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In Use - TE100-MP2U

I started out with the TE100-MP2U and quickly got into one of those wrestling matches with a little plastic box that I so much enjoy. The box has both Web (Figure 4) and Windows utility interfaces, but I couldn't load a web page at the address that it had automatically leased from my DHCP server.

TE100-MP2U web interface

Figure 4: TE100-MP2U web interface

Figure 5 shows the Windows utility, where the device has recognized the Maxtor USB hard drive that I plugged into it.

TE100-MP2U Windows utility
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: TE100-MP2U Windows utility

The Windows app would show the device, but then it would go away before I could log into it. It took multiple tries and some tricky timing, but I finally managed to get new firmware uploaded and a new version of the utility installed. Now I could reach the device via both interfaces, but my troubles were still not over.

Clicking the Network Storage button in the utility sometimes would usually open a window (after a significant delay) with the proper hostname. But the host name would not appear in the My Network Places browser. I was, however, able to reach the TE100-MP2U by entering its UNC path (\\10.168.3.232) into the Windows Run box and I didn't get the dreaded authentication popup when I tried to access the share.

Shares have fixed names depending on the USB port that the drive is plugged into (usb1_d1p1 or usb2_d1p1) and you can only mount a FAT or FAT32 formatted drive for read/write. This means that you are limited to a 32 GB drive or partition size, something that I had to relearn the hard way. NTFS formatted drives are only read mountable.

But even after I mapped the share to a drive letter so that I could run my performance tests with iozone, I found that somethine else was wonky. iozone would recognize the share and start to run, but then either hang or throw a "not a directory" error. Curiously, however, I could drag and drop files to and from the drive with no problem.

So I switched the device's Storage Access Mode to the NetUSB mode (Figure 6). Trendnet's Knowledgebase article sort of loops back upon itself in the explanation, but my translation is that NetUSB mode makes the TE100-MP2U act like a traditional USB network server, i.e. like the GUIP201. The NetUSB mode is a one-user-at-a-time mode, so any attached drive can't be simultaneously accessed by multiple users.

TE100-MP2U set to NetUSB mode

Figure 6: TE100-MP2U set to NetUSB mode

Instead, users connect to the drive (or other attached USB device) via the Windows utility. If the desired device is in use, which is indicated in the Utility window as shown in Figure 5 ([Manually connected by DUDE]), you get a "Can't connect" popup until the current user releases the device. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be an idle time auto-logout feature in the utility.

At least in this mode, I was able to use iozone to test the TE100-MP2U's throughput. You'll see how it made out shortly. By the way, contrary to Trendnet's Knowledgebase article, you can attach a USB hub to handle more than two devices (Figure 7).

Three devices via USB hub

Figure 7: Three devices via USB hub

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