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Coolmax Cn-330 Network Storage Enclosure - Network Storage Enclosure - 2 X 3.5" - 1/3h Internal Hot-swappable - Serial Ata, Usb, Network - External (cn330) Reviews
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CoolMax CN330 not SO bad, really ....

By KingTJ Verified Reviewer from St. Louis, MO on 12/15/2009


Pros:

Itunes Server Support, Drive Spanning Capability, Raid 1 Mirror Support, Inexpensive

Cons:

Noisy, Cheap Plastic Enclosure

Best Uses:

Entry-level Nas For Home

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I bought one of these to re-use a couple of matched 500GB Western Digital SATA drives in. Unlike the other reviewer, I had no issues getting them both formatted, and in fact - experimented with setting them up both in "spanned" mode (where they appear as a single 1TB storage device on the network), and in a RAID 1 mirror configuration. (I suspect the unit may simply have a 1TB per drive capacity limit, as I've heard of on other similar devices. It certainly needs to be mentioned on the box though!) What I didn't like, though, is the lack of "permanence" to the configuration settings. As soon as I told it to reconfigure the RAID (from spanned to RAID 1) and it finished reformatting the drives to do so, it reset ALL the settings back to factory defaults. I had to turn iTunes server sharing back on, set the network time service back up, etc. etc. Makes NO sense! The case looks good enough, but feels cheaply made. When I unscrewed the fan on top to open the case/install the hard drives, I noticed very cheap, thin wires attaching the fan to the main board inside, and a cheaply made "frame" for the drives to mount on. It's ok if you handle it with care, but I wouldn't want to swap drives out in this enclosure too often. All in all though, it's about as cheap as you can find for a NAS with the capabilities it has. I primarily intend to use mine to store all my iTunes music, so all the computers on my LAN can play from it without a "master computer" having to be left on all the time to share it out. I think it'll be fine for the purpose. (It is noisy, but I'm going to stick it in the corner in the basement.)


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My first and last Coolmax product

By David from Clarkston, MI on 10/23/2009


Pros:

Looks Nice, Comback Unit, Unique Airflow Design, Rj45 And Usb Ready

Cons:

Error Logs Always Empty, Documenation Poor, Loud Very Loud, Error Light Always On, Hangs When Formatting, Hdd Off Usb Do Not Work, Permissions Fail, Usb Is For Printer Only, Goes Off Deepend Often, Not All Usb Printers

Best Uses:

Network Chatter Maker, Boat Anchor, Cool Breeze, Waste Of Power, Hard Drive Spinner, Loud White Noise, Paper Weight

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I will never buy another Coolmax product after this experience. The first thing I noticed was how loud the device is. I have a G5 Macintosh, when it is calling for maximum cooling it is more quiet than than this device.My first issue with this device was the inability to daisy chain external hard drives off the USB port. I was told the port marked "HUB" is form printers only and the other port marked with the universal symbol for USB is for connecting the CN-330 to a network not using RJ45. Great. What happened to USB being USB? Tech support is horrible. I suspect English is not their first language given the short and poor response.The documentation is great if you need a bunch of screen snapshots with text explaining the snapshot. Personally, I can walk through screens and read the labels too and figure out what the screens are for. Documentation should explain the pros and cons of different settings and dependancies and such. It should also have some basic troubleshooting. But I guess that would require some effort on the manufacturer who does not support their product very well.The biggest problem I have with this device is the lack of reliability. I could overlook the noise. I could overlook the poor documentation. I could overlook the fact I cannot use the USB port like a USB port. I can't have a NAS intended to be used as RAID 1 going off the deepend.My first problem was getting the device to format the hard drives. I had two identical Samsung 1.5 TB hard drives, same make, same model. Now perhaps the CN-330 is not compatible with this drive make/model, but again, with horrible documentation, how am I to know? Why it would be, again, is another question.I was able to get one drive formatted. It took a long time and crashed a few times. Why, I don't know. You can select file structure and click format, it then tells you it is formatting and the web browser keeps refreshing to show the status until it finally just hangs and then ultimately goes off the deep end completely (can't ping the device anymore).Well, I got the first drive formatted and powered down the unit through the software. The unit turned off. I unplugged the unit from the power source just to be extra safe and carefully installed the second drive. After about two days of trying to format the second drive, I started trying to troubleshoot on my own. I ended up removing the first drive from device completely and putting the second drive in the bay the first drive previously resided in. I was able, after a few attempts, to then format that drive.Great, I had two drives, identical make/manufacturer and now formated the same too. I went to set up a RAID 1 and the software formats the drives AGAIN. Okay fine, it's a failsafe perhaps. Two tries later (because the formatting hung again....by the way, these are two brand new drives, fully tested with no issues...they work flawlessly in another NAS that I tested them on to rule out that possibility). So, I have my RAID 1, I'm going to start using it to back up files off a laptop. Starts out great, but then it goes off the deep end. I'm using the guest account on the public share, which is also set to allow ANYONE on the network full read/write permissions. Suddenly my connection stops and I am unable to continue writing to the disk. I don't have permissions. I check through the interface, and sure enough, everyone has permissions. I try again, denied. So I dismount the drive and remount using the Coolmax administrator account. Guess what...even the administrator does not have access to these files.How can this be? So.... I connect via FTP and use CHMOD to set the permissions wide open, which they already are. Nothing. Still cannot delete these files. I have no access to them. I can see them. I can't do anything with them. But...if I take the drive out of the CN-330 and connect it up through another NAS, I can do whatever I want with them. So it's the CN-330 prohibiting me. The device randomly goes off the deep end. It's not a DHCP issue. It's not a issue with the router. Tested all of those. I have even tested all this with MacOSX, Linux, WinXP. I even went through every permutation of configurations, since the documentation stinks, to rule out the possibility that I had a conflict in a setting (which I doubted but hey, was not getting any help from Coolmax so I wanted to rule out any possibilities before making a negative post). So either this is a manufacturer defect. the entire product is junk, all their products are junk, or I am an idiot. (the last being a given since I paid [$]for something that I spent a few weeks on trying to make work and then wasted more time writing about it....but if I can help someone else be smarter, I guess it's worth it).


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