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Other Storage Menu Features

Once the 5200's filesystem is established, you can start setting up folders (Figure 12). nsync, usbhdd and usbcopy folders are set up by default. The latter two are set as public (read / write accessible by anyone) and browsable. Although it's hard to tell from Figure 12, the ACL button text is grayed-out for publicly-accessible folders.

Storage > Folder screen

Figure 12: Storage > Folder configuration screen

For non-public folders, a click of the ACL button pops up another window (Figure 13) where you can set file access permissions.

ACL configuration screen

Figure 13: ACL configuration screen

The usbcopy folder is used by the USB copy feature that can be initiated from the 5200's front panel. This feature copies the contents of a USB flash key, drive or digital camera (with a USB port) to a time-stamped folder. I tried two flash drives, which copied fine, and a Canon SD200 digital camera, which did not. Even when the copies worked, however, you would think the opposite from the "USB Copy failed" message displayed on the 5200's LCD display. I also found that the USB copy LED didn't illuminate during the copy and that there was no indication given that a USB device was ready for copy.

Most copies took two tries, with a "USB timeout" typically the result of the first try. I had to browse to the usbcopy folder to verify that files had indeed been copied, since check of the separate Info, Warn and Error logs showed no signs of the USB copy activity. When I went to delete the test usbcopy folders, one went away fine, but the other threw an "access denied" message. Try as I might, I wasn't able to delete the folder or any of the files using the Windows file manager. I had to create an account and log in using the Web Folders feature in order to finally be able to deleted the file.

My adventures with the Target USB feature that employs the usbhdd folder also didn't go smoothly. Target USB is what Thecus calls the 5200's ability to act as an external USB drive when attached to a Windows PC via the rear-panel USB Type B port. The catch here is that you have to know enough to initialize, partition and format the space allocated to this drive using a Windows disk management tool. Once I called up XP's Computer Management utility, however (via the Programs > Administrative Tools menu), and fired up the Disk Management utility (under Storage), my XP PC was able to recognize and use the drive.

The other items on the Storage menu are for the Snapshot and nsync features. Snapshot creates a copy of all current folders either on demand via the Manual feature, or on a monthly, weekly or daily schedule. One gotcha I found was that the default settings for RAID creation allocate space for the Target USB feature, but not for Snapshot. You'll need to adjust the percentages of the Data and Target USB to leave space for Snapshot.

Nsync does not play the greatest hits of the once-popular boy band, but instead can back up selected folders to either another N5200 or an FTP server. I didn't test this feature, but a once-over of its Add Task screen (Figure 14) revealed that it won't back up the usbhdd and usbcopy folders that the system creates by default.

Add Nsync Task screen

Figure 14: Add Nsync Task screen

I was surprised to not find any disk check features lurking in any of the 5200's menus. Nor does there appear to be any way to manually initiate a RAID repair. I managed to get the 5200 into a state where its RAID Information screen was flashing a "Degraded" status at me and I didn't find any helpful info in the log files to guide me. Without a way to start a RAID repair, my only option was to remove the array, lose my data and rebuild another array.

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