RAID aware, buyer beware…

So, I was on the NewEgg site looking for external hard drive enclosures… For my mom’s new computer; yeah, um, not for me… And I found what looked like a nifty dual-drive external enclosure that has FireWire 800. It has built in RAID, which I will not be using; but I figured I would see if they had a manual on-line so I could make absolutely sure I could use the enclosure as a dual-drive no-RAID. What I found on the manufacturer’s site convinced me that I don’t want to buy their enclosure, because I can’t trust the company:

3500MGB-RAID Galaxy Series
Specifications
When it comes to raw power there is nothing to beat the dual-bay 3500 Metal Gear Box Raid. The 3500MGB-Raid is built strong and rugged, offering more than enough capacity to store all your digital media files. Not only that, the 3500MGB-Raid can also back up and secure all of your data thanks to RAID protection. Great performance, great protection and great looks – only in the 3500MGB-Raid.

Twice in the ‘specifications’ they mention the protections this device offers as a
result of its RAID technology: “the 3500MGB-Raid can also back up and secure all of your data thanks to RAID protection” and “Great performance, great protection“.

The only problem is that this device does not offer any RAID levels that provide any level of data protection! In fact, since it only supports two different modes of RAID-0, this enclosure actually increases the chance of data lost due to a drive failure. (With RAID-0 striping a single drive failure wipes out the entire array.)

They can not say that their enclosure offers any level of protection unless it provides at least RAID-1 (mirroring). And yet, they do. Which is horribly misleading and (I hope) down-right illegal under US truth in advertising laws. I can’t do business with a company that misleads its customers so blatantly.

I’ve written their sales folks, but I will be extremely surprised if I hear back.

-Chris Knight

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