I'm been managing to keep my creaky old SageTV and file server running the last two years. Its got an old Nforce4 socket 939 board that I used when I built my first HTPC in 2005. I periodically have a problem where the OS drive get corrupted, maybe it overheats and I end up reimaging it. Acronis True image saves my life routinely, yet its annoying when I come home on expecting to watch a movie, or TV and have to spend the nearly 2 hours reimaging the drive. Could I get away without it? maybe, but a scan disk finds all kinds of errors. I haven't found the problem, and though I might be able to fix it-- I'm starting look towards a fresh start. This decision would be easier if I knew I had a clear 5 year vision for my HTPC, but with Sage stagnant and mediacenter possibly slowing as well I'm trying to decide what to do here.
Even if there isn't a clear consensus on what basic hardware I should be building for, I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a solid and reasonably priced case that can hold at least 10+ hard drives. I currently had 8 drives, a set of 4 are in a 3x5.25 -> 4x3.5 in an Antec P180. After looking around online, I've come across the fractal design define XL and the NZXT Whisper. Both have space for far more hard drives than I need right now, but it also offers room to grow should I need to add more drives in the future, which is possible, but I doubt I'll go past 10 drives. Anyone have any other suggestions? Both look like decent cases, but they are also both north of $100. I would love something cheap and solid like the Antec 300, but it will hold less than my P180 right now, so what's the point?
I'd love to have a conversation about what the future of HTPC holds for people and what kind of computer to build for this, but I'll put this in another thread.