Deployed My HL15

Well, I finally got all the parts that I needed and I was able to get my HL15 deployed! There are still a few odds and ends I need to take care of and the showcase below does not have my remote gaming PC in the rack at the moment (empty 4U slot). I ended up needing to steal a few parts from it to get everything deployed.

I get asked this a lot. The rack that I have everything in is a very old Compaq Network Rack 7000 that has been modified to allow rack mounted servers. When this rack was made, network gear was much larger so it needed the space. You just need to flip the two front ears around 180 degrees and you are off to the races mounting your servers. I found the rack on FB marketplace a few years ago for $150. It’s fully enclosed with a metal mesh door on the rear with a grommeted hole for cable passthrough and a plexiglass front door. Both doors can lock with a metal latch handle that is super satisfying to open and close. Funny ad for the rack from the time.

The Lab:

From top to bottom:

  • The first 2U are simple just power for everything in the rack. The switch on the top left can power off the ENTIRE rack if I needed to do that for some reason OR if I was just feeling like playing with my luck that day.
  • The next U down is just a Network panel that goes back into the case to distribute ethernet to all my devices and also runs to a few devices close by outside of the rack. Thanks to @technotim for the awesome recommendation on the Monoprice Cat6 Patch cables. They look and work great!
  • Continuing down the rack is a Mokerlink 28 Port Gigabit/ 4 x 10G SFP+ Switch. I took a bit of a gamble on this guy as it is a very cheap switch from a company I was not familiar with. However I have been using it for a year now and I can verify it does what it says it’s advertised to do. Works great with v-lan tagging and any other managed network function you may need.
  • The first server in the rack is simply just a small Supermicro Blade with a C7X99-OCE-F mobo inside. This acts as a Proxmox Backup Server and syncs with an off-prem server at my Mom’s house. (thanks mom, lol)
  • The next server down is my Dell PowerEdge R210 II that functions as my pfSense router. It’s super low power server that has a HP NC550SFP Dual Port 10GbE NIC inside. I got this entire server for like $45 with the rails and have been using it for over 2 years.
  • The next server is my Intel Server R2000WT. It’s a fully loaded Intel server with an Intel board rocking 2 x Xeon E5-2697A v4 and 256GB of RAM. This is a Proxmox Server. All 24 bays in the front are loaded with 1TB SSDs that are in a Z1 config strictly for VM storage. I have a buddy that works at an enterprise SI and I picked this system up for next to nothing.
  • And finally the star of the show! My HL15! My HL15 is using an X-99-A ASUS motherboard that came from my previous server build. It’s equipped with a XEON E5-2620 v4 and 64GB of RAM. It runs TrueNAS Scale baremetal and is only used for storage. I also have a Chelsio T420-BT 10GbE NIC installed in this server. I will soon replace with a SFP+ network card as this guy gets pretty hot. I have 2 x Dell H200 SAS HBA for about $60 pre-flashed in IT mode.
  • The 4U open slot below is where my Remote gaming/VR pc lives. I rack mount it because my VR space is right next to where my Rack lives. This is the case I use for my not-pictured VR PC. It’s a super cheap 4U case. It also builds and feels like a cheap case.


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Good to see the HL15 in actual home labs!

How come the rack ears are missing?

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I did not receive any ears. I have only the hardware form them but I did not get anything but the bag of screws. I have not reached out to 45Drives about this yet, as I did not know about the ears.

How strange, I’m sure they will handle it though. You can see them in this post.

Edit: Taking a closer look, maybe those are not rack ears but a shelf or something.

I too am missing my rack ears and reached out about them.

Honestly didn’t realize I was missing them until I installed the thing and watched Technotim’s video where he showed the ears.

To not fully derail the thread, this build looks amazing, and I love the rack. sort of reminds me of the sysracks ones.

My unit was shipped with Rack Ears. The ears were wrapped separate within the unit that had all the paperwork, screws, etc. As I purchased an additional PCIe card, I might have gotten a larger box than most people, but I cannot confirm.

They look like ears, but I can’t tell in the picture with it being black on black.

Thanks! When I found it on FB Marketplace I had to have it! And with it being built back in like 1999 it’s all like 10mil steel. Thing would out last my house lol.

Yeah I only got the bare bones chassis and in the additional box there was ONLY the paperwork, and screws.

I can get you a better picture of the rack ears either tomorrow or Wednesday.

I am currently making an official second copy of my TrueNas data using the HL-15 using 16 TB and 20 TB drives.

These images are from an updated User Manual

I found this picture on my phone:


Awesome! Looking forward to seeing them!

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Nice pics! Thank you for sharing. I’ll need to send an email over and see if I can get them sent over.

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Hey @Glitch3dPenguin @00firestar00,

Thank you for bringing this to our notice, I have forwarded the issue to our team and I will be communicating with everyone who did not receive their rack ears.

I request you to send me an email at if you are missing rack ears in your order.

Thank you,

I didn’t get the Rack ears for both my black case and white builds either!

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HI @Pro-X, Please send us an email at and we will get this sorted out for you


I am also going to be sending an e-mail over soon. It does not seem that I got any rack ears as well.


Hey Everyone,

I have been reading this thread, and noticed that few of you have not received the rack ears for your HL15. Thank you all for pointing this out.

I have sent out rack ears to everyone who reached out. For anyone who did not receive their rack ears, please to reach out to me directly at so I can ensure that you are taken care of.

Thank you for your continued support,

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I also can confirm that I did not get rack ears and after reaching out 45Drives is sending some out! Thanks again for all the hard work you guys are doing!


Are there options to swap ears. I purchased a black system and got white ears for some reason.

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