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Shamus_McFartfinger

Netgear SC101

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Needing more storage space I went and bought one of these beasties about 2 months ago thinking it would suit my needs perfectly. Ongoing, unsolved problems plague this unit to this day and I thought I'd have a quick rant warning anyone wanting to purchase what has become known affectionately as "The Toaster" in the Netgear support forums. Anyone wanting to see what the hell I'm talking about can see the unit itself here: http://www.netgear.com/products/details/SC101.php

 

From the site above you can read about how great it is. Below are some of the things causing me (and many hundreds of others), pure grief.

 

1. Runs incredibly hot. I mean really hot. Hot enough to fry an egg. There's no fans and the attached heatsinks are useless. The latest firmware solves this problem by putting the drives to sleep (allowing them to cool down), but this presents another problem as outlined below.

 

2. Often the drives refuse to wake up. This causes 2 more problems.

 

a.) All applications such as Windows Explorer, Turbo Navigator (file managers) hang because the drive has dissapeared. The only ways to get around this are to unplug the power from the drive and plug it back in. After a casual 2 minutes or so the drive re-appears. Or you have to reboot.

 

b.) The unit uses a DHCP server to get an IP address (available on almost any router). If the drives go to sleep the unit can "drop off" the network. It then proceeds to blast my lan looking for a DHCP server. Not only does it create enough network traffic to bring my gigabit lan to its knees, my router and firewalls on all machines report an attack on the network which my router then faithfully alerts me to via an email. I'd love my ISP to ask me why I sent 8,000 emails to myself.

 

3. To stop the unit falling asleep (dropping off my network and then blasting it), I run a cron utility on one machine to copy a single file (the same file every time), onto the unit every 5 minutes. This usually works but it creates a problem. Obviously, if the drives are being contiually written to then are aren't being allowed to sleep which brings us back to point 1 (running bloody hot).

 

4. Crap network speed. I've had to install 2 network cards in one PC because one of them will only transfer files at around 300~800 kb (kilobits) a second but this card will go at 35MB/sec over the lan. The other card (also gigabit) transfers files to the Netgear at 5~7MB/sec but only 10MB/sec over the lan. Go figure.

 

5. Once setting the drive letter (drive S: for example) with the Disk Management Service, the drive can appear as a different drive letter after reboot.

 

6. Mirrored drives can just "dissapear". You can rebuild them but you can't recover them.

 

7. Custom file system. If the unit dies, there's no way to recover the data.

 

8. The Netgear support site isn't run by netgear. No chance of any help there.

 

 

What a piece of crap and waste of money. I'll be pulling the drives out of it tomorrow (2 x 400gig Barracudas) and putting them into a PC and throwing the Netgear in the bin.

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:blush: I just came to this from the quick jokes topic - I was laughing until I realised Shamus wasn't joking !

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the support page shows monthly updates for firmware and utility and a very short supported drive list

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(2 x 400gig Barracudas)

 

ST3400832A 400 GB

 

Maybe they lied!

 

By monthly I meant they kept trying until they gave up some months ago!

 

What are you using for browsemaster?

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what are the OS's on your lan?

 

google browsemaster election

Edited by chewy

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Hmm... can't seem to be able to get the properties for File and Printer Sharing on any machine as it's ghosted (and I couldn't be bothered tracking it down when everything works as it is).

 

To answer your question, I have 9 machines on my network but 2 are missing from the list below.

 

1 - A linux box running Mandriva that I haven't worked out how to add to Windows Workgroups yet. (I can access Windows shares from linux but I don't know how to access linux shares from Windows).

 

2 - A small file server running w2k. (A KVM switch crapped itself tonight and I have no way of viewing it, so it's off ATM).

 

 

 

The 2 AXIS machines are CD/DVD servers (4 x CD in one and 2 x CD & 4 X DVD in the other) Link here for a dodgy photo of one. http://users.tpg.com.au/adsldxhe/new.toy.jpg

 

The rest are normal PCs. The "P4" in the list runs WinXP Pro. Everything else runs W2k. Is that what you wished to know?

 

 

lan.jpg

 

 

fuckit.jpg

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Nope. No server OS or domain. Just a normal gumby workgroup with shared drives. I actually have w2k server but I keep un-installing it as I know nothing about 90% of it. What can I do with a domain that I can't do already with my (albeit crappy) network? If there's something to be gained by running a dedicated server, then I'd probably sit down and learn how it's done.

 

The netgear works when it feels like it. It's supposed to be a "user-friendly" storage unit that's easily installed and then forgotten about. It should not require me to have a degree in computer science just to keep it running. Yeah?

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A lot of the symptoms you described could be partly due to browsemaster elections, in the MS hierarchy W2K and WinXPpro are equal, whatever machine has been running longest becomes a default server for shares, if that machine is flakeing out you have a mess.

We had a similar problem with an older box that stayed in a locked office and was never rebooted, I installed remote desktop and

would reboot it to get back my lan shares.

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It should not require me to have a degree in computer science just to keep it running. Yeah?

 

what's user friendly about networking?

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A lot of the symptoms you described could be partly due to browsemaster elections, in the MS hierarchy W2K and WinXPpro are equal, whatever machine has been running longest becomes a default server for shares, if that machine is flakeing out you have a mess.

We had a similar problem with an older box that stayed in a locked office and was never rebooted, I installed remote desktop and

would reboot it to get back my lan shares.

 

From what I've read I'd agree with you re: Browsemaster. My machines don't "flake out" though as most stay up for weeks at a time. The only drive that dissapears is the Netgear.

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It should not require me to have a degree in computer science just to keep it running. Yeah?

 

what's user friendly about networking?

Installing a NAS has very little to do with networking as very, very little has to be known about networking to install it. It says as much on the box. Installation is dead easy but it ceases to be a "home product" the moment I have to tweak the registry and run a cron just to keep it awake.

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From what I've read I'd agree with you re: Browsemaster. My machines don't "flake out" though as most stay up for weeks at a time. The only drive that dissapears is the Netgear.

 

It's that staying on for weeks in a serverless peer to peer that makes networking flacky.

Similar small business enviroments are usually maintained by at least weekly power downs.

The power up is the important part with the best machine booting first and assuming the browsmaster role.

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Jesus ! I always knew I was a :dunce: ...... I am interested but like the KVM switch Shamus had I crapped out on the knowledge front....

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Or just put W2k server on your most stable machine!

For what purpose? To keep a crappy NAS alive? What else do I gain? I already have a dhcp server on the router. My DLink switch LINK HERE routes packets as well as (or possibly better) than a server. I easily access any share on my network. Being self-taught, things work pretty well.

 

I have no idea how to run a server. I don't need one for email or a website or FTP. What else is there that I need? There's only myself and the handbrake here (Mrs Shamus) so security isn't an issue. Then there's other stuff I know nothing about such as services that need administering/turning off. Active directories? Roaming accounts? And all sorts of other crap Lightning_UK! mentioned that didn't stick in memory.

 

You can understand my reluctance to spend the next 2 years learning how it works when everything does what it's supposed to at the moment. The exception, of course, is the chunk of crap that is the Netgear SC101.

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You don't have to use all that advanced stuff, server is just there to

keep all the underlings in control, nothing to do with dhcp.

Or just do a complete power down of your network and power up

your virtual server first. I would be very interested in LUK's spin on this.

When I betatested W2003 it came out of the box just like I set my Wxp

machines up.

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I'm possibly the most paranoid person here when it comes to security. (It took more than a year for me to use cookies on the old forum and I use a dedicated browser just for this one). :D What scares me the most is not knowing what services should and should not be running. I just don't know. So, looking at it from my perspective, you can see why I'm a little reluctant.

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Yeah, I know it's an old thread but that's life. Yesterday I took lmao2k's advice and bought some external cases for IDE HDs and added a 400gig drive to one just to see how good (or bad) it is. The result: brilliant. Apart from a really dodgy user manual that fails to mention that the casing overrides the master/slave/cable select jumpers on the drive itself, it works really, really well. It (an ARTEK case of some sort) uses USB2 that gives me a sustained 20MB/sec.

 

Also, because the Disk Management Service within Windows is so flexible, you could theoretically add a dozen of these things to a PC and treat them all as a single drive which negates the need for specialised file servers altogether. Anyone wishing to add a large amount of HD space to their PC or network setup would be wise to at least look at something like this as a viable option. I'm thoroughly impressed.

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Nice to see this topic back from the :death: - Even nicer to see you have a workable alternative now too ! :)

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