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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well, will some issues, 4 May 2013
This review is from: Icy Box IB-RD4320StU3 External RAID Storage Enclosure for 2x 3.5 inch SATA HDDs with USB 3.0 interface (Accessory)
I am using this device with two 3TB western digital WD30EZRX disks.

In terms of design, it is very good in my opinion. The fan is a bit loud for a hard drive enclosure yes, but it keeps the drives cool very well, even though i have mine set up in a confined space with little airflow. The fact it is pretty much all metal must help this.

Can't comment on transfer speed really as I only have USB 2.0.

Here's the problem I had: when using the drives in RAID 1 (ie mirroring the drives) every now and again (maybe every 2 weeks to a month) the RAID would randomly decide to rebuild itself, even though the exact same data existed on both drives and it should have been unnecessary. When the rebuild took place the left drive (or A drive) would copy it's entire data to the right drive (B drive), this was indicated by the top green LED flashing quickly and the bottom green LED flashing slowly. It would happen when I ejected the drive but the device remained powered on. I could still access data from the left drive while this was happening if I re-mounted the ICYBOX - and after about 8 hours the copy would be complete and the device would return to normal operation. I thought it might be a problem with one of the hard drives so i swapped them around. However, after a few days of use the same thing happened again, the left drive dumping all it's data to the right drive. (this should normally only happen if you took out one of the drives and replaced it with a new one)

This worried me as if the left drive had failed during the copying (a pretty intensive operation), then bye bye data. So I have now set it up as a JBOD system where each disk is seen by the operating system separately. I am in the process of setting up a RAID 1 using the built in tools on OSX on my mac to achieve effectively the same thing. But it seems that if you set the ICYBOX to take care of the RAID itself and only reveal a single drive to the operating system then it does the rebuild i have described.

Another limitation of the built in RAID 1 feature is that the data seems to be in a proprietary format, so I don't think you would be able to pop out a disk and use it elsewhere in a different enclosure or in another computer without this ICYBOX enclosure. I tried this only once so could be wrong.

I have not used RAID 0 and have only used JBOD briefly (which seemed to work just fine). So if you want a JBOD solution or a software RAID i'd rate this very highly, but my experience with hardware RAID 1 was not great. It also took a while to figure this all out as the instructions don't go into much detail about what the flashing LEDs mean (it only says a slow blink means HDD failure - not always true) - and getting from the hardware RAID to software RAID using OSX takes a LONG time with these large drives, especially because i zeroed out data to isolate any possible bad blocks. I used this guide to do so: [...]

Could have saved a lot of hassle if i'd known all this in the beginning, and i was lucky to have enough drives lying around to get all my data elsewhere before ditching the hardware raid and formatting to allow the software raid
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Feb 2014 18:01:24 GMT
eeuw says:
You helped me a lot in understanding this Box. I have / had the exact same issue with it. I'm going to look into the possibilities of using software raid in windows. Thanks a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2014 18:24:11 GMT
Ste says:
No problem, glad it helped. I have been running the software RAID 1 for over a year now without a hitch in OSX.

Posted on 8 Aug 2014 17:35:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2014 17:35:53 BDT
A. Radford says:
It might be worth noting that the WD Caviar Green drives are probably the culprit in your case. They are not designed for Hardware RAID arrays and have energy saving features that usually cause them to drop out of RAID arrays due to the array reading them as offline when he features kick in. Their surface error recovery feature is also a big no no in a RAID array. Ideally you should have used some Red, etc series or another brand's drives.

They are notorious for not being compatible with hardware arrays, some are fine, most are not. Software would be your best bet as you have undertaken if you wish to continue using them in RAID 1 as windows/OSX/Linux tends to be less sensitive to array degradation as a hardware array does not read drive states in the same states as an operating system does.

I currently have two Hitachi enterprise drives and the RAID 1 array I have works fine without any rebuilds as you have described.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Aug 2014 19:10:28 BDT
Ste says:
I was debating the Red drive, but the cost per GB was higher and I usually only switch on, dump data and switch off again, so the Green drives seemed like it would do fine. Next time i'll know better. Thanks. Turns out the software RAID in OSX is working great, transfers not as fast but solid.
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