Review: Thecus N5200

I’ve had this device for about 6 weeks now and at this point I think I’m ready to post a fair review. The Thecus N5200 is essentially a NAS RAID box. It’s built around a Intel Celeron 600Mhz chip and runs linux. It holds 5 SATA drives up to 750GB which was is the largest available when I bought the unit (It may have been updated to support larger drives by now). Not being a glutton I installed 5 500GB drives in a RAID 5 giving me about 2TB of storage once it is all is setup. Unfortunatly one of my drives was faulty on arrival though so I had to do a bit of extra waiting before I could really start to use the unit. Once all the drives arrived I installed them and began configuring the hardware. First step was a firmware upgrade which went smoothly enough. You upload the file through the interface and then reboot it. I then built the RAID array and setup the unit up to provide both windows file sharing through Samba as well as NFS. It took about 26 hours to actually create that array using the high speed option. I as willing to wait and was expecting that so all was well. I dumped 800GB onto the device and went on my merry way.

A week or so later things started to look less good for the hardware. We had a couple of power outages and while my data wasn’t lost the array shows as degraded. I took at a look at my drives and they are all showing as fully healthy with no errors. I checked the Thecus site and sure enough they had another firmware upgrade and it even seemed to fix my issue where the array comes up as degraded after a power drop. I downloaded the update, installed it and rebooted the device. It still shows as degraded though and while they have added an option to do a file system check performing that operation on my array fails almost immediately. Not good, not good at all.

So here I am, stuck with an array I am unsure about. Is the data safe? Is part of it corrupt? Do I have another failed drive that the interface is reporting incorrectly? Time for me the enter the long process of talking to tech support. I hope they are good. I’ll post my progress with the unit, good or bad. I will also post some of the images I took of the unit so you can see what I am working with.

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