As noted in the introduction, you'll have to mount your drives into drive trays before installing them. The drive tray come with a small bracket that's screwed between the rear two mounting holes. The bracket ensures that the drive tray will slide into the device if there's not a mounted drive. Once you insert the drives, attached the power and the Ethernet cable, you're ready to get started. Initially the front panel indicators will be red as the F2-NAS 2 searches for drives. The LEDs then turn pink as communication with the drives is established, then finally blue.
The F2-NAS 2 ships with a CD that includes software for both Windows and Mac OS. The software will discover the device and point you to it for initial configuration. Alternatively, you can point your web browser at the IP address of the NAS, assuming that you can determine it, and you'll be intercepted by the same first run wizard that the installed software points to.
I opted to go directly to the web UI after determining the device's IP address from my router. (Note: The MAC address for the F2-NAS 2 isn't shown anywhere.)The image below shows the seven step process for initializing the F2. You can't start the wizard until the device finishes examination of the hard disk(s). The gallery below shows the other steps of the device initialization. As noted, nothing gets committed until all of the steps have been completed.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 initialization wizard
I ran into a problem with the setup. Even though the front panel indicators indicated that both drives had been recognized, the initialization wizard only appeared to find one of them. In order to complete the initialization, I set up the disk group with only the single recognized drive. After the device fully initialized, I logged in to the management UI to see if I could determine the problem.
Under Storage Manger >Hard Disk information, only Hard Disk 2 showed up. I unplugged drive one and plugged it back in again. This time, both hard disks showed up. I then had to delete the group, format both drives and then create a RAID 1 disk group configuration as shown in the screenshot below.
Following the creation of the disk group, the array started to synchronize. The Storage Manager >Hard Disk Group showed the status of the RAID synchronization, which took somewhat more than two hours to complete for the two 400 GB drives I was using for testing. During that time, I was able to create users and shares, map drive letters to shares and copy files.
TerraMaster F2- NAS 2 create disk group
The F2-NAS 2 has quite a few features. Here's a top level summary:
|File System/File sharing
After completing the initial setup wizard, you log into the management UI shown below. The left hand pane shows the top level configuration menus presented in an "explorer-like" view and the right hand pane shows a top level status.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 landing page
Clicking on each top level menu reveals each of the submenus shown in the composite screen shot below.
TerraMaster F2-NAS 2 menu tree
TerraMaster has an online demonstrator of both their web-based file access as well as access to the management UI. Rather than include an extensive gallery of images here, I encourage you to follow the login instructions found in the screen below. Upon logging in, you will land at the Web-based file management. You will be prompted for a login (admin/admin). If you want to explore the menu system, click on Device Setup at the top of the page.