Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Scalable Storage and Backup IV: OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2

Got my 2nd OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 from when it was on sale as a refurbished unit. With 4x1.5TB WD Caviar Green units in the first Qx2, I was running out of space.

But this second Qx2 has always given me problems. Not sure if it's because of the 4x1.5TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives in there but for the A and B drive bays (they're labeled from left to right A, B, C, and D), I've lost a total of 4 drives now. 3 in the A drive bay alone. I'd often hear lots of clicking and unnecessary repeated drive activity from the A bay which probably prematurely kills the drive. Eventually the red light flashes and even pulling the drive out and putting it back in and letting the enclosure rebuild the drive doesn't fix the problem. Just a matter of time before that blinking red light for that drive bay lights up again.

What made me call finally for an RMA on this unit was that I had literally just replaced the A drive bay 4 days ago and 3 days later the enclosure was already reporting that the A drive was "dead". I've run the Seagate Disk Tools after the enclosure reports a problem on a previous drive and there were indeed bad sectors on that drive. I don't bother running the software anymore since the enclosure seems to be fairly accurate about reporting problems.

So, I just sent back the Qx2 to and hopefully they can fix the problem. My first Qx2 is still running like a champ. I think I've had 2 drives fail in that unit but no clicking issues and I've had it more than 2x as long as the refurbished unit. I know drives are supposed to fail, but I expect them to last longer than 4 days.

Sounds like a knock on the Qx2 units but it's really not. I've had no other issues to report for these units. They are fairly dependable. Haven't (knock on wood) lost any data yet.


  1. Have you had any experience with a Drobo storage array or know of anyone who has used them?

    1. Hi Chad, I had a Drobo 4-bay. It was a solid unit. Never gave me any problems. But it was slow. Which is why I swapped out for the OWC units. If you search this blog for "Drobo" you'll find many results.