Oh well, I took the plunge and got a pair of Seagate 500Gb drives - the ST3500630NS to be exact.
They are up and running with no dramas at all in raid 1 (despite being scorchingly hot), so a tick there for compatibility I guess. Decent transfer rate too, 80mb/sec or thereabouts read across the board in eSATA mode, which is below the specifications of the drives, but pretty much on par performance-wise for the N2050.
Still - shame on Thecus for not making life easier for people in the compatibility department.
And what's with the censorship of my previous post - is "d a m n" that offensive a word? Welcome back to the 1960s!
I gave it another try and erased all data on the above mentioned HDDs by using the Hitachi Drive Fitness Test software and re-installed the HDDs in the N2050. No success!
The HDDs seem to be incompatible with the N2050 as the N2050 starts up and the LEDs keep blinking. Initializing the system by pressing the INIT button (for more than 10 seconds) doesn't help either. What a disappointment. A flimsy plastic case with insufficient cooling and HDD compatibility issues. Not sure if I'll buy any Thecus products again.
Can someone confirm if the Seagate Barracuda ES 500gbytes disks will work in a N2050? For future capacity upgrades, does someone use already 750gb or the Hitachi 1tb disks in it?
Seagate 7200.10/750gb not working here in Windows or linux. buffer I/O errors on linux, windows gives "Unspecified error (80004005)" from logical disk manager when I try to initialise the disk.
Thecus do say that it supports up to 1Tb though...
Edit: Bizarre. I switched to RAID 1 and it worked (testing the 1Tb hypothesis). Formatted, ran hdtach to benchmark (usb 2.0 ~25MB/s sequential read) , then flipped back to RAID 0 - and it's now working (USB 2.0 ~27MB/s sequential read).
So, maybe using RAID 1 first then switching to RAID 0 after initialisation is something to try...
Is it just me that finds it odd that so many drives are incompatible with the N2050? Fair enough if we're talking some new fangled drive with a new version of SATA, or some staggeringly large drive that simply can't be addressed by the firmware...
But we're not. Lot's of folks seem to have trouble. My old Maxtor Maxline Plus II's don't work, despite being listed on the compatibility list.
And it doesn't even fail in a nice way. I just get all 4 HDD power/activity lights flashing at me. Which the manual explains as "Not initialized or Initializing". Huh. "Not Initialized" is a state that could theoretically go on for ever, while "Initializing" presumably is a time-bounded activity. So which is it? And how do I find out?
Of course I've tried pushing the reset button, and even holding it in for 10 seconds, and all that does is stop the lights altogether.
Plugging the unit into a computer results in the system showing an 8GB device, which is not actually accessible to the system (fdisk or equivalent reports error).
So I'm forced to assume that my (known/tested/functional) drives are incompatible. Or maybe I've got a dud unit. But without buying more drives, how can I know?