What to do with a second drive (HDD)?

  • First, I am new to pfSense so please go easy on me.

    I built a pfSense router with an old computer I had. Here are the specs:

    • Intel DG33BU
      • SATA II ports
      • 1x onboard gigabit NIC
    • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7500 @ 2.93GHz
      • 2 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 2 core(s)
      • AES-NI CPU Crypto: No
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 256 GB SSD - SATA III
    • 640 GB HDD - SATA III
    • 1x PCI gigabit NIC

    I put OpenWRT on a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 and made it a dumb AP / switch that is now connected to the pfSense router.

    So far I have only enabled DNS over TLS using Cloudfare's DNS service. Once I am more comfortable with pfSense I will enable IDS/IPS. I may do pfBlockerNG but not sure yet.

    Everything works great so far.

    From what I can tell the pfSense used the 256 SSD for everything. I thought maybe I could use the 640 GB HDD for something but am not sure for what and how to configure it -- as in how to add it as a 2nd drive and tell pfSense to use it.

    Any advice is appreciated. I am also open to suggestions for what other packages to install on pfSense. I'm playing/learning so open to anything.

  • LAYER 8 Rebel Alliance

    I'd just remove the HDD when there is no reasonable use case for it.


  • @Rico Oh? Last year when I was reading up on pfSense I thought I read some folks say they use a 2nd HD to store state tables, logs, and something related to IDS/IPS. I can't find those articles now.

    You're saying I don't need it? There is nothing I could use it for that would add value to my pfSense configuration?

  • LAYER 8 Rebel Alliance

    Personally I can't think about any use case where I'd like to have slow 640 GB (HDD) in my Firewall.
    256 GB of fast storage in a Firewall should be well enough. Even if you want build something like a huge Proxy cache you want that on fast storage.


  • Netgate Administrator

    The only thing you can use it for within the standard pfSense config would be some drive mirroring. However it's better to have two identical drives for that.

    There is no facility for managing a second drive within the normal pfSense setup. Whilst there are ways to use it for storing logs etc they require some scripting to manage it if down correctly.


  • Got it. Thanks guys. I think I'll just leave it be then.

  • Its really knowledgeable discussion thanks for the advice.

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