My uncle purchased a Seagate BlackArmor 400 NAS yesterday afternoon and after struggling with getting it to work he asked me to take a look... Being a Seagate fan I was quick to help out and try to get the device working.
I was unfortunately not very happy with the outcome, so here are some tips for those of you that are considering the purchase of one or own one already...
1. The manual is pretty useless, especially the format it's in, it's best to make a small fire with it and enjoy a pack of marshmallows.
2. The drives supported are only of the Seagate brand, forget all the rest, they also have a list of certified Seagate drives.
3. The LCD screen is pretty useless, it generally outputs some message equivalent to "PC Load Letter" in the movie Office Space.
4. All drives need to be in a "new" state, so no partitions or the device seems to give the message "HasForeignDsk(s)" and pretty much freezes completely, reset also seems to be useless when it reaches this point.
5. If no drives are installed or the device reaches the "HasForeignDsk(s)" point you can ping it on the network (IP here was: 192.168.1.2), telnet (default username/password doesn't work) and ftp to it but the web server remains down.
6. The software provided won't work when the device has no drives in or reaches the "HasForeignDsk(s)" point.
7. RAID 5 can take 8 to 12 hours to create and RAID 1 takes up to 1 hour to create, this all happens automatically depending on the number of drives inserted while keeping the user in the dark.
8. Use 1 drive in factory state when starting out, this will allow the NAS to move to a ready state quickly (and allow web admin access) as more drives would be required for the NAS to create a RAID automatically.
Personally I would not purchase the BlackArmor made in China device, especially at it's current retail price. If you are considering the purchase of the BlackArmor device rather take a look at another NAS, a proper storage server or use a free solution like SME Server!