added a Netgear GS105 instead of using LAN Ports on the Router. Reason why I’ve done this is because when the internet drops out which is rare anyway it causes the whole network to drop out because the LAN Ports on the Router drops out.

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VoiletDragon’s NAS Build: Gigabyte H97N-WIFI – Core i3 4360 – 8GB RAM – HD4600

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Components

3x 3TB Seagate ST3000NV000 NAS Drives
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D1GYNU8/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Silverstone SST-DS380B (Black) 8 Bay Hot Swappable ITX Case
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HVKMI9S/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Corsair SF Series SFX450 Modular Power Supply
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CR5XJR6/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Fit-Headless GS HDMI Headless Adapter
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01EK05WTY/?tag=tonymacx86-21

3TB Western Digital Hard Drive USB 3.0 (Bought this from Argos in the UK on Holidays Discount)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UNA1ICQ/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Already Owned

Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI ITX Motherboard
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KC7ZY2U/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Intel Core i3-4360 3.70Ghz CPU with Intel HD 4600
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00J2LIFDC/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Sandisk 64GB SSD – No longer available.

Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB Kit
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00569K7LM/?tag=tonymacx86-21 [/SIZE]

Note. Due to the Fit-headless GS Headless Adapter there is no Mouse and Keyboard. Everything is done over the network. The NAS is completely headless which gives me full 1920×1080 on Screen Sharing app in OS X.

Comments

This build is more dedicated to Storage not the Hardware so i decided to splash out more on the Drives also the Case. I went with the i3-4360 not just because of its TDP of 54 watts but in a build like this CPU usage won’t be a issue neither with only 8GB of RAM. I’m currently using Intel HD 4600 which is built into the CPU as Graphics isn’t going to be a issue with the Screen Sharing App inside OS X and handles 1920×1080 with the Headless Adapter perfectly fine.

The whole point of building this NAS is because it was hassle keep everything on each computer on a secondary storage per computer. I decided to build a 9TB that is on my Home Network as well as outside of the home i.e can be accessed anywhere in the world will get more onto how this works.

So your probably wondering what I’m using to connect this NAS to my 8 Port Ethernet Hub? Well using the Dual Ethernet Ports on the Motherboard which are both 1Gbp. LAN 1 is using Intel Gbe LAN, LAN 2 is using Realtek Gbe both kexts to enable both NICs can be found in MultiBeast or the Downloads Section. When using Both Ethernet, I can get reasonable speeds between each computer or iPhone, iPad.

The Silverstone SST-DS380B is a very nice case but very pricey. The Reason why i bought this case is because of its Hot swap able Drive Bays which can offer up to 8 3.5inch or 2.5inch bays. The only downside is that most motherboards on the market today only have up to 6 SATA Ports which is a limit on the Intel Chipset. In the near Future i will purchase a PCI-E SATA Card which will allow me to have more drives. This case is more onto Server Grade hardware it supports both SAS and SATA Drives I’m currently using SATA as the H97N-WIFI doesn’t have a SAS Controller.

The biggest problems i was having with OS X was SMB, i.e SAMBA Support. OS X lacks of SAMBA Support so i was having issues with connection time out between Windows clients and Data Transfers. Even when i attempted to connect my Raspberry Pi which runs Kodi to my NAS using SMB that caused issues. WonkeyDonky has written up about SAMBA on his NAS Build, which can be found here https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/…er-build-z87e-itx-core-i7-4771-hd4600.212525/

Now, lets move onto what Services I’m using on the NAS. I’m running OS X Server App which can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for £19.99 here in the UK. The Server App from the Mac App Store is a very good and powerful app for your networking needs.

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Time Machine Server

Allows me to do hourly Back ups over the Network which works quite well but has to be set up by creating a Sparse using Disk Utility. The only downside is that you can not restore from Time Machine in the OSX Installer has to be done once you install OS X and at the Welcome screen but this isn’t a big deal to me.

File Sharing

File Sharing in Mac and the Server is very easy but has its quirks. Having Both SMB (SAMBA) and AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) will cause issues with data transfers and connecting better to just disable SMB leaving AFP enabled. I have File Sharing enabled for data transfers as well as for iTunes so with File Sharing enabled i can access all drive which are on the NAS can also do the same on my iPhone and iPad by using a App called FileExplorer. FYI AFP is so much faster than SMB but Windows has no support for AFP however works fine in Linux. I have tested in Linux Ubuntu and Mate. When transferring Data over the network, I get full speeds which is because I went all out and made my own Ethernet Cables with Cat6e Cables; this is a very expensive way to go but its worth it.

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Screen Sharing

OS X has a very nice Screen Sharing utility which can be enabled in System Preferences -> Sharing. I have this enabled only because if i ever need to Remote into my NAS it will make my life a lot easier and with the Fit-Headless GS Headless Adaptor its so much easier than connecting a Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard.

VPN and DNS

I enabled VPN and DNS in the Server App. Enabling both will allow you to access the files and remote into the NAS when away from the Home; the reason why I enabled this is because if I’m away from home or on the train I can watch my Movies or TV Shows on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro without storing it locally. Setting up a VPN is a better way of connecting to your home Server Securely which works very well with the OS X Server App. Setting up a VPN does require a DNS Hostname and enabling port Forwarding on the Router. The VPN works on both 4G/LTE and WIFI Hotspots. Just something I’d mention here. If you’re planning on using Home Sharing with the VPN, this will not work its one of the reasons why I choose to add my iTunes library from my Entertainment drive manually then just load Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc. from the Drive not using Home Sharing. This is a common problem and caused by Apple’s Bonjour.

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My fix for SAMBA

So, here’s a Fix I did for SAMBA; I bought a USB 3.0 External Drive 3TB Drive and installed Windows 7 in Parallels, and shared the Data on the Drive to my Network for Kodi and Windows Clients. This works pretty well and gets seen in the WorkGroup on my Home Network. LAN 2 is used for the VM which I just bridged it in Parallels so LAN 2 is only used for the Windows Client Share. However, only LAN 1 is used for the VPN and File Transfers between OS X.

System Configuration

UniBeast and MultiBeast is what I used to install OS X, then modify the config and created a set of SSDTs to Patch ACPI. Overall, this machine is very Stable – hasn’t skipped a beat yet. MultiBeast settings. I’ve disabled Audio in the BIOS as its not needed on this System.

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Update 08-06-2016. Added HP NC6360T Dual LAN Ethernet Card changed to AppleIntelE1000e 3.1.3. Updated Windows 7 VM to Windows 10 Pro for SAMBA Sharing using RDC in OS X. Added a TP-LINK 1gbp 8 Port Ethernet Hub you will notice that under System Preferences -> Network that there is a PPoE Connection this is because i started using the NAS as a Router but for some reason it was kinda buggy so I’m going to move pfsense on another machine probably will build some sort of a Rack to put everything in with some decent cooling as i noticed that the NAS/Server machine gets pretty warm with the Ethernet Hubs. Change to using Time Machine in Server App which allows me to restore Time Machine backups in OS X/macOS Installer as i was using File Sharing for Time machine backups before which wouldn’t work with the OS X/macOS Installer. Added another Drive for iPhone, iPad Shares such as Movies, TV Shows etc.

TP-Link TL-SG108 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A121WN6/?tag=tonymacx86-21

HP NC360T Dual Ethernet Card (Got from FreeCycle).

WD Red 1TB NAS Drive.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008JJLXO6/?tag=tonymacx86-21

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(Guide) My Main Hackintosh Desktop Sierra 10.12.5 Z77-DS3H

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Decided to do a guide on the Z77-DS3H build that i built back in 2013. This guide is on getting up and running with macOS Sierra 10.12.5. I was using a regular DSDT on this machine when i started but sometime last year i moved over to Clover Hotpatch using Clover’s ACPI, DSDT, Patches with a set of SSDTs. Although this guide will work with 10.11, 10.10 and 10.9 i do run 10.9.5 Mavericks on a second drive.

Note: in my testing ALXEthernet.kext is known to cause Kernel Panics in Sierra. I replaced onboard Ethernet with a PCI-E Ethernet card with a Intel i210 chip.

My configuration

  • GA-Z77-DS3H.
  • Core i7-3770.
  • GA-GTX760 Windforce 2GB.
  • Corsair RM 650.
  • Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB.
  • Corsair 600T Graphite White Special Edition.
  • Apple BCM94602CS.
  • Apple Magic Mouse 2, Apple Keyboard 2.
  • 3x ASUS VE248H Monitors.

Things you will need.

16GB USB Flash Drive.
macOS Sierra 10.12.5 from the Mac App Store. (Use a Mac or a working Hackintosh to download macOS from the Mac App Store).

BIOS Settings,

ATA Port Information -> Hotplug disable, BIOS Features, Limit CPUID Maximum -> Disabled, Execute Disable Bit -> Enabled, Intel Virtualization Technology -> Enabled, (Vt-d can be left enabled as dart=0 is in my configs). CSM Support -> Always, Boot Mode Selection -> UEFI Only, PXE Boot Option Control -> Disabled, Storage Boot Option Control -> UEFI Only. Peripherals, SATA Mode Selection -> AHCI, XHCI Pre-Boot Driver -> Enabled, Innit Display First -> PEG, Internal Graphics -> Disabled, XHCI Hand-off -> Enabled, EHCI Hand-off -> Enabled. Super IO Configuration/Serial Port A ->Disabled. Power Management, Erp -> Enabled, High Precision Event Timer -> Enabled. (Based on these BIOS Settings i have listed here it works well).

Creating USB.

I used createmediainstall using Terminal and install Clover Manually. You can use Unibeast if you like but will need to replace config.plist with installer.plist. Rename installer.plist to config.plist.

Erase USB Boot stick as OS X Extended (Journaled), GUID Partition Map. Naming the Drive as USB. Open. Terminal and copy and paste.

Code (Text):
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/USB –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Sierra.app

Once the files are done copying we now need to install Clover to the Pen drive. Can download Clover from Sourceforge. Clover EFI bootloader download | SourceForge.net

Now we need to Clone my fork. You will need to download and install developers Tools and install using Terminal.

git

 

Now to Clone my fork using Terminal to download the additional Configs, SSDTs.

mkdir~/Z77-DS3H-Clover-Hotpatch-Patches
cd~/Z77-DS3H-Clover-Hotpatch-Patches
git clone https://github.com/VoiletDragon/Z77-DS3H-Clover-Hotpatch-Patches.git

 

Location of the cloned files will be downloaded to ~ (You’re Name).

Now to install Clover to the Pen Drive with Correct Clover Settings.

Install For UEFI Booting only.
Install Clover in the ESP.
Theme (select one as you prefer I choose bootcamp)
Drivers64UEFI, OsxAptioFixDrv. (OsxAptioFixDrv2 It is not needed.)
Now you can install Clover. Don’t forget to put HFSPlus.efi in Drivers64UEFI and remove VBoxHFS-64.efi. Now we need to put FakeSMC & Ethernet kext, USBInjectAll in EFI/Clover/kexts/other. Remove 10+ folders. FakeSMC, ALXEthernet.kext can be downloaded from downloads section.
You will need to replace the config with installer.plist renaming it to config.
USBinjectAll can be downloaded from Rehabmans Fork. Read Readme first.
https://github.com/RehabMan/OS-X-USB-Inject-All

Once creating you’re Clover Boot stick you can now get into installing macOS. At BIOS hit F12 and boot from UEFI Pen Drive. Now Boot and install macOS.

We no longer need to boot into macOS Without Cache as macOS boots with prelinked kernel anyway.

Post Installation,

At Post Installation you will need to install Clover to you’re boot drive. Its pretty much the same as the Pen drive installation. Except you need to put in place the correct config & SSDTs.
Install For UEFI Booting only.
Install Clover in the ESP.
Theme (select one as you prefer I choose bootcamp)
Drivers64UEFI, OsxAptioFixDrv. (OsxAptioFixDrv2 It is not needed)
You can choose EmuVaribles if it makes you feel nervous but I didnt. Now you can install Clover. Don’t forget to put HFSPlus.efi in Drivers64UEFI and remove VBoxHFS-64.efi. Now we need to install FakeSMC, ALXEthernet.kext and USBinjectall in Library/Extensions. Kexts can be downloaded from downloads section.
You will need to replace the config with post_install rename to config.plist.
Ethernet kexts you will need depends on which Ethernet port you use. I use IntelMausiEthernet.kext as I’ve added an PCI-E Ethernet card.
download USBinjectall from Rehabmans fork. Read readme.
https://github.com/RehabMan/OS-X-USB-Inject-All

Now we need to put in place a few SSDTs. SSDTs we need are,

Code (Text):
SSDT-HACK
SSDT-SMBUS
SSDT-MCHC
SSDT-SATA
SSDT-EH01
SSDT-EH02
SSDT-XHC
SSDT-HDEF
SSDT-GFX0
SSDT-EC
SSDT-LAN (Only use if using onboard Ethernet with ALXEthernet.

These set of SSDTs go in EFI/Clover/ACPI/patched.
Remove config.plist and replace it with the one post_install and rename to config.plist.

Now we can reboot and boot into macOS without the Pen Drive.

For Native Powermanagement you will need to generate a SSDT using Piker Alpha’s ssdtPRGen.sh.Guide can be found here. https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/quick-guide-to-generate-a-ssdt-for-cpu-power-management.177456/

For Audio. I used Clover Audio injection and paired it with CodecCommander which gives me Audio out of sleep. CodecCommander can be downloaded from Rehabmans Fork/

As Hibernation isn’t supported on a Hackintosh (You will need to disable suspend to disk or S4 sleep) You will need to disable it in Terminal.

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage
sudo mkdir /var/vm/sleepimage

 

After updates you may notice that Audio has stopped working. This can be fixed in Terminal.

sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions && sudo kextcache -u /

Note.

Trim is enabled by the config.plist. I prefer to use Clovers Fly on Patching for Trim.

What works.

Native Power Management.
Full Graphics Acceleration with GTX760.
Sleep/Including Audio after sleep state.
3 Monitors using Nvidia GTX760.
Message and FaceTime. Although i didn’t follow the iMessage guide.
USB 3 with High Current.
USB 2 with High Current.
Beats 1 Radio in iTunes.

One thing that didn’t work and hasn’t worked since 10.9 is ALXEthernet it caused lock ups in 10.9. In 10.12 it causes Kernel Panics on reboots. Other than that everything else works. I recommend replacing Ethernet with something thats either Intel or Realtek.

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HP NC360T Dual Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E Works Out Of the Box Without Kext Installs macOS Sierra 10.12.5

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Ive picked up a HP NC360T Dual Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E x4. This card works out of the box with Apples Stock kexts no need to install any Kexts such as IntelMausiEthernet.kext.

If you’re looking for a card that works out of box without any Kexts installs then id recommend this card. I have noticed a lot of difference in speed from transferring files too and from the NAS. This is a great upgrade from my Realtek RTL8111E. Ive been wanting to upgrade from my Realtek RTL8111E PCI-E Card only because when transferring high amounts of data over the network it moves all the work to the CPU.

 

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