Pros - It works like it states; Nice small size
Cons - Hot; some poor engineering; odd disconnecting; slow; annoying autoplay and drive letter recognition; not NTSF nor FAT32
Summary I was looking for a device to put into my home automation structured wiring cabinet so I could all the computers in the home back up software to this unit. The device does achieve my goal, but I'm returning it because of its short comings.
Netgear needs to fix these simple but basic problems and this device will sell like hot cakes.
- All computers with Netgear's software downloaded onto it could read/write to this drive.
- It is really small (~ 4 inches wide). They made it very simple (I like simplicity).
- Signs of shoddy engineering (particularly in the install software).
- Runs very hot. It needs to be air cooled. It would never be acceptable in a Structured wiring case.
- Having odd disconnects from it. I think the reason is that it gets too hot, that the mechanics make it run unreliable.
- Slow. Writing to it was reasonable (@ 25% the speed of a normal HD), but reading items from it takes unbearably long. This is acceptable to backup items which is what the main purpose for this drive is.
- Can't get it to keep a consistent drive letter on XP. I want it to be always 'H' on all my computers but I'm having no luck. After reading the forums, it is partly Microsoft's problem too.
- Always runs 'AutoPlay' every time the computer boots up. Again, it is annoying.
- Hard disks are formatted in a proprietary format (not FAT32 nor NTSF). They cannot be switched back into one's computer internal drive and be able to read from it.
Pros Really cool idea......exactly what I need
Cons Was this product even tested before it hit the stores
Summary I installed my SC101 yesterday, plopped in two WD250GB drives and connected the SC101 to my WGU624. I installed the SC101 admin software from one of my laptops, mirrored the disks, and was able to connect to the drive letter, create a few file etc. So far, beautiful.
I then tried to copy a large directory of pictures from the laptop (802.11a) to the SC101......hmm.....after about 5-10 minutes of copying, the laptop stopped copying....and the process showed up as "not responding". Next step was to grab another laptop....... maybe 802.11a was a bit much.....so this time I tried it with 802.11g. Same result
Last attempt......take the laptop, and connect it via a cable to the WGU624. Try to copy the same 10GB of files. This time success
So the real question I have......I can't imagine that this should not work with my wireless connection. How can this not work out of the box?
Another problem I have with the the SC101 is the heat it produces.......the enclosure does not allow for enough venting. I'm sure my drives will burn up in no time with the amount of heat that is generated.
Pros Easy to use for non-techies like me; helpful for cleaning up electronics clutter and keeping everything stored safely in one place.
Cons Haven't really found any yet - haven't had the box for too long.
Summary This is a really cool little gadget. And unlike other gadgets that are fun to have but not necessarily "needed," I think this one is important for just about every home to have, especially one like mine which has become cluttered with too much electronics junk over the past decade.
My husband is a digital pack rat. Our computer hard drives are always overloaded with stuff - TONS of music files, photos, video and voice files. Not to mention my TV scripts and screenplays that I would just DIE if I lost. We back-up, but to CDs. So we've got all these old hard drives, CDs and even old floppy’s cluttering up our drawers and closets. I couldn't stand it anymore, so I put my foot down.
Storage Central has been incredible. I didn't even think anything like it was available. There's tons of storage capacity (we loaded it with two drives right away). We're transferring ALL of our stuff onto the thing. The great part is that I usually have to rely on my husband to do these things because they're too technical and I don't have the energy to deal with it. But Storage Central's interface is really easy to use - much like using Windows. And I've discovered that you can create separate drives for different categories of files. For example, create a G drive for photos, and H drive for music, an I drive for video, etc. It all gets saved to the same place, but it appears to you that the files are in separate places, making it easier to organize. Very clever!
My husband is also very impressed with Storage Central's ability to back-up files so that if your system fails, your data won't be lost forever. Something called mirroring. I don't know how to explain it, so I'll take his word for it.
Anyway, I'm very happy with my new toy. I hope this review helps those of you who aren't technical wizards and who don't understand half of what's usually written about in these CNET reviews!
(I'm giving it a perfect score for now. If I run into any issues/problems, I'll revise.)
Pros Easy setup, great performance, choice of capacity, RAID 1
Cons Not many, maybe the GUI (which you only run once or twice)
Summary This thing rocks! I finally got my unit from CDW ($115) and I was up and running in no more than 10 mins. I've got 4 PCs sharing 3 volumes for all my media. I even played a different ripped DVD from the same unit to three PCs at the same time with not issues.
SmartSync so far is really cool, backup and synchronization, which means I can work from any computer and have backup to.
Make sure you use the mirroring feature with Storage Central. Most people don't realize that consumer-priced hard disk drives can fail. This has a great mirroring feature which will keep you protected if it dies.
I am getting another one for work....all my MP3s....YES!
"Total Disaster!"on by NG Enemy
Pros If it worked as advertised, it would be great.
Cons It fooled me into doing 3 fresh Win XP reinstalls on 2 PCs in four months
Summary My problems didn't start until about a week after installing the SCM software. I did one good backup from two network PCs. Soon after that my PCs started acting funny. They would intermittently get very sluggish or freeze, requiring a reboot after a forced power down. In addition, they wouldn't power down when Windows shut down. All this was intermittent and didn't happen on both PCs at the same time. After a couple of weeks of fiddling with Windows and searching the net for solutions, I discovered the network drives didn't show in Windows Explorer. I hadn't looked for them in maybe two weeks because I was so busy trying to get the PCs working properly again. To make a long agonizing story ..., I finally began with a fresh install on one of the computers. It worked for a while, even after I reinstalled the SCM software (but I made no backups for a while). Then I did a fresh reinstall of Windows on the second PC. Before I was done with that -- took three days -- the first PC started acting up again. And I discovered I still couldn't see the network drive on either PC. So I contacted Netgear support, but unfortunately it was already more than three months since I'd bought the damned device, so I settled for email support. Useless! Two more months of going nuts, until it suddenly came to me in a flash that all my problems were being caused by the SCM software. I uninstalled it on both PCs and immediately all my troubles were over. I'm sure I can't get my money back by now, but I'll live with that. I am pretty sure the problems are caused by the unsigned drivers the Netgear CD installs.