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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Galaxy MGB Raid Pro Dies

I've done some posting on my Network Attached Storage device, the Galaxy MGB Raid Pro (link here). It's manufactured by Galaxy Metal Gear, a smaller company that makes a number of storage and multimedia solutions.

In general, it had been a pretty good device -- problem free with the exception of the occasional lock-up on the linux based storage system. I even had upgraded from the original 500GB drives to a couple of 1TB drive -- and it supported a number of functions including JBOD, RAID 0, and RAID 1. I had been using it mainly as a backup for the 4 systems I run to protect against major failures...and it had been doing a pretty good job.

But then a few weeks ago, as I normally do...I shut down most of the computers before leaving on vacation. A great way to save energy, but seemingly has bit me a couple of times that when I arrive back -- the hardware does not always start up as I might have expected. Something about changing the way things are running.

As you might have guessed by this point, when I returned from our trip to Washington, DC -- the MGB Raid Pro wouldn't start up properly.

At first, I thought as I heard was sound a little bit like clicking, but more of a surging that it must be a hard drive. That would make logical sense and part of the reason I had the enclosure and a RAID 1 configuration so I could protect against that kind of failure...on my PCs. The conventional wisdom says that since the NAS has very few moving parts, that it would not be the device itself.

I went ahead and moved the four screws to see what was happening with the device. First I unplugged it, plugged it back in and then started it up. I noticed immediately that the internal fan tried to spin up, but could not -- I knew something more serious was wrong.

Picture of my dead Galaxy MGB Raid Pro just a couple of weeks after my 1 year warranty expired

As I listened the pulsating buzzing or humming sound I was hearing sounded like it was coming from the board or the led indicators on the front rather than the hard drives. The hard drives themselves were not even attempting to spin up. I started disassembling the rest of the MGB Raid Pro in order to remove the drives -- which are held in via 4 shock absorbant screws.

What I learned is once I disconnected all of the drives, the NAS device actually started up properly, the fan spun up and the OS and network loaded. But, that was the extent of it. Whether it was one disk drive, the other disk drive, the primary or secondary SATA connection -- the Galaxy MGB RAID Pro would not boot up with any sort of hard drive connected to it.

Which led me think that something significant was going on with the MGB Raid Pro -- and it was unrepairable. To boot, I was 3 weeks outside the 1 year warranty from the purchse, so if it could not be solved -- I was just plain out of luck.

I attempted to contact the Galaxy Metal Gear Technical support, but they were resistant to any sort of email support at all. In fact, they were only available in a technical support capacity from 9am-1pm PST for any sort of technical assistance, Monday through Friday. Which made it difficult for me with my work schedule.

After a couple of weeks, I was finally able to get a hold of technical support and they mentioned first I would need to fill out the RMA form before they accepted it for repair. In addition, I would have to pay shipping both ways for the repair of the product.

Here we are a couple of weeks later, with device siting opened -- I still have not filled out the RMA form. So, instead yesterday I was in Fry's Electronics and they had the D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure for only $149.99. I had been looking at the DNS-323 and the pretty high ratings since I started having the issues...so it was an easy choice. (Amazon has it for $157, plus there is a $30 rebate right now -- here's the link D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure)

I'm probably going to still submit the RMA (not hopeful it will be accepted) to see what happens -- but needless to say, I am a little disappointed with the quality and outcome given the enclosure itself (not the hard drives) only lasted just under 13 months. So, if you're considering the MGB Raid Pro...just beware that it may fail on you close to the end of the warranty period -- like it did to me

12 comments:

Mathew said...

I'll be honest, I didn't read your entire post as I have written a smiliar one on my blog as well :)

I just wanted to mention incase you didn't that not only are these units a pile of junk - they lock the hard drives so you cannot use them in any other device. Linux, windows, other NAS's won't even see that there is a drive detected.
When I use (in this case Western Digital) WD Diagnostics it comes up with error "Drive is locked".

Galaxy NAS units are complete JUNK!

-Matt

Charles Feduke said...

Mine just died on me as well after trying to perform a firmware upgrade. The network lights come on for 5 seconds, then go off for 5 constantly.

The device never worked with SMB connections from my Macs, it would cause lockups with my PowerBook and the device itself if I copied more than a few files across SMB at a time.

An unfortunate waste of money. I'm going to try the D-Link 323 as well.

xFIRE said...

Just to counter the reports and experiences, mine are completly the opposite. Although I did have some lockups with the 1st firmware, after the 2009 update from April, I have had no issues, unit has been on 24x7, and multiple back ups and restores have worked without issues.

I have not pulled the drives to see if they work in another device, but with all the negativity, I thought that there is also some good. Would reccommend this. Streaming, bonjour all work as advertised.

Ron said...

Wow, I have experienced the same thing. Exactly 14 months from when I first installed this unit with 2 Seagate Barricuda 500GB drives it died. Same thing...clicking noises but no boot. I was able to get it running for a while by using an external power supply to run the drives. I am now trying to figure out how to get the data from the "locked" drives. There has to be a way.
I have ordered a HP SmartMedia EX485 to replace it. I would love advice on how to recover data from drives

Chance said...

Well this piece of junk is at least pretty consistent for the failure part. I have had mine for 13 months with 2 Seagate 1TB drives running RAID 1. I got a warning that one of the drives was in error and should be swapped. I decided to check the Support site were I found the newer firmware. I updated the firmware and then found the unit was "rebuilding" the Raid for over 2 days. I decided to repower and things started downhill from there.

Anyway, at this point I'm getting the same sort of fan failure and non-boot from the box. I don't think my drives are bad, but I can't figure out how to retrieve it. I wonder if a replacement unit could prove to at least restore the data from the drives and then dump it all...

Scott said...

Ken, Thank you! And all the other Galaxy users. I saw this today for $60 shipped, searched, and found I will not be buying this. And now I'll check out the rest of your blog.

Scott

David and Lisa Domine said...

Anyone find a solution to recovering the data on the drives from your failed Galaxy Raid Pro? I have to dead drives with lots of precious data on them. An external USB didn't even mount the hard drive and I know they're not dead.

I'm really in search of a service or software that can recover my data.

Thanks,

_David
Houston, Texas

Greg said...

I had the same issue. I was running Raid 1 and the Galaxy died and then i had trouble getting my data. I took out the drives, installed it in my computer and then downloaded the ufs explorer software version 3 ( http://ufsexplorer.com/download.php ). It ran through the disk and gave me access to the data which then allowed made to copy and paste it all.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I have the Galaxy MGB Pro 3500 as well working for more than 2 years. Yesterday it dies, but I think I found the problem. It was the powersupply. The 12VDC was giving only 8~VDC and the 5V DC was fine so the unit works fine while HDD disconnected but acted weird when try to boot up making clicking and funny noises.

The solution was also easy, instead of replacng the unusual power supply, I have used the standard PC power supply, cut the cord from adaptor to use the connector and wired 12V DC and 5V DC (GND as well)from standard PC powersupply and it WORKS! Make sure you know what you doing otherwise you can burn the unit, but it works. Now just downloading all my data before something else will die ... Good luck.

I am happy to help you with more details e-mail me on brano at blacksoft dot com dot au subject MGB.

xFIRE said...

I agree with the problem being the power supply. I actually opened it and found what is common with ALL switching supplies that the output capacitors go week with age, heat and the high ripple. Changed it and no further issues.
Also had an issue with the fan that got noisy. As it runs full time, they wear out. Do not need much air flow, but do need some.

Punchey said...

I had this same problem, and how my protected/hidden folders on the drive that was in my MGB Raid Pro do not show up. Windows reports the drive as being FAT32 (though I could have sword I selected Ext4 when setting it up). Any ideas as to how I could reveal those hidden folders? I'm really desparate, and the other, non-hidden folders show up just fine.

Punchey said...

I had the same problem and now the hidden/protected files on the drive that was in my MGB Raid Pro don't show up when connected directly to my PC. Windows reports the drive as FAT32, but I could have sworn I chose Ext4 when setting it up... Does anyone have any idea how to make these hidden folders accessible? I'm desperate to get at the data in those folders, and the non-hidden folders show up just fine.