Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive Review

I’ve owned a 1TB Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive (hmnhd for short) for about a year now. It’s damned handy for sharing media files between my computers (and housemates). In fact, if it was feasible, i would use a network hard drive for all my data across machines and OSes.

There are however drawbacks. The drive (server) is connected only by 1000Mbit gigabit ethernet. That would not be so bad, but my router has only 100Mbit ports and wireless-g @ 54Mbit -obviously my laptops are connected wirelessly. On top of that, all these max throughput figures are not represented in the real world.

Back to the review. I recently updated the firmware from 1.0.29 to 2.0.64. Luckily I backed up everything beforehand, as the update destroyed access to most of my files and folders. Previously, the drive was written to internally by a user with linux uid=254 and gid=254 (some sambauser account perhaps?). That user no longer exists with the update, and so many files/folders have permissions set like
-rwx------ 254 254 somefile
drwx------ 254 254 somedir

meaning I could no longer access them >:-[
After much messing around, the only thing I could think to do was format the hmnhd.

More Annoyances.
To expedite backing up the hmnhd, I directly connected the drive with a CAT6 (gigabit) cable to the gigabit ethernet port of my big PC. This took over 6 hours to back up ~580GB @ ~27MB/s (probably closer to 7 hours). I’m currently writing the back up *back* to the hmnhd, and am pretty fucking annoyed to notice that the average write speed to the drive after about 30mins is a disgraceful, disgusting, limp-dicked, ravaged-arsed, cock-faced 7.4MB/s. I’m writing back 541GB so this should take me about 21 hours! Lying win2008 server reckons it’ll only take 12.5 hours. If your drive is totally full you can probably double these times.
[EDIT: ok it’s settled at an average of 11.3MB/s, ~= 13.5 hours]

hmnhd specs: max values
read from 27.0 MB/s
write to 11.3 MB/s –corrected

Buyer beware. I would definitely consider a more expensive unit in the future with removable drives and/or USB 3.0 or other fast interface for large reads/writes.
Did a quick check there, 1TB units available ~€100 with both NAS+DAS interfaces (meaning both network+USB to you). Also no hard drive units with SSH access available -could make your own with a linux-plug or some such device, or forget NAS and get a decent router with a fast USB port and reflash it with DD-WRT or some such arrangement.

Leave a Reply