TrueNAS Data Recovery

How to set physical disks for FreeNAS

From this page, you know how to set a FreeNAS system on the PC using hard drives. If you want to use virtual machine for your FreeNAS system, please check this page.

Note that all your PC hardware is going to be used in a FreeNAS device. It means it will turn into some kind of a NAS device. No PC functions will be available.

To create a FreeNAS system we need to have

Once everything is prepared, we can proceed with creating a FreeNAS system.

  1. Download a FreeNAS OS from the official site
  2. Connect an USB thumb drive which you prepared for the FreeNAS OS installation. I used a 14 GB USB flash drive. The official FreeNAS site states that 1 GB is a minimum size for this purpose. So let’s create the boot drive:
    • Use a software that writes images to removable drives. In my case I used Win32 Disk Imager (Windows).
    • Select the FreeNas image that you downloaded. FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 30
    • Then select the device that will be used as an installation device.
      FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 31
    • Click Write and then click Yes. It takes a few minutes to write the image to the drive.
      FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 32 FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 33

Important note: Both installation drive and boot OS drive are inserted into the PC. I want to remind that the boot drive will be served for booting the FreeNAS system while the disk with Windows OS will boot the PC system. Meanwhile the installation drive will be used only ONCE.

  1. Let's start the installation. Go to the BIOS Settings and open the Boot Configuration to set the Boot Order. It's necessary to select the installation you have created. Below is the example of the window. If you don’t know how to navigate in your BIOS version, search the Internet for the information how to get the Boot Order function.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 34
  1. Select the installation drive. The PC will reboot and you will see the FreeNAS install menu where you need to Select the first option.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 35
  1. In the setup menu window click Enter.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 36
  1. In the next window, you are offered to select the drive where the FreeNAS should be installed. The drive is used only for the FreeNAS OS. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the chosen drive.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 37
  1. In the next window you should press Yes and type in the password.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 38

    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 39
  1. If your motherboard is old it is recommended to install the FreeNAS OS via BIOS, but if it's new then via the UEFI.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 40
  1. When the installation is completed, we can reboot the PC and remove the installation drive (in my case it is the flash drive). When rebooting, go to BIOS and set the boot order again. Move the boot drive at the top of the list.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 42
  1. If you set the boot order correctly and the booting goes from the boot device, you will see the FreeNAS starting window where you need to select the first option.
    FreeNAS Setup- screenshot 43

Be aware that the device is used only for the FreeNAS and it’s going to be used only for booting the boot drive. It is a launcher of the FreeNAS system and if you want to get user interface page of FreeNAS you need to use different device for this purpose.

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