Search Results for "N5200"

Thecus N5200 as a Server

Back in 2007, I bought a Thecus N5200 to use as bulk storage on my network. I’ve spent many years using and fighting with the unit but it wasn’t until my storage needs out grew the 5 SATA disks it could hold that I considering sending it off to be recycled.

It’s a pretty basic unit. From Thecus it arrived with 5 hot swap SATA disk trays and a simple web-based management interface. The interface wasn’t great at telling you exactly what the state of your disks were so I lost my data with this unit more than once. Over time though Thecus added a method to install add ons and little by little people started to write add ons for the unit and actually increased its feature set. You could get an add-on to allow you to access the unit over SSH and to set up rsync file copies to a second location. Overtime, it became very useful and it’s remained in almost constant use.

Thecus N5200 Failure…. Again

Wow, this is getting old. 36 days in and I’ve had another drive fail.. only not really. Sure the N5200 thinks it’s failed but if I pull the disk out and pop in back in, the array rebuilds and all is well. The logs show no errors on the drive, no bad reads or writes, it just disappears. What a wonderful device it is….

Also, even though the email test functions work the N5200 still does not send me email when something like this happens. I still have to log in every few days and check manually. Very nice….

Toplakr

Followup: Thecus N5200 – Perfect in Failure

Right, so 56 days after the massive failure I have another degraded RAID on my hands. This time I didn’t get any emails to tell me about it. Not sure why, I’ll assume the email part is my fault to give Thecus the benefit of the doubt…

I happened to load up the admin website for the device as I’ve gotten into the habit of doing and noticed the Array was degraded. I took a look at the disks and drive 5 was missing. Strange… I took a look at the logs and it showed the array going into a degraded mode but no mention of the drive falling off of the face of the earth. I went down to the basement to take a look at it but the drive looked fine. When I pulled it out of the N5200 it wasn’t spinning but when I slid it back in it spun up just fine.

Update: Thecus N5200 – RAID Repair

Well, I have to admit: I am one lucky guy. I have been running a truly degraded RAID array since day one of my experience with the N5200. To get up to speed you may want to read my other post about the device: Thecus N5200 Review

So, today my replacement hard drive arrived for a failure I noticed recently. I took a look at the RAID and double checked the reason for the replacement. My #2 drive was showing some bad sectors and was listed as a ‘warning’. Not a failed drive but a drive on the way. Better safe then sorry I thought.

I traveled down the steps into the basement where I keep my servers and pulled out Drive 2. The N5200 freaked out with a bunch of beeps that were immediately followed by the device sending me emails screaming about how the array was dead, data was gone and that I should give up living. My first through was… ‘Wait.. What?’ I mean, isn’t the point of RAID 5 that you can loose a drive and still have all your data? I quickly popped Drive 2 back into the device and check to see if my data was still there. Thankfully it was.

Followup: Thecus N5200

Well, I have my first real drive failure on my hands. The array has been running for a few months now (though not without issue), and when I logged into it the other day I noticed I have a drive on the fritz. The array did not send me an email telling me about the issue but that could be understandable as the array is not currently degraded, I just have a drive with a few errors. I will place an order for a new disk and go through the process of replacing it. The manual says all I need to do is pull the bad drive and pop in a new good one. We’ll see how well that goes… I just hope I don’t loose any (more) data.

I’ll post more when I know more…

Topslakr

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.

Install Centos 6 on a Non-PAE Machine

I have a Thecus N5200 that was modified to have a VGA port. Though the machine will run a variety of current Linux distributions, I wanted it to run Centos 6. Unfortunately, the N5200 doesn’t support PAE, which Centos 6 requires.

The first major problem is that a Non-PAE machine won’t even boot the Centos installer CD/DVD. You have to find some way around that. There are several ways to get around that but they are all quite complex and time-consuming. Plus, as time goes on they work less and less. The old software needed is harder and harder to find. I instead chose to simply install Stella. It’s a Desktop focused Linux distribution that is based on Centos 6 and the 32bit version includes a Non-PAE kernel. If you’re looking to install a Centos 6 desktop, install Stella and you’re all set. It’s great. The developer did a great job keeping things compatible with Centos 6 while also adding in things like video codecs and the like.

Review: Norco DS-1220

The DS-1220 is great. It was dead easy to setup and has caused me to trouble at all. I installed Fedora 8 in the days leading up to the delivery the the DS-1220 based solely on the fact that I saw something on the web that said the controller card worked in Fedora. Come to find out the drivers for the card are actually available in the current kernel and most distributions are coming with the driver available as a module. I did nothing to setup or install the Norco DS-1220 at all.

Thecus: Dead again….

You would think I’d have learned my lesson already. I’ve been using my Thecus N5200 for a while now and, like clockwork, every 6 months it just dies. I’ve blogged about it before here, a lot, here are some of the posts.

Briefly, I had the drive in bay 1 fail again. It’s always that drive. No errors on the disk the Thecus just looses it. No errors in the logs, no bad sectors, it just disappears. So, I pull the drive out, format it, test it and put it back in. I log into the interface, tell the Thecus to use the disk I just put in as a spare which causes it to rebuild the array. This all went fine. The funny thing was I wasn’t able to use the array during the rebuild. It only takes about 8hrs to rebuild the 2TB so it’s no a big deal; It ran while I was at work. Usually, the array is accessible during the rebuild, though it performs a bit slower. When I returned from work I watched it finish up the rebuild and I then tried to access it. No luck. My Mac wouldn’t connect. I then tried it from my 2003 server, same issue. I am only able to access it over NFS on my linux server, read only.

Website Down Time

We are back online. Seems we had a power issue and the servers didn’t come back online when the power was restored. Biggest surprise is that the Thecus N5200 came back online just fine… Didn’t see that one coming!

Topslakr

Next »