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Thecus N3200PRO NAS Server Review

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The N3200PRO comes from the factory without any hard drives. This means it's up to the user to purchase and install the drives. To an experienced system builder this may seem like a trivial step, but it could be intimidating for someone who has never done it before. Let's see just how easy Thecus has made this process.

The drive bays are behind the panel that occupies the top half of the N3200PRO. Removing the panel is simply a matter of lifting it straight up and then popping it off the front of the unit. With the panel removed you can see the exposed drive bays. Along each side are three pairs of drive mounting rails secured to the front of the server with thumb screws. The rails can be removed by loosening the thumb screws and pulling them out of the bays. As you can see in the second screen shot, there are a series of three tabs that protrude slightly from the inside of each rail. The tabs are spaced so that they mate up up the mounting holes along the edge of your hard drive. Installing the rails is simply a matter of pressing the tabs into the screw holes on each side of the drive. Once complete it should look like the fourth picture below.


















Now that the rails are mounted on the hard drives we'll see just how easy Thecus has made it to install them in the server. In the photograph of the interior of the server above, you can see a blue printed circuit board at the rear of the drive bay. This is the SATA backplane which contains the power and data connections needed for each drive. By using a backplane, Thecus has eliminated the need to attach separate data and power cables to each drive. To install the drives, all you need to do is gently slide each drive with the attached mounting rails into the server making sure that each drive is snug up against the backplane and tighten the thumb screws. Once all the drives are secured in this manner, you can reattach the front face plate by aligning the tabs with the slots on the front of the server and sliding in downward until it clicks in place.



The next step is to connect the Ethernet cable to the WAN port with the other end going to a router or switch. The last thing needed is to connect the power connector from the power supply to the rear of the unit, attach the power cable to the power supply and plug it into a wall outlet and turn the unit on.

We've completed the installation phase and now it's time to begin configuring the unit for use.

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