My Guardian Maximus (G-Max as Newer Tech refers to it) has been running strong since I bought it. A couple of Western Digital drives have failed but otherwise the RAID-1 has been solid.
A recent drive failure led me to call Newer Tech and ask questions about how the G-Max handles rebuilding after a failure.
- HDD1 is always the primary drive. HDD2 is constantly being mirrored via the G-Max controller.
- You can remove either drive and use it like a normal disk; install it in a desktop, another case, etc. The drive can be reinserted in the G-Max without any data loss.
- If removing a drive, be sure to label it “HDD1” or “HDD2” and re-install to the corresponding channel (#1 or #2). Because HDD1 is always the primary drive, if you move it to channel 2 you risk losing data.
If HDD2 fails the system knows as such. Be sure to leave this “good” drive at HDD2 and replace the failed HDD1.UPDATE: If HDD1 fails the system knows as such. Be sure to leave the functioning drive at HDD2 and replace the failed HDD1.
Would I buy a G-Max today? From a price and performance standpoint, yes. However, I would put serious consideration on “screwless” models for those times when you need to get inside the device; replacing HDD2 in the G-Max requires removal of all 12 screws. IcyDock makes a screwless RAID-1 unit although the long-term reliability is uncertain.
For the sake of accuracy I will describe the incidents after the drive failed. The drive didn’t fail but the A/C power supply of the G-Max did. This caused drive 1, and later, drive 2 to not spin up properly. An unfortunate turn of events had me returning the RMA drive and engaging in a number of phone calls to resolve.
Newer Tech replaced my power brick for free although I had to beg because the G-Max was just out-of-warranty (standard warranty for a 0 GB kit is one-year and three-years for a populated kit). Cross ship is available but not offered to me at the time, a subsequent phone call revealed.
Although the mis-diagnosis caused me a fair bit of bother the new power brick solved the problem. The drives went back in without data loss and the unit is running normally. I still recommend the G-Max.