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  SnapServer 4100 Review 
  May 11, 2001, 08:00am EDT 

Technical Support

By: Sander Sassen

Naturally any product is susceptible to defects, either caused by shipping and handling, incorrect configuration or other mishaps during installation or was actually shipped with a defect that has gone undetected by quality control. Other products need proprietary software to be able to function or require drivers or 3rd party software installed on your system to make them work. These products are equally prone to defects due to software incompatibility, bugs or simply by using the wrong software for the product.

So one of the most important things when buying such a product is to make sure it comes with a good instruction manual and is backed by technical support, either on the web or with a phone number you can call for assistance. And naturally the Quantum SnapServer 4100 came with both. In addition to evaluating the workings of Quantum's SnapServer 4100 we've also contacted Quantum technical support, posing to be a new customer who can't get the SnapServer properly configured and up and running as it should be.

The first problem we created was by using a defective UTP cable to connect the SnapServer to our network. Obviously the SnapServer was working just fine but it simply couldn't communicate with the network thus was unreachable. We called technical support and asked them what could be the cause of this. After a few minutes we were on the phone with a technical support engineer who took us through a checklist of possible causes, after a few minutes he concluded that either the network adapter of the SnapServer was defective, our hub had a defective port or the network cable was the source of the problem. Overall it took Quantum technical support less than half an hour to figure out what the problem was.

Our next problem was one of a different nature; we configured the SnapServer 4100 in RAID 5 and then took out the drive holding the parity information, thus mimicking a failed drive. We then formatted this drive and put it back in, so it would simulate a replacement drive being mounted. Unfortunately the SnapServer was unable to recover fully from this operation as at every bootup would result in a 'Contact Technical Support' message being displayed when trying to access the SnapServer.

Upon calling technical support they were quick to realize that this was a fault condition that wasn't listed on their 'checklist' and they didn't have an answer right away. However they asked for our details and phone number and promised that a service engineer would be in touch with us later that day. About two hours later we received a call from their service engineer that was a little surprised that our SnapServer displayed this behavior, until now they had only seen this during their testing, where they too would physically take out one or more drives to mimic a failed drive situation. He was however quick to offer a solution, after accessing some hidden menu's on the SnapServer 4100, a full system reset with an upload of the latest firmware, and a reformatting of its four harddrives we had a working SnapServer again. Overall it took the Quantum service engineer less than an hour to get the SnapServer back up and running.

1. Introduction
2. NAS, basics and advantages
3. NAS, performance and use
4. SnapServer 4100 Disk Configurations
5. SnapServer 4100 Security Features
6. Supported Network Environments
7. SnapServer 4100 Internals
8. Technical Support
9. Conclusion

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  Product Ratings 
SnapServer 4100
Performance: 8/10
Stability: 8/10
Quality: 8/10
Features: 8/10
Documentation: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Overall Rating: 7/10

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