NAS200, the life and death of

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Network Storage Devices' started by Tentacle Master, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Tentacle Master

    Tentacle Master Networkin' Nut Member

    Not really looking for help I just want to tell my story, nay saga, and the 6 hours of my life it has consumed.

    I used my NAS200 in a medium sized home network. 4 24hr comps, 2 laptops, and 2 other lan storage devices besides the NAS200. I'm of the philosophy that I shouldn't carry all my eggs in one basket. Across my entire network I have only 7 TB of total storage yet I have a total of 26 drives. No joke, that doesn't even include the stack of pocket sized externals I have. To me at this point if I have 4 computers that are never turned off that only access each other and I never need any kind of access to my network from the cloud the idea of me fighting with much less owning a network storage device as expensive and as clumsy as the NAS200 is laughable. In case you're wondering what my other network storage devices are, a WD500 Mybook and Maxtor One-touch Lan.

    Chapter 1: The fire within
    My family has a problem with reviewing things before we buy them, this is apparent since I own a NAS200. We had no idea that 2 hard drives would cook each other while a 20mm fan fought desperately to keep them cool. WTF. One day we noticed that while accessing the drives they locked up our explorers until finally we opened the NAS and touched the drives. Getting burn blisters from a hard drive is retarded, which is why I wasn't the one to touch the drive so someone else got the blisters. Some research and common knowledge regarding 20 mm fans found that the NAS200 was designed by a drunk guy. We had to cool the drives better and so began a quest.

    Chapter 2: The quest to cool
    When I think of cool things I think of my fringe or that vacation in Colorado I took, not the blazing Hellish inferno that was the surface of my NAS drives. A bit of internet researched found some guy with big heat syncs. That was it!! One call to my home audio repair buddy and I had two 7x10in heat syncs with 2 in blades. Glorious. Off to the hardware store and I had the following supplies:
    3 5in threaded rods
    12 nuts
    3 large washers

    Chapter 3: Building a better heat trap.
    I sandwiched the two hard drives between the two heat syncs, and used the nuts and threaded rods and found 3 holes that lined up (luckily) to secure the contraption. I put in a few more nuts in between the heat syncs so incase I had to remove a drive I could without the heat syncs falling on top of each other. I the disconnected the top 2 parts of the NAS200; one with the boards and the first drive bay. I took the drive bay and ripped out those annoying straps and the dock board I would no longer be using. I cut a large hole into the bottom where I could hot glued in place a 120mm fan blowing down (onto the top heat sync). I then snapped this into place on top of the heat sync sandwich using my 3 threaded rods to help secure it there. Since I got rid of the docks getting power to the drives was a challenge. Since I needed sata power and the mainboard has a male 4 pin I was almost up a creek. However I remembered I had a 4pin -> 4 pin splitter and a 4pin -> sata splitter. since the 4pin->4pin splitter had two female ends I used it as an adapter and plugged my 4pin->sata adapter into that. I now had power to both drives, plus a place to plug in my fan with a 4pin connecter. I whipped out a few spare sata cables snapped the whole thing together and I was in business. With a sharpie I dubbed it "I EAT HEAT".

    Chapter 4: The light before the storm
    I slapped in the network cable, pressed the power and waited. It's amazing how a company can sell something that takes 4 mins to fully turn on and become accessible. Both drives showed and where accessible. Success. Everything was great until I tried to access the drives 30 mins later. The NAS wasn't accessible though it appeared on the network. Also the web browser interface appeared but it refused login attempts. How odd. I decided to restart the device but I was sure I heard funny noises...

    Chapter 5: Funny noises
    Given how many times I restarted the NAS200, waited 4 mins, listened, tested, then turned off the NAS. The night started to blur together. Once rebooted the drives would come up. Maybe it wasn't getting enough power? The stock 20mm fan was a 12v 0.09A while I threw in a 12v 0.24A that ran off the HDD power, so I unplugged it..
    And restarted..
    The drives still wouldn't come up and I noticed the drives seemed to be clicking so I turned it off and unplugged one (drive2).
    And restarted..
    The one drive showed up so I thought it was the drive so I threw it in my Linux box and put a spare in the NAS just to see if it would see it.
    And restarted..
    The drive worked fine under ubuntu so I made a back-up and checked the NAS, again neither drive came up. The fact that the NAS beeps when it fully starts up after 4 mins, only left me half sane. I then unplugged drive 1
    AND restarted..
    The drive came up after the 4 min boot. I then thought it was a bad cable so I replaced both sata cables and found 2 more splitters and hooked both original drives back up
    AND restarted..
    again failure. the drives kept clicking, I finally noticed both were doing it. Then I realized they weren't just clicking they were also whirring. I plugged in the original fan and all its 20mm glory but it didn't spin so I turned it off to reset the unit..
    And retarded..
    I mean restarted
    The fan spun, the drives clicked, and I listened. Fan wasn't spinning at a constant speed, and its whirring corresponded to the whirring of the drives. That was it!! There wasn't enough power!!

    Chapter 6: Power be thy sword
    I took up the unit, ran into the other room, tore it down next to one of my comps, which always has its case of, and set up my experiment. I found a spare network drop and plugged in the NAS200 while the two HDDs sat near the desktop. Again the device failed to load. I then turned off the NAS and took some spare power connectors from my comp and plugged them into the drive. They immediatly whirred to life without clicking and my desktop gave a slight groan under the expanded load, its 7 years old. I then powered on NAS and after the 4 min wait I had the Drive1 HDD light and access through the network on it. the other drive didn't appear. I restarted the NAS with the drives in reverse order. Drive2 light came on. A bad HDD perhaps? I switched the drives back and used a different Sata cable on Drive 2, and it worked....under my desktop comps power. Perhaps the bad sata cable was really messing with the system so I restarted the NAS with the drives under the NAS power. no lights. balls. I restarted again with the drives under my comps power and again it worked. I measured the voltages across the power connector on the NAS and I got 4.9v and 12.03v not bad but it wasn't under load. restarted with both drives drawing power from the NAS again and read out the voltages. 4.8v good, 11.83v...10.38v...9.45v....11.54v not good the voltage was fluctuating under load just like I had heard from the fan.

    Chapter 7: Defeat
    It just so happens that I made backups of both my drives from he NAS during this ordeal and it also seems that I have a number of spare sata connectors in a few desktops so my two drives will find a new home. The NAS is useless if it can't power its own drives so it will probably find itself in the way of lawn mower tomorrow morning. With a bit bad luck and bad timing my journey had come to an end. It could just be the brick not being able to supply enough power under load but I have neither another 12v 5a brick nor the patience or will to go one. Perhaps there is a way to fix it or something I did terribly wrong but I have emerged a broken man. I have nothing to show for my toils but a torn up NAS200 and a pair of shiny heat syncs. I can hope that perhaps someone else my learn or gain benefit from my troubles. If you wish to ask me a question I can try.
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