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Item#: 9SIA24G3434984

VANTEC NexStar HX4R NST-640S3R-BK Aluminum / Plastic 3.5" Black SATA I/II/III USB3.0 & eSATA Quad Bay RAID HDD Enclosure

  • 3.5"
  • USB3.0 & eSATA
  • Aluminum / Plastic

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  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the Vantec NST-640S3R-BK

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Vantec NST-640S3R-BK

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  • Stephen W.
  • 1/30/2016 10:27:55 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsVanTec HX4R 4 drive enclosure USB 3.0 with internal RAID 0/1/5/10 controller

Pros: Aluminum enclosure with variable (manual) speed fan (downdraft - air in at top, out thru vents at bottom). Ability to merge 2 drives into one logical volume then mirror that volume onto a second merged pair of drives - RAID 10. If one drive fails, you can continue operation and replace the failed drive. The unit will rebuild the content of the failed drive onto the new drive WHILE still servicing data requests. This is why I bought it, to use 4x 6TB drives to build a 12TB mirrored volume. USB 3.0 connection as I didn't have room in the case for these drives. This is connected up to a file/print network server for a small business. The intended use is for an on line archive. It's easy to get the unit up and running.

Cons: Major show stopper for me - The unit won't enter sleep mode and spin down the drives unless the USB port powers down. This works (I tested it) BUT - my file/print server never 'sleeps'. All the other drives connected to the server spin down after 5 mins (or so) of inactivity (some internal, some USB) VanTec tech support confirmed that this and the HX4 (non Raid) units will not spin down from inactivity, only when the USB port powers down. Plus, I don't want the archive drives spinning up if the server just gets a print request. Frankly, I don't know what to do with this now. 2 Eggs down for that.

I haven't had the unit for long enough to test the throughput speeds but will do so in the coming months.

Other Thoughts: One other point to note - any time you change the RAID setting, you lose the data on the drive(s). So, if you were planning on starting off with 2 drives in the enclosure with one mirroring the other (RAID 1) then adding two more drives later as you fill up the first two (RAID 10), you would have to back up all the existing content, add the drives then set up the new RAID settings. The RAID build time is about 250GB per hour. I.E. 4 hours per TB. 24 hours for a 6TB drive. Ask yourself - what device are you going to back up 6TB to while you do this ? Cloud backup at (your) ISP speed ? It's DAYS of "hurry up and wait" while your storage is offline. Nothing to do with VanTec, just the joy of managing large data sets.. Just sayin'

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  • Anonymous
  • 1/30/2016 10:23:35 AM

1 out of 5 eggsTerribly unreliable, constantly drops offline and loses connection regardless of connection type

Pros: Looks neat, I guess.

Cons: Will. Not. Stay. Connected. Regardless of interface, cables, drive seating, drives, configuration, fan speed, etc.

Other Thoughts: Wish I had read the other reviews before purchasing. I've had this unit for less than a month, so, contrary to what one might imply from other reviews that it works fine and then after a year starts failing, it started failing basically after the first week. I'm on Linux, but it seems people are experiencing the same problems on Windows, as well.

1. Running a raid 5 configuration with known good drives.
2. Start copying files to or from it.
3. Drive will randomly disconnect, though lights stay on unit. It's completely random. Sometimes I can copy 64 gigs off of it without a problem (rare), and then 10 minutes later, you go to copy 3 gigs, and it dies after moving less than a gig.
4. Tried USB3 -> USB3, does it.
5. Tried USB3 -> USB2, does it.
6. Tried ESATA -> ESATA, does it.
7. Tried turning fan up -- maybe it's overheating. Does it.
8. Tried different cables. Makes no difference, still does it.
9. Tried re-seating drives. You guessed it -- still randomly disconnects.
10. Check Vantec site for firmware update. None listed.
11. Check Vantec site FAQ. Their FAQ lists this as a problem, saying it's the USB controller on my computer. Really. I suppose my USB3, USB2 controllers (different brands) are somehow both defective, and, even more interestingly, somehow my ESATA port which connects directly to my SATA controller on-board is also.. uh. a faulty USB port. Get your s@$! together Vantec!

I've got a bunch of data I offloaded to this unit that I'm now struggling to recover. Half of the time it can't even stay connected long enough to pull the file listing at the beginning of the copy before dumping. I'm stuck pulling things very slowly a few files at a time and constantly having to power cycle it.

Also, there doesn't appear to be a JMicron software manager for the RAID set on Linux. Maybe I'm in the minority for caring, but, that's weak.

I guess this is what I get for cheaping out by trying to avoid upgrading the drives to something larger in my Synology NAS. At least the Synology is reliable!

TL;DR: Your data is not safe with this enclosure. Save your money. Run far away from this thing.

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  • Martin W.
  • 12/18/2015 7:33:20 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsStill Running Strong.

Pros: - Simple (Flip the dip switches, turn it on and off you go)
- Reliable (Purchased in 2013, still chugging along on my desk going into 2016)
- Versatile (USB 3.0 + eSata)
- Informative (RAID application is very useful and can report any sort of errors)

Cons: - USB interface is flakey sometimes and will not connect with PC.
- Fan is noisy after the consistent use.

Other Thoughts: - Using 4x 3TB Toshiba drives in RAID 5 and it works like a charm.
- Since USB 3.0 isn't the best on this device i'm using a 5ft SATA-to-eSATA cable directly to my mobo.

Final Thoughts: I need a reliable RAID solution and this thing has performed extremely well with speed and reliability
which is why I give it 5 stars. The other quarks really don't mean much to me when this product just keeps my drives
synced up with an accessible RAID.

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  • David C.
  • 4/5/2015 6:21:33 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsbecoming unreliable

Pros: When working, its a very simple to use external hard drive bay that can combine drives into a single drive or you can cut up the drives inside to be anything you want (1x1tb and 3x750gb is an example).

The fan helps keep the hard drives cooler & the lights can be informative if your not logged into the computer on the daily.

Usb 3.0 & esata to help ensure maximum connectivity solutions for people.

Cons: I've had it for 14 months now (just about) and the unit has become a hassle to deal with.

Of course I originally thought that it was due to the fact the drives were old (i used this to JBOD raid some old 2 & 3tb drives into a single backup drive for my main server) however it wasn't until after swapping out drives that I knew were working and see similar failure results (the raid controller just goes offline) was when I realized that the enclosure itself was acting up.

I swapped out usb connections (as my mobo uses two different chipsets to run various usb 3.0 hosts) & I even put in a USB 3.0 card to see if that would work. Nope.

Other Thoughts: When working its a nifty piece of equipment. As i mentioned in the first paragraph, i use this to JBOD various older drives as a 2nd backup to my main server. This enclosure is always connect to a pc that I use an unlimited online cloud backup service so it gives me 3 copies of my data (2 local and 1 in the cloud).

Looks like I have to find a new enclosure, possibly one with a longer warranty.

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2 out of 5 eggsGreat idea but poor execution

Pros: Multiple bays with large HD support
Active cooling
Pretty LEDs
RAID

Cons: Stupid thing will not stay connected. It's not even consistent on when it wants to be problematic. I've had it stay connected for several days with out issues and then i've had it cause hours to transfer a 700mb file because of the constant disconnects during. Seriously frustrating. This will probably be my last Vantec product. I've owned others and have been let down. Figured maybe i was the exception to the rule but it appears not.

If they could get their stuff sorted out, this enclosure could really be great but unfortunately it's a shiny paperweight at this point.

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  • Anonymous
  • 3/24/2015 12:15:31 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs

Pros: worked fine to it died

Cons: died after owning it 1.5years. evidently a common issue. starts telling you a single drive has failed. replaced, week later claims same slot failed, replaced, happens again. now whole device disconnects from machine every 40min. not a good device if you are looking for longevity.

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  • Brian L.
  • 3/11/2015 11:48:25 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsMixed Feelings

Pros: Easy to install / swap drives
Light
Easy to connect

Cons: Has issues staying connected to Windows. Have tested with many systems and on both Win 7 & 8.

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  • LARRY Z.
  • 1/11/2015 9:38:25 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsDoesn't rebuild raid 5

Pros: Kept my large movie .iso files stored for about 22 months. I was using 4 - 4TB drives in raid 5 in the HX4R. I had about 2 Terabytes of data stored on the enclosure.

Cons: In that I only ran this enclosure when I wanted to occasionally move/backup files from my PC data drives to the HX4R, this unit was only in use for maybe a total of about 50 hours; 75 max . After about 22 months of use, the enclosure indicated that 1 of the drives had failed. I bought a new drive (it matched the original drives and was formatted per the manual) and put it in. The HX4R indicated that it was rebuilding by the flashing lights, but it just ran and ran for hours without any indication in the JMicron HW Raid Manager that the rebuild was actually occurring (continued to indicate 0% rebuild). I tried another drive to rebuild the raid to, but this time after appearing to be rebuilding, the HX4R indicated that ANOTHER drive in the array had failed. Note that throughout this process to this point, my data had been available in "Degraded" (per JMicron Manager) status. Now windows was reporting that the drive was corrupted and it could not see the files. At this point, using another single disk enclosure, I tested all 4 drives that had been in the HX4R and the 2 spares: all functioned fine and could read/write data in the other enclosure. They passed full drive testing: albeit Windows Fixdisk tools, nothing more elaborate, but still. I want to say the controller is malfunctioning sporadically, but there are several issues of poor workmanship with this unit, so I cannot isolate the problem (read: worst case scenario for a raid enclosure that is suppose to redundantly backup your important data).

Other Thoughts: I am disturbed by the lack of quality & lack of engineering here. 1) One moment the controller sees the array, the next it doesn't - on drives that test good on other equipment 2) The fan seems inadequate and the drives get hot. Hotter than they should? Hard to say, but the way the drives are seated in the HX4R the little air flow created by the fan doesn't move between the individual drives as it should to properly ventilate. 3) The drives don't always feel like they seat tightly into the data/power connectors in the back of the enclosure when pushed into the unit. However, the same drive seats tightly / securely when put in different enclosure, so I don't feel it is the drive, but a problem with the enclosure.

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  • Jim H.
  • 12/9/2014 9:16:56 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsNexStar HX4R RAID HDD Enclosure

Pros: The chassis assembled easily and the disks are easy to load and unload, and drives spin up sequentially. All drives stay reasonably cool. I have an older 2-disk VANTEC enclosure which is bullet-proof, so this brand was my first choice.

Cons: The fan is pitiful. It started making noise after a week, and the bearings were screaming within another week. You can get to the fan by twisting the 5" round grill piece on top counterclockwise. Inside is an über thin 80mm fan with the cheapest of bearings.

If I had sent it back, I would have gotten a replacement with the same fan, so I replaced it with a thin Silenx quiet fan I had laying around. Since the enclosure uses a tiny 2-pin connector to their circuit board, I had to splice the cables, which of course voids the warranty. Oh well, now I have a quiet fan which should last for a few years. I needed to dig out slightly longer screws.

Note: The new fan is a few mm thicker than the original, so the grill piece doesn't lock in place.

Other Thoughts: VANTEC should replace the junker fan they use with one using much better bearings, even if it means missing their price point by a couple of dollars.

I can't speak to the RAID capabilities or performance. I use the disks individually .

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  • Kimberly D.
  • 10/27/2014 4:56:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs24/7 Operation without issue

Pros: Super easy setup. Work's flawless with Nighthawk AC1900 wireless share. Running always on config with personal web service for ftp. Fan speed adjustable, Again easy setup- my setup: 4 wd enterprise 3tb drives - raid 10 - fan keeps it nice and cool.

Cons: none

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Item#: 9SIA24G3434984
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