Feb 022010

Once upon a time I actually LIKED my little NAS… I bought an MvixBOX some time ago, and almost immediately after unboxing the thing sucked… hard…

For starters, the status LED (used to tell when it’s safe to turn the device off or to tell you when it’s operating) was dead… no light, just dead. so I called Mvix for support… guess what? I had none… that’s right, I was informed by Mvix that my BRAND NEW NAS was out of warranty once I opened the box… what can I do? they aren’t a US based company so I’m screwed!

Next, the installation REQUIRED a windows machine… now most people out there wouldn’t see the problem… but those who know me know I USE LINUX!!! I bought the thing specifically because Mvix advertised UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY. they claimed it was compatible with Windows, Mac, and LINUX… yeah… they lied. the Problem is the initial setup, in order to literally set the device up for operation you have to install a program through a windows machine. This program is absolutely necessary because the NAS OS is located ON the hard drives provided by the end user and as stated, the app is windows-centric.

But the problems don’t end there! oh no, this crap-fest of defication just STARTS there… next off you have to deal with substandard manufacturing practices… I wish I had a camera right now… because after 6 months of usage, the NAS housing has literally fallen apart!

The problem is one of heat… the Drive housing provides a millimeter gap between the two drive bays, the problem with this is that a millimeter is not enough room for proper airflow to allow the drives to cool evenly… over short usage intervals this is not a problem, but that leads to another design flaw I’ll get to in a minute… you see after 6 months of constant operation the plastics have become brittle from heat stress… and this morning the MvixBOX literally fell apart… what was I doing you may ask? well I was sleeping when I heard a “pop” followed by a “thunk” as one side of the Mvix LITERALLY fell off!!!

Now I tried to fix my little NAS but things got worse and worse, the USB link on the front got bent to heck when I tried to reattach the side… I’m still not sure how it just FELL off when I can’t get it back on without breaking it. and on top of that when the side fell off, the power and “disable” buttons also just fell apart… and they aren’t regular momentary switches so replacing them is impossible…

and this brings me to the last–and greatest–failings of the MvixBOX. with so much weak design you would assume the NAS is designed to operate in intervals, with cool down periods… and therein lies the flaw. to power off the MvixBOX, you are supposed to press and hold the “Disable” button on the front until it beeps at you, then wait for the “status” LED to go out, THEN you can power the device off… yeah… my status LED was dead out of the box. so I had to GUESS when it was safe to turn the thing off… normally most “Integrated” OS devices, such as WRAPS, or SAN, or NAS devices the OS is stored in read only on some kind of flash rom… not the Mvix, for the Mvix it resides ON THE FRIKEN STORAGE MEDIA!!!

This has to be the worst design flaw I have EVER seen… by putting the OS on the storage medium you create an inherent point of failure… think about a PC, if you power off the computer improperly you can destroy the boot record or the partition record. loose these and the PC is useless… in a NAS this is data suicide! ALL other “Portable” NAS devices (I am specifically referring to stand alone NAS devices designed to be portable) have the OS on a separate storage medium additionally they utilize an external cache device. most have a battery powered ram disk that manages the partition table so that in the case of power failure there is NEVER data loss. In the case of Mvix thought, there is no safeguard for improper shutdown and in MY case there is a greater LIKELIHOOD of improper shutdown AND DATA LOSS!!!

I cant wait until I get my Tax return… I am SO getting a Netgear ReadyNAS Pro.

  4 Responses to “Bad engineering…”

  1. Dude! Awesome! While your sleeping it goes “thunk” as it falls apart! Hahahahaha! Thats just funny! Whens the tax return time?

  2. Ignoring the whole “religious” overtones in the beginning… this is quite possibly the best review of “High end” hardware I’ve seen!

  3. That is pritty cool! But I don’t wanna spend that $! I also like the ability to put a dvd into the drive on my “storage server” and rip a dvd. You can’t do that on any NAS.

  4. btw, u never liked your nas. as soon as you got it and immediatly tried to configure it you disliked it.