Build your own StorJ node (3/9) - Get the best 2.5 inch HDD for your node

By DanBlock | Tech Projects | 27 Apr 2020

Get the best 2.5 inch HDD for your node

Welcome back to this series of articles on how to build your own super efficient StorJ node, the summary of this series can be found here.

When i first started this project I wanted to spend as less as possible and I settled for a 2.5 inch 1 TB hard drive that I haven't used for a while.

To be fair, it was in fact an external USB hard drive which I cracked open to get the 2.5 inch drive I needed inside.

I've run my node for over a year with this drive and shared 800 GB while I kept some buffer for system and temp data. You never want to be in the situation where your disk is 100% full or you will never recover from that and you will have to destroy all the data and start from the beginning.

I had this very issue because of a bug in the early beta versions of the software and wasn't fun.

My used, cheap, external USB drive did a great job for over a year, earning me about £120 (or $150 at today's exchange rate) and I decided it was time for an upgrade.

I wanted to go for the larger 2.5 inch HDD I could get without spending a fortune, after some research I found out the current size record for a consumer 2.5 inch HDD goes to Seagate with its "Seagate BarraCuda 5 TB 2.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive"

Now I had to check if the drive would be a good fit for the SBC I would use (more on this in a later article on the SBC), things like power consumption, heat, dimensions and so on.

You see, not all 2.5 inch drives are the same, in fact there are several drive heights out there; we have 2.5 inch drives that range from 5mm to 19mm in height

Drives 9.5 mm high became an unofficial standard and the most widely used out there.

Although, the Seagate BarraCuda 5 TB 2.5 Inch is a beefy 15mm in height. This drive spins at 5400 rpm, has 128 MB cache and max power usage is 2.1 Watt.

I was happy to find that all the above is supported by the SBC, in particular the height and power usage.

This particular drive will set you back about £170 or $210 and you can find it here:

You will remember that I didn't use an internal HDD myself, but I instead opened up an external USB hard drive. Well, I will save you some money if you follow me here.

You see, vendors sell their products that may be appear different from the outside but use the same components on the inside.

For example, this particular drive is also found inside the Seagate Basic USB 3.0 External Hard Drive, the Backup Plus, the Expansion and Expansion+ Portable Hard Drives.

The 5 TB versions of the above products all share exactly the same disk. So what i did was to buy the cheapest of them i could find brand new and open it up to get my disk.

I found the Seagate Basic 5 TB brand new on eBay for £110 (or $140) delivered and as soon as it arrived i opened it up; the case is thin plastic and just clipped into place and you will need a small Torx screwdriver to remove 4 screws once you open the case.

You can easily break the case, you won't need it anymore, there is also a small circuit board to convert the SATA connector to USB 3.0 and you will need to remove it but it's super easy.


Keep reading and go to the next article of this series:

Best SBC for your StorJ node

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