Hardware upgrades (tank) and switch to Xubuntu 18.04

  • Posted on: 2 October 2018
  • By: charm

Over the past couple of months I've been swapping hardware and and out of my daily desktop computer: tank. The last drive setup involved two Samsung 120GB SSDs in a striped RAID array (Ubuntu 16.04) and a 1TB Western Digital Blue (Windows 10). The setup was annoying both from a hardware and software perspective. One of the SSDs was situated below the 1TB hard drive while the other was mounted below a Blu-ray drive. Part of the reason for this odd setup was the configuration of the Antec Three Hundred Two case. The Three Hundred Two is a nice case, it has a mounting spot on the bottom and back for SSDs, but both require straight power and data connectors. My data cables all have angled connectors. One solution I thought I could get away with was an SSD mounting bracket, but I quickly discovered that they don't have the length or holes required to mount properly using the 3.5" rails included with the Three Hundred Two.

The solution: an Orico 2.5" to 3.5" hard drive tray converter ($9.99 CDN). These trays include all the necessary holes to use the Three Hundred Two's rails and have holes in the bottom for a perfect SSD mount. I picked up a couple along with an Orico 3.5" internal HDD mounting bracket (which apparently allows hot swapping of hard drives). This setup made it easy to stick the 3.5" 1TB hard drive below the Blu-ray and arrange the two SSDs one above the other.

Software-wise my setup was just as convoluted. Initially one SSD held Ubuntu Linux while the other SSD was the boot drive for Windows, with the data on the 1TB hard drive. I switched this to Ubuntu across both SSDs because I kept running out of space every time I ripped a single Blu-ray disc.

This all changed on my birthday, both SSDs were replaced by a Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD. I installed Xubuntu 18.04 on the SSD, connected back my 1TB hard drive, and ran grub-update so Grub would recognize the Windows installation on the 1TB drive. The plan is to run Ubuntu 16.04 and 14.04 in virtual machines. I still need both older versions for the Ubuntu Fasteroids port... which yes, I'm still working on. More news soon.