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Pros: For the price, compared to the Rosewill two-drawer unit I've had for years (which I love but only runs at USB 2.0) and the piece of CR%P Mediasonic I've been putting up with for too long, this thing rocks!
I stared out moving single drives from the Mediasonic I was looking to replace and backing up files to an older WD Black drive I have that's out of warranty. I did all of the copying, erasing and formatting of the original drive, and copying back WITHIN the Vantec as my way of testing it out and putting it under some load.
Never dropped a single connection - never gave up under large transfers ranging from 10gb - 200gb at a time. I would reformat and write zeroes to the old drives, eject the unit, restart the unit, let Windows detect the blank drives, reformat, run WD diag on it, copy about 250gb to the drive, wipe the drives again, format and then copy the original files back to the drive. I was getting anywhere from 80MB to 120MB write speeds to SATA II drives and slightly faster on SATA III drives - I'm happy with that. I was able to do things like run chkdsk on one drive and defrag a second at the same time - something the Mediasonic always balked at and would always stop on.
I've been spending a few hours each day adding and removing drives, wiping drives, doing things like running utilities and creating Truecrypt volumes - things that would just about guarantee my Mediasonic would shut down eventually and stop functioning. This Vantec handles all of that w/o a hitch.
Lights - not as bright and annoying as other units. Tell me just what I want to know.
Design: thought it was a little odd looking, but the bonus with this, and the reasons it's shaped this way, is the giant 80mm fan on top that pulls air up and away. Big bonus - there is a dial on the back that allows you to manually control the fan speed.
Their website says this model can handle 4 x 4TB drives, which very few other models in this range - very few other NAS' - can handle at this time. I'm using 2 x 1tb WD Green drives, one WD Blue drive and an older Seagate drive which is out of warranty but just keeps on going. Within the next few months I'm going to put a pair of WD Red drives and really get some use out of this thing.
Cons: Can't test the esata because my mobo doesn't have port multiplier and I'm not going to get a separate card just for that.
The usb cable seems just a tad short. It could be a foot longer and a little more flexible. But hey - it works and that's what I care about.
Inserting the drives in the back - it's much more convenient to load the drives from the front, but I can live with this. Also, with previous systems, I could put a label on the disk drawer so I could remember what kind of drive is in there, but the way these are designed it's just not convenient. Not impossible, just inconvenient.
Other Thoughts: I got this to replace a Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 I (used to) own - and hated. The medasonic was just so unpredictable, and for a long time I thought there was something wrong with the WD Green drive I put in there. Missing MFT tables from one day to the next, constant orphaned files, losing MBRs; Windows telling me randomly I had to format a drive when I run the unit; constant dropped connections when running large transfers or running disk diagnosis or defrag.
The Vantec is a real relief and a breath of fresh air compared to the constant headaches I had with the Mediasonic. Apples to appples, for the price, the Vantec is far superior!
Pros: Just about no pros to this thing at this point. It's got a nice look to it, the fans can be quiet and it handles four drives well for the price.
But after months and months of sporadic real-time actual usefulness, I've started to realize this box is defective. Reading the comments here rally confirms things for me.
Is use it primarily on USB 3.0 - that's why I bought it. Why use 2.0 if you have several 3.0 ports? you wouldn't, and considering how few chipsets will actually support port-multipliers, 3.0 is the way to go.
From the beginning I had issues with this thing disconnecting on large file transfers, or if I'm formatting a truecrypt volume and running disk tools on the drives inside. Just dies. And when it's not dying, it's not letting me eject the disks. For a while I thought there might be something seriously wrong with the WD Green drives I bought, but I finally got fed up and started to realize - THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS BOX! THERE HAS TO BE!
Coming back to look at the comments, which I should have done long ago, and I realize I'm not alone. Lousy, lousy product when it comes to USB 3.0 - and it's cost me tens of hours of work trying to release drives when I'm done and then recovering data when I have to aggressively shut down the da*n thing and it's still spinning the drives inside (long after I've stopped writing to them).
Gonna shop around for something better and then put this thing on e* bay. If I can cover shipping to unload this piece of garbage on someone else, I'll be just so happy....
Cons: USB 3.0 support blohwz on this thing... and that's the main reason for using it. So basically it's worthless.
Other Thoughts: You buy cheap and you get cheap. That's all there is to it. And Mediasonic is cheap.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Just bought this thing - first bluray burner. Got it mostly for backups (and not playing movies). It gets to the point where backing things up onto regular DVDs isn't efficient because you have 10+ gbs of data you want to keep together instead of spanning onto multiple discs. Or you have a bunch of stuff on hard disc you don't want to have to try to recover in the event of a failure. So you go optical, of at all possible, and store/ archive your stuff on ultra-reliable discs.
This is my first bluray burner, but I've had at least a dozen CD/ DVD burners over the years. I've got at least 200+ gbs of data over the years stashed away on DVDs. The Pioneer seems pretty solid - I've already used up twelve discs (PHILIPS BD-R25GB media) backing random stuff like personal files and videos and ebooks, etc. I've been using Nero 10.2 and the Philips discs and haven't had a single failure (yet).
The drive went into a Win7 (x64) machine and it recognized the drive and installed the drivers w/o a hitch. Nero saw the drive and read the discs as 12x and I started burning data - at first at 8x and then at 10x. No issues so far.
I got the bare drive - OEM - since I had power and sata cables in the rig already. No software, but that's not a problem because I wasn't looking to use this as a media player. I can burn 20+ gbs of data in about 40 minutes or so with data verification.
Cons: "I canna make it go any faster, cap'n!"
Other Thoughts: Well packaged when shipped.READ FULL REVIEW