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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2008
I recently purchased the v3 to complement my existing group of two of the older MiniStack v2s. Overall, I like the firewire 800 and the quality of construction seems much improved. But the new fan in the V3 is louder than the old MiniStack which is quite a bummer. But with the Firewire 800 and Sata support, it's much faster than the v2. And the fact that they throw in every cable you could need is a nice touch.

Also I have to take issue with some of the other reviews here. One person ding'ed it because it didn't have a drive. That's not the fault of the MiniStack - clearly the person didn't do their research - this is just a harddrive enclosure. But then another person complained that it "failed" and they lost their data - that sounds more like the harddrive they put inside the MiniStack failed, not the MiniStack itself. And lastly, I haven't had any hub problems at all. You just need to realize that if you want to use the USB ports, you must connect the MiniStack to the computer via USB as well. You can't connect it to your computer via Firewire and expect to be able to use the USB hub features (this is all explained clearly in the manual).

Overall, it's a nice little drive enclosure that fits in well with the mac mini or even iMac (same brushed aluminum). I just wish it was quieter.

For the curious, I grabbed a Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB drive to put in it - very nice: [...]
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2009
Got this because I needed to attach multiple FW devices (drive and camera) and it looks nice under the Mac Mini.

However -- this beastie gets hot as hell and the tiny fan is ineffective and louder than my girlfriends hair dryer... I had a WD 750Gb drive in there, and it got so hot I couldn't touch it (the same drive runs fine in my PC).

Eventually, I started getting connection problems and the Mac would just hang while trying to access it... I think I'm going to have to send it back.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2009
I bought this product for my Mac Mini and was excited with the design and many features. Unfortunately, I have had problems with random firewire/USB bus lockups and later problems with even being able to mount the drive. Unplugging the ministack usually fixed the problem. I have worked through all the cables, drive, etc. to rule out possible problems with these components but everything points to the ministack. I would stay away from this product as many other web posts with similar problems point to a flawed design.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2010
Sadly, I had a similar experience to other reviewers. Worked great for 11.5 months streaming video to/from EyeTV. Then it started unmounting the drive in the middle of recording or playback. Switched it to different computer/different drive, worked fine long enough for the warranty to run out. The problem occurs on both USB and Firewire hookups.

The drive is now in an aluminum enclosure and working fine. Not willing to get the ministack fixed and risk my data again the next time it flakes out.

A note about the fan noise -- it's not really as loud as some reviewers make it seem. It's certainly nothing like the fans in some PCs or rack servers. That said, if you're in a very quiet environment, you really do notice it and it is intrusive. Much quieter now with my fanless aluminum enclosure.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2009
I recently ordered a NewerTech MiniStack V3 from OWC to hook up to my MacMini (2009) via FW800. I am using this to stream media (video). The first month or so this was working ok, but now I get freezes/hangs randomly when playing video. I do not have these problems when playing video from the local MacMini hard drive.

I have recently switched to a USB2 connection to the MiniStack to see if that fixes the problem, but I am unhappy about having paid more for the MiniStack V3 to use FW800 and to have it not working.

Also, the cooling fan speed on the MiniStack rev up and down rather than staying at one speed or off. This is really annoying too.

I must say that overall I am not very happy with this device.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
As in "slower than molasses." As in "watching the individual bits pass."
My initial Time Machine backup in Mac OS 10.5.7 wrote data at a pitiful <1 (one) GB per HOUR for the first few hours overnight, averaging 2.6GB/hour in the 14.5 hours it took to transfer 39GB over Firewire (1394a). That's an improvement over the 13 hours it took my previous HD for initial backup of 29GB over 1394a.

However, for head-to-head comparison, I backed up the same 39 GB on an Iomega eGo 250GB HD, in under 2 (two) hours! (I don't now exactly how long, how blazing fast, because I didn't expect such speed and wasn't yet watching.) That's about 20GB/hr. And the miniStack has a 16MB buffer vs. Iomega's 8MB. Some say Time Machine is just slow, but Iomega clearly did something a whole lot better than NewerTech, for less money, don't you think? (Of course, your timings would differ, but still...) After that initial backup, the rest are small and incremental, so lack of speed is less consequential, especially since Time Machine plays nice with my active applications. And of course, you also get a hub with the miniStack drive, which is great if you have more than two USB or 1394a peripherals, or need to chain devices. One device with two major functions means less clutter.

The miniStack is far better than the eGo for desktop use because it does not have to be physically removed from your computer in order to turn it off, while the eGo does. The eGo lacks an on/off switch either hard or in software, and does not respond to your computer's sleep or shut down modes, only to power being completely removed. Thus the eGo excels only for traveling laptops, where you are always unplugging things, right? The miniStack does have a switch, and it smartly responds to computer sleep and shutdown (but the bright blue light remains on). Why do manufacturers insist on using such blindingly bright LEDs? Arrgh! On the other hand, the eGo does not need a power brick, as the miniStack does (its brick inline with an ordinary plug). The compact eGo runs hot, the miniStack runs cool. The eGo is silent, completely unnoticeable (with its bright light on the backside, too, producing an eerie backlighting effect for free). The miniStack's drive is incessantly audible (slightly), and emitted a low-pitched rumble as well until I put a pad under it. It runs on for long after it is needed. The sleek eGo only lies flat (its slippery shape that of a used bar of soap), while the miniStack can stand up on a desk or shelf, or above or below a computer (especially a Mac Mini). For "above" or shelf use, however, you'll need to buy cables longer than the 16" interconnects that come in the boxes. They are too short to put the miniStack directly behind an iMac stand; putting it UNDER the iMac, as recommended, lifts the screen too high for me. The binary capacity of the advertised "320GB" miniStack drive is 298 GB (less 2GB of shareware dmg preinstalled). Has worked fine for 2 months now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2010
I bought 3 of the 1.5 TB v3 drives to use as a server and backup drives at FW800. All 3 drives failed within 3 months. Same issues that several others are reporting. Sent them back--got them back--now am having to send them back again, hopefully for a full refund. These are some seriously flawed drives. It is worth mentioning that I own 2 other Newer Tech v2 drives and they have performed just fine.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I have had three of these fail thus far. Absurd for any product, even more absurd for a hard drive case that costs a c-note. It seems there is a problem with the bridge card, since they have replaced it twice. The most recent one I got back had entirely new internals, and it failed within 48 hours of hooking it up.

It seems the bridge card can't handle sustained data transfers (like watching videos). I would recommend steering clear of this overpriced piece of garbage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2010
I have had three of these replaced, they almost lasted a year each. However, the bridge card burns up on them. I have spoke to tech support and they claim that it must be environmental issues causing the failures. However, I have since upgraded my entire system including the UPS, computer and all peripherals. It still failed, this time out of warranty. They told me it would cost more to replace the bridge card than it would to buy a new one. I am now in the market for another FW800 enclosure and it will not be this one. I suggest using separate hubs and drives. I have several USB and FW800 enclosures and none of them have ever had a problem except this one. I recommend looking for other enclosures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2010
Mine failed completely at eight months of light-duty use as Time Machine backup device. Warranty 'repair' seems to have been to replace the interface electronics, turn the fan speed up to a constant, annoying level, and ship it back to me with a damaged and unrepaired hard drive unit that contains unusable fragments of my original files.
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