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Old 04-04-2008, 01:18 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Maxtor Shared Storage II 1TB

We were so impressed with the Central Axis upgrade for the Shared Storage II at CES that we thought we'd check out the NAS itself prior to the official launch of that software. With 1TB of storage, will the SSII warrant a purchase, with it's higher price point?

You can read Matt's full evaluation of Maxtor's high-end NAS here and then discuss it here!
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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Nice review.

I would personally like to see the companies that do it right, Synology, QNAP, Buffalo, Thecus, LaCie, etc.... stick to what they have been doing for a while now. Making very solid NAS devices that work.

I would like to see companies like Maxtor, WD, Seagate and the like make NAS boxes that can be used also as external storage. Like an external hard drive with networking capabilities. This would be far more interesting, and useful, to me. I will stick to the big boys for a dedicated NAS. Give me something like this Maxtor box with the ability to connect directly via USB or eSATA as well as over Ethernet. Thats what I want.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:10 AM   #3
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Woops, I forgot to add my $0.02 here.

I have this same NAS hooked up, and for Linux, it's the best I've used. It's bare bones, so if you don't mind that, you should be set.

This is the third NAS I've tried, and it's the first to allow symlinks (important if backing up folders that include them) and it also rsync's incredibly fast. On the D-Link DNS-323 I was using before, it would take minutes before the rsync process would even begin. On the SSII, it's almost instantaneous. I am unsure of why there is a difference at all, but there is.

For Linux users, it's a great NAS. For Windows users, it's a little lackluster.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot! As soon as I got home after reading this review with it's comments about reliability my SSII crapped itself. Who know what's wrong with!? If I didn't read this review I'm sure it would have continued to function

It gives a blinking code that I assume is meaningful but Seagate haven't documented what they might mean.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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Some sites infect PC's with trojans, Techgage infects PCs with death, apparently.

Did you try unplugging the power and network cable both from the back for a minute or two? It could be that the NAS kicked itself off the network somehow, so resetting it like that might help.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Some sites infect PC's with trojans, Techgage infects PCs with death, apparently.

Did you try unplugging the power and network cable both from the back for a minute or two? It could be that the NAS kicked itself off the network somehow, so resetting it like that might help.
Also addictive...I have to have a fix at least once a day

But seriously, the reviews are honest and to the point.
I'm glad there is No Bias..

If it's a good product that is useful, then it may be something to consider.
And just think of the combined knowledge that resides around here.

You see a lot of new members asking questions that we have been through...they panic untill they find the key here.

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Old 04-16-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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I did do that, as well as reset it. It's working now, but it shouldn't be. I had to do a few reboots before it started working on the network properly (at times it would only respond to half the ping requests). So I eventually got into the web console and upgraded the firmware. A few more reboots again and now it's working, but I'm still getting flashing light on the box indicating a problem. The web console diagnostics report no issues. I obviously need to bring this up with Seagate.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:42 AM   #8
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Default Correction and thoughts

Solid Read
78.74MB/s
Solid Write
73.43MB/s
Multiple Read
78.77MB/s
Multiple Write
76.15MB/s

I presume the capital 'B' in MB/s should be small 'b'. There is no way a 100 megabit per second etherment cable is going to deliver 76.15 megaBytes per second performance.

The case is NOT primarily plastic. The core is heavy gauge steel and a thing of beauty for utility minded folks.

The case CAN be taken apart but it's not easy. Remove the back panel with two screws and release the snaps holding the sides to the case. It's a tricky but can be done without damage. Go to the NSLU website for more details. Check out the MS SSII link at the left. People there are taking these apart all the time. Good thing to know if the mainboard fails because you can take the SATA drive out and connect it to any common linux distro to get your data.

There's a good reason to leave the plastic off. The fan tends to get a bit noisy, requiring a bit of grease from time to time. The plastic shroud just gets in the way. Heat dissipation is much better without the plastic too. Just be careful not to bang the steel case around since the rubber bumpers on the shroud provide the only physical shock protection.

I've run a 320GB version for almost six months now. I set it up to run the coyote version of the binary which provides nice telnet access. The unit behaves perfectly and has never disconnected, unlike reports from disgruntled IOMega users, etc.

The ext3 file system is a plus because it means I can store large mp4 ISO files in excess of 2GB - which wouldn't be easily done with a FAT32 format. The ext3 also provides journalling so that the unit will recover gracefully from power failures and the like.

A relatively simple change in the init files will allow the unit to autostart on powerup though this won't help if you are going with the Central Axis software since I don't believe it has telnet access enabled. You have to use a kludged version of the older firmware to get that.

NAS is a classic case of compromise. Not one piece of equipment will grant every wish. For my purposes the Maxtor SSII has been a fine choice. Well built, speedy and reliable, it can be modified and played with if you wish or you can just plug it in and use it with no hassles. The auto spin down works as advertised and reduces the power footprint to about six watts. At California rates that's about six dollars a year to have 24/7 access to your files vs: the typical 30 watts required by a laptop. Every little bit helps.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Angry Maxtor Shared Storage Drive II

Wow, what a complete mess this product is...I have to unplug it two to three times a week because it will not be accessible from any of my home computers. I've used more then one router so I know that isn't the problem. I just came out to the web to look for firmware updates and thought I would pop in to read this review.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Wow, what a complete mess this product is...I have to unplug it two to three times a week because it will not be accessible from any of my home computers. I've used more then one router so I know that isn't the problem. I just came out to the web to look for firmware updates and thought I would pop in to read this review.
Hmm, so it's not just me. Matt had slight issues like that while reviewing, but we thought it could have been the network, or a fluke. I have a separate unit though, and I have the exact same issue you are mentioning here. I'm going to toss up an addendum in the review.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:06 PM   #11
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Just a heads up... I know it didn't get the greatest reviews, but for 1 TB for $164 isn't bad...

If a drive does fail, and you tear the enclosure apart, can you just insert a new drive and have it automatically rebuild RAID 1?
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:31 PM   #12
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Well, 1TB drives by themselves cost less than that there, so I'm not sure it's that much of a great deal. Plus, if one of the drives die on you, it's going to be hard to tear open and get them out, and I can't say for sure whether adding in new drives would work without issue. Hard to say.

I'm starting to think the best NAS-types are the barebones that you add your own drives to.
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