I decided I wanted a new external USB drive to go with my Mac, to use for Time Machine backups. We already had two LaCie drives, and liked them a lot, so figured another 500Gb one would do nicely.
When we came to look at them in our local Staples (in Exeter), I spotted another option – a 500Gb Buffalo NAS drive. It would hang directly on the network, available to both of us without having to worry about which machine is switched on at the time. I figured it was worth the extra. We’d copy the data from Sam’s current external drive to the NAS, and I’d have the current drive for my backups.
It was an opened pack, but only because it was the display box (they keep empty boxes on display, and get a fresh one from the warehouse). When we started it up, though, I couldn’t connect to it from my Mac. After a few attempts, including connecting direct to it’s IP address by SMB and HTTP, I installed the diagnostic software on Sam’s PC. It was in ‘engineering mode’, which meant it had failed to boot from the hard drive. This wasn’t looking good, but it seemed worth reinstalling the drive firmware, so I gave that a go.
The drive was around half full.
Of someone else’s data.
Including photos of a lady I assume was his wife.
Wearing no clothes.
On the plus side, though, he had good taste in music, and a good collection on the drive. Unfortunately, it died again before I could copy any of it off, and never came back to life.
Back to Staples the next day, and spoke to the manager. He was very helpful and apologetic. He also offered a very reasonable explanation of how it was likely to have happened. He assured me that any returned products go back to the manufacturers, but the manufacturers sometimes send them back saying no fault was found. I’m guessing 95% of returned NAS boxes get sent back because someone buys it without knowing what it really is, plugs it into their network, then can’t understand why it doesn’t just appear in My Computer like a USB drive would.
That was the only NAS they had in stock, so I suggested that if they’d be willing to do a good deal on a USB drive, I’d be happy to take that instead. He offered me a reasonably nice deal to make up for the inconvenience, then after we’d agreed on that, added a nice little refund to my card to the deal because I’d been so good about the whole thing.
We left the store with a 1Tb USB drive from Western Digital, and still happy to deal with Staples.