Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Warning about Thecus N7700

Just thought i'd give you guys a heads up and a warning for anyone that purchased one of the early Thecus N7700


I was one of the first purchasers of the Thecus N7700 units in the USA. It has now been running in my home office for 27 months (almost 2.5 years).

Last week i came home and noticed it was powered off.

Unplugging the unit and plugging it back in didn't solve the problem, basically all the front LEDS would light up then turn off.

Originally i was thinking....ok power supply has blown, fair enough its been running non stop 24x7 since i first purchased it except for when i upgraded the fans and the ram (and once when we moved houses).

I ordered a new power supply ($71 including shipping from an online 3rd party vendor but a direct Enhance Flex-0130D match)....took 10 mins to install......you can imagine my disappointment when it wouldn't start up with the new power supply.

I replaced the ram, cpu, motherboard battery, everything except the motherboard/backplane....couldn't get it started.

So basically it's diagnosed as something on the motherboard........probably a cheap ass capacitor etc

Called up Thecus tech support, they are asking me to send the whole thing and they'll give me a "quote" to repair it....i insisted on getting a price for replacing the problem motherboard...from the "accounts division" as didn't want them to have my data before knowing what the cost would be.

Turns out they want $395 for the motherboard !!!!

For something that is supposed to be reliable, for something that is supposed to hold critical data, to have it fail only 2 months out of warranty and now have them ask me to pay almost 50% of the original cost just for the motherboard is outrageous.

I've recommended Thecus from day 1 because it was a step ahead of the industry 2 years ago. I've blogged about it, talked about it on the newtech-1 list, reccomended it to clients and friends, but these guys are outrageous to expect you to pay 50% of the cost for something 2 years later.

So for anyone considering purchasing a Thecus N7700......you might want to calculate the cost of the item over a shorter than expected unit life time.


Cheers,
Dean



BTW for background on my Thecus problems start

here
http://blog.collins.net.pr/2011/08/warning-about-thecus-n7700.html
then
http://blog.collins.net.pr/2011/08/arghhh-thecus-still-havent-fixed-my.html
and finally
http://blog.collins.net.pr/2011/08/finally-got-my-thecus-n7700-back-online.html

22 comments:

  1. I've had same problem,... how you arrange it? My thecus is now in self testing... I'm in spain, so if you can help!!!!
    Thanks

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  2. my comment is sell your Thecus and use somethign off the shelf with a raid card.

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  3. But,... hoy can i bring back my files without other thecus n7700?

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  4. you cant. you need to build from backups etc (or borrow a N7700 from someone then move your files off the server then give it back to them).

    this is the problem with thecus you are tied to their proprietary hardware.

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  5. ok, i see... i don't have others backups... will look for a new one ...

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  6. as soon as you put your drives back into another thecus n7700 you can access your files straight away (as soon as you enter the ACL / username etc details).

    it's good in that the raid information is encoded on teh drives so you can scwap from one to another....it's bad that their hardware is proprietary.

    Cost me $400 to get my data back by repairing my N7700 :(

    I am going to buy Areca raid cards and setup an off the shelf server then sell my N7700 as i cant reply on Thecus with a lifespan of just over 2 years.

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  7. Thanks for the info, i will try to repair it in some place...

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  8. Thats the problem....they cant be repaired only replaced.

    Eg the factory is the only source of replacement motherboards, backplanes and DOM's

    You can buy powersupplies that work however from third parties at less than half the price.

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  9. You sound so surprised? Thecus products have a short and proud history of being cheapo asian knockoffs of "real" storage products and the only thing that seems to keep them alive in the marketplace is the tradeoff between initial purchase price and reliability, which keeps new dumbasses coming in the door while existing customers who once believed the marketing hype, are left screaming about their lost data.

    Not much of a tradeoff if you place any value on your data, at least for my money anyway.

    I have no idea why you've been previously recommending them as per your earlier post, as it's been common knowledge for a long time that this stuff is essentially cheap junk with zero support and beta firmware at the best of times, and the situation is made even funnier by their more recent claims of "enterprise" products, which you can quickly assess the reality of with a check of the various support forums.

    Speaking of forums, the old hexus.net "official" Thecus forum (if it is still up) is an excellent example of their approach to an onslaught of dissatified customers. Rather than *solve* the untested firmware and the "here today - gone tomorrow" drive models on their "compatibility lists" (hahaha even now I still get a laugh out of that), they simply found it easier to move all customer discussion forums "in house" under a domain controlled by Thecus where they could effectively delete any dissent or bad PR.

    Yup, that's a quality "enterprise product" provider all right lol.

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  10. yep i am surprised at the cost of replacing the parts.

    up until then i was very happy. but you are right not worth the data costs of potential failure and single supplier issues.

    i will say that Thecus have left my posts about their outrageous charges on their forums so although it's inhouse...they aren't censoring what users say.

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  11. Oh they're censoring all right, admittedly it's bizarre and haphazard at times, but then so is their company in general so I try not to be too surprised.

    Long term readers will notice the majority of critical commentators, non fanbois, and folks who just downright believed the advertising hype and were in the process of slowly coming up to speed, suddenly "disappeared" when the forums were brought in-house. No they didn't all take a holiday, it turns out there's a commercial reason for this.

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  12. well 2 years later.. but this is important to know for anyone else with a thecus...

    the thecus is using the linux OS for raid... to access all your data all you need to do is plug the drives or the backplane into a system running linux and it will see and mount the drives (if you've used ZFS you will have to do some extra steps to install ZFS support(lots of readme/howto's)

    yes i have personally done this 3drive strip one drive threw a smart error so the thecus broke the array... put it in a linux system installed ZFS and mounted and marked the array as good.. then put the drives back in the thecus and moved the data off before it triggered again:)
    (agree board replacement cost sucks)



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  13. wow would love a HowTo guide with screenshots on this.

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  14. I would too, my N7700 is currently in self testing mode and I like the idea of using a Linux system to access my data. Hopefully I can transfer my data to backup drives and re-use my 2TB disks to build a home blown system.

    Any advice on what NAS software I should use? Linux or Windows? I might trial the latest version of Windows Storage Server and see how that performs.

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  15. BTW, what system did you end up with?

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  16. windows server 2008 with a raid card (LSI/3ware 9650SE-12ML) loses some functionality but feel more comfortable knowing I can replace any part in the box for only $100,

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  17. My PSU is dying I think on my N7700... Powered it down for the first time in 2 years.. Wouldn't come back until about the 15th try. Could be my motherboard like you said as well. I may indeed find myself a big server chassis and move this data off.. too volatile in the hands of Thecus.

    I think the gentleman above is correct.. This is just a software RAID set.. with a good RAID controller... I think it could easily be done. It's just that nobody wants to prove that with the "real thing"

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  18. Well, easy for someone who is comfortable with Linux & or has a history of working with Dell/HP servers.

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  19. Well, for the moment I'm going to get a 3TB WD Red and put it into my Intel SS4200-E running FreeNAS (cheap storage) and start getting a robocopy of the critical data going for now.. Looking at a ReadyNAS 4200 loaded with 1TB drives for a really good price locally.. otherwise, I'll just buy a supermicro chassis, migrate the data off the Thecus temporarily, gut the drives, put the drives into the supermicro, build the array, blah blah.. EBay this POS Thecus.

    Agree with the blog owner.. believe it or not, mine is actually from 2009.. so it's pushing 5 years now. Get rid of these!!

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  20. Excuse me -- my Intel SS4200-E is actually running NAS4Free .. http://www.nas4free.org that I flashed onto its DOM. Got a little tricky, but it freed the unit from the garbage EMC OS/firmware. In case anyone manages to find themselves here looking for cheap storage in a box to get out of a jam.

    Done posting, sorry for the spam. This struggle is only going to grow as file sizes grow & dependency of the average household on maintaining digital copies of things -- more & more average Joes will be looking for NAS to store their critical data on.

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    facts to us, keep it up.

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