Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

Netgear support hell reloaded

I had trouble with my ReadyNAS NV+ before. Now it seems like a deja vu. In October the SMART error count of disk 3 went up and the automated messages suggested that the drive might fail any time soon. So I replaced disk3. The ReadyNAS resynced the drive and live seems good. Before I left for winter holiday I shut down all systems. After my return and rebooting my infrastructure everything seemed normal. Only after a few days I got the message that disk 3 had failed and needed replacement. I shut down the unit and checked if any of the connectors had a problem. Then I tried to reboot. The ReadyNAS wouldn't come up claiming disks being defective (on that little LCD in the front panel). Since I had to travel I shut down the unit and left it. So after my return I tried again. Now the ReadyNAS booted and claimed it would resync drive 3 and it might take a while. So I left it. In the morning the unit claims that disk 4 was dead now. So I opened a ticket with Netgear. Having had bad experience with their phone support before I opted for online submission. Now we are playing ping-pong and I get one message after the other that won't bring me closer to resolving my issues. There are a number of things that irk me:
  1. I had 5 replies from TechSupport so far. 6 replies from 5 different people (and I start to suspect, that the name is system generated): Erik, Kelvin, Nick, Thomas and Orson
  2. Support claimed that the WD10EADS in my system isn't on their compatibility list However there is the WD10EACS, which is just an earlier model.
  3. Thomas mentioned to get a data recovery working he needs to escalate the case, but when I asked for that I got another round of check this check that.
  4. Every reply starts with "Thank you for choosing Netgear". That's not necessary after the first round
  5. The statement We will do our best to help resolve your case in the least possible time. is lacking the <irony> tags
Netgear is moving dangerously close to my No-Fly-Zone (I wonder if DLink does NAS with RAID).

Posted by on 31 January 2010 | Comments (4) | categories: Technology


  1. posted by Henning Heinz on Sunday 31 January 2010 AD:
    Yes, Dlink does NAS with RAID and imho they do it horribly. I have a DNS-323 and it took more than two years for DLink to get this device working at all (it is a simple RAID 1 device). With nice errors like if you replace a defect disk the raid completely reinitializes itself wiping the data off your remaining (working) hard disk. Also in Germany Netgear has two support models. If you want real support you need a different contract. If you take the default support (that includes 3 years warranty so theoretically it is not that bad) you are punished with bad phone support. For unsupported drives. Normally those call center people are not technicians. They use support assistant tools that are as stupid as the ones you can find on many sites for self troubleshooting. If those drives are yours just take one from the list to get one step further. I have my own NAS system with Debian on the Atom platform.
    To say something for the vendors defense. There are indeed hard drives that are incompatible with RAID configurations. I cannot definitely say if this is the fault of the disk vendor who wants to push their RAID series or the device vendor. You could check the defect disk with the tool that is provided by the disk vendor. For WD this would be Data Lifeguard Diagnostic.
  2. posted by Mark Myers on Sunday 31 January 2010 AD:
    im a long time drobo user, and use the drobo share and it does me very fine thank you, never lost data, and it chains together, im currently supporting 12 TB (after raid) very pleased with it.
  3. posted by palmi on Monday 01 February 2010 AD:
    thanks for LS2010 session you hosted, but why don´t you go with synology ? there are only few system that can do what they can and netgaer is not one of them - i have 2 of them 406 and 207+ you can´t go wrong with them - i had a motherboard that was bad and my warrenty was out , they shipped me a new one i only need to pay for shipping. Emoticon biggrin.gif
  4. posted by Nick Halliwell on Tuesday 02 February 2010 AD:
    Hi Stephan,

    As no 1 says D-Link do several NAS's with RAID. The 323 is a 2 Disk NAS whilst the 343 is a 4 disk unit.

    The thing I have found after buy several Units is to make sure that you have the right firmware. As soon as you get it upgrade the firemware to teh latest version, that will solve most problems. I know with earlier versions of the firmware there were issues with replacing disks and them getting wiped.

    I know from past experience that Netgear support is so bad, I think there products are great, but support is so bad. I ended up with the Thai presales support coming round to help fix the problem.