Raspberry Pi File Server

by profezzorn, published

Raspberry Pi File Server by profezzorn Aug 28, 2013
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This thing allows you to mount a 3.5" drive + a raspberry pi in a 5.25" bay. The intention is to use an external cdrom enclosure, which comes with both 5 volt power and an USB-to-SATA converter.


Print the plated parts, file and fix the edges to that everything fits together smoothly. You will need:

  • 4 standard case/drive screws
  • 4 for holding everything inside the bay (same screws as above will work, also the smaller cdrom screws, but screws made for plastic is probably better)
  • 2 screws for holding the raspberry pi, the small cdrom screws may work, but are a tight fit, smaller screws would be better. If you don't have anything, you can scavenge something from a cheap plastic toy. :)

Drill all the screw holes to fit the screws you have and start assembling. To power the raspberry pi, you can either dismantle an micro-usb cable and hook it up to the 5 volts in the enclosure, or if you're lucky, and your enclosure has molex connectors, you can re-wire an old molex-to-molex+floppy cable to do the job, which is what I did.

Finally, you'll need an usb connection from the raspberry pi to the usb-to-sata converter. You can either use an external cable, or just solder some wires. USB is fairly forgiving with short cables.

Beware that the USB-to-SATA converter that comes with most/some/all cdrom enclosures do not support drives large than 2Tb.

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The enclosure I used is an earlier version of this one I think: https://amzn.com/B0093HKFYW
Unfortunately RPI puts the HDMI output on in an inconvenient location, which makes it hard to have both HDMI and USB ports externally accessible, so you'll either need to add some extension coords or cut a hole in the side of the enclosure.

I have since replaced this thing with something else since I didn't find the RPI to be stable enough for my purposes, but hopefully the new PIs work better.

any thought to putting a spot for an HDMI output? I'm trying to essentially replicate this with HDMI output for a portable media device. Also, any specs on the enclosure you used in the example? I'd love to look it up.

So you are powering the pi with a 5v 1a adapter and the usb-sata with the pr's GPIO pins? Have you had any power consumption problems?

No, other way around. I'm powering the raspberry pi from the 5v provided by the enclosure.
The power is going in through the GPIO pins.