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on November 15, 2013
Unfortunately, I have to give the particular unit a low review. I have a StarTech S354UFER with Firewire that has worked perfectly for two years and I bought this unit from Amazon SAT3540U2E, s/n 120000621 because it was less expensive and I didn't need raid. This model is not a raid device.

This particular unit appears to function normally in both USB and eSATA modes, it will mount drives and small files can be copied and read. However, when a drive is erased or repartitioned or a large file or large directory is copied onto one of the 3540U2E's drives, the drive unmounts (blue led front lights do dark) and the operation fails. Eventually, the drive will remount. The symptom occurs on both ports. Unit was configured to stay powered on (it has a sleep function).

This behavior was observed on two Mac's: one running 10.6 and one running 10.8

Amazon accepted a return under their defective item policy. I plan to order another S354UFER with Firewire to reduce the possibility of a logic design flaw.
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on June 5, 2011
Rating: Very Good.

Pros: Small, compact unit. Holds 4 HDDs, runs quietly, fast data xfer via eSata cable.

Cons: RMAd 1st unit - top drive slot did not work. Replacement sent Priority Overnight & working fine so far. Synch mode not designed to work well with HTPC application. 3 Power Off modes - pwr button only, 15 sec after computer off, or immediately after computer off. When HTPC put in sleep mode, this unit can be set to power off automatically but will not awake with computer. After waking computer, this unit will not stay on after pushing power button unless quick read of one of its hard drives is performed. Apparently, that is the only way it will "know" that computer is running after awake.

I decided to keep this unit as it is very compact and reasonably priced. I am using it in "always on" state - all HDDs are available when HTPC awakes. Has automatic fan speed control so, except for front panel blue lights always on, does not have an annoying presence.
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on August 1, 2011
I purchased 2 of these hoping to consolidate individual USB drives into 1 to 2 enclosures.
1 of them came in DOA, returned.
The other two just would not work correctly. I had all the bays filled with drives including the top slot (using USB) and it would only find 1 drive in either enclosure.

I tried Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server, Windows 7 laptop, Windows XP laptop -- all of them acted in the same fashion.

Returned both and hope to find something that works better.

Amazon rocks, but StarTech is not the way to go for this solution.
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on October 18, 2013
I use this as an external storage bay with four 2tb drives in it. I keep them mounted separately on my system. Never had an issue with it. This is actually the second one of these I have purchased. The first one failed after about 2.5 years, but that was with very heavy use. I stream a lot of data from this device to several other computers for multiple hours each day. I wish the first one hadn't died, but overall I am very happy with this product.
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on May 18, 2010
If you have a home theater pc (ie low wattage, 24/7 computer) this is exactly the storage solution you want.

This is a very solid piece of equipment. The hard drive arrangement, fans, metal case all feel very well constructed. If you are connecting with USB2, this baby is literally plug and play.

This enclosure is perfect if you just don't have enough external enclosures for all your hard drives. I leave this device connected to a server 24/7 and it is significantly cheaper than a 4 bay NAS or separate enclosures.

There are only 2 downsides to this device:
1. ESATA: if you don't have something called "port multiplier technology" on your computer, only one hard drive will show up when you are connected to the ESATA port. It seems like this is a deficiency on the computer and not the enclosure, but still, it's a downside.
2. Be very careful when plugging in the usb cable to this device. It uses the larger square-like USB connector but since the enslosure's USB port is not as solid as the rest of the unit, it is possible to put this cable in upside-down if you are not paying attention. This will short out the device and USB won't work anymore. I think this happened to one of the other reviewers. It happened to me but I just sent this back to amazon and got another one the next day. No big deal; just something to be aware of.
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on August 1, 2016
Great product. It's been working for a very long time now
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on March 19, 2014
I Now have six of these NAS units and love them. We needed to call the factory to find out how to solve a problem.
The guys at the response phone were very helpful.and courteous.

Highly recommended.

B. Davis
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on February 1, 2012
I ordered one of these yesterday and had it overnighted. I was excited about the idea of consolidating several drives. I'm trying to connect to a MacMini via USB. I screwed on the handles (a bad and annoying system to begin with) and then took off the front cover door (yes, it doesn't just fold down, it comes completely off) and then took off the protective grill inside. I then inserted 4 hard drives and replaced all of the covers.

I excitedly pushed the power button and blue lights came on....for about 20 seconds. Then the unit powered itself off. It does not allow me to switch interfaces to USB. I tried removing and reseating all of the drives numerous times.

Basically the only thing I can do with the unit is adjust the fan speed during the 20 seconds or so that it stays powered on.

Terrible. I guess I'll await advice from Startech technical support before I return it to Amazon.

Well, at least Amazon makes returning stuff super easy.

Update:

I found that it didn't like my USB hub, but when plugged straight into my computer it runs well. Note, that to switch to USB you have to hold the button down for a few seconds. It's been running like a champ for a couple of years now with no problems.
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on June 5, 2013
Good power supply on these systems and simple drive holders. Most appropriate for eSATA backup (USB is a little slow for 4 drives).
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on February 17, 2011
I needed extra storage for my home network. I liked the design and the price. All was great until after 4 months. At first the device started shutting down on its own; then it to failed to recognize my 4 drives one by one until it shutdown and never worked again. I was disappointed to find out that it only had about 45 day warranty from Amazon. I bought it brand new and I did not even get 90 days. I contacted the manufacturer Star Tech, Inc and they could not help either, the device was out of warranty. In my opinion, some say it works well, but in my case, it did not.
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