How to Set up a Free NAS with NTFS for Backups and Hyper-V

Setting up a free network attached storage device (NAS) is actually very simple…and free!

Forget about FreeNAS, you can get the great stuff from Microsoft for free, too. If all you need is an NTFS based, 100% Windows compatible file server, there is no need to buy Drobo or Synology boxes.


How to Set up a Free NAS Device

If you have an old PC or if you are a DIYer, put together a new PC box and add the storage you need.

An old PC can be turned into a great free NAS without hassle and without sacrificing performance or Windows NTFS compliance.

Simply install Microsoft’s free operating system called Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, available here:

Add storage to your new free NAS. You could use internal hard drives or simple USB drives.

Then create a network share so you can access the storage from the network.

Finished! And you haven’t spent a penny!


The best part about this solution is:


You get NTFS, not some limited Linux based file system with bugs and other limitations.

You get a nice command prompt you can work with and that you’re used to from Windows.

You can install certain kinds of Windows applications to run on your Hyper-V Server, for example BackupChain

By using BackupChain on a Hyper-V Server, you can use it as a FTP server, too, for online backups and remote backups, for example for Hyper-V backups coming from remote servers.

You can use the free NAS for backups with your backups software, such as BackupChain

The NTFS file system is great for Hyper-V backup software because it can handle very large files beyond 4GB

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is also great for file backups because it supports domains as well as workgroups and is 100% NTFS compatible; hence, very long path names up to 32,767 letters long are supported.