Micronet - Don't Buy A Fantom Drive!

Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 9:58pm CDT by 300de0d1

Product: Fantom Drive 2TB External Drive

Company: Micronet

Location: MicroNet Technology 19260 Van Ness Ave.
Torrance, CA, 90501, US

URL: http://www.fantomdrives.com/contact.html

Category: Other

I had the 2TB version of this drive for just under 4 months, using it a few times a week, before it completely died. No lights, no fan - nothing worked. I described the problem to the customer service people, and they stated it was likely a power supply issue. I asked if a power supply problem would impact the data, and they said likely not. They received the drive, and decided that they would format it. It took several days for them to explain exactly what happened, and Richard, Greg and Joe each seemed to be telling me a different story. Richard and Greg stated it was not formatted - yet I told them the drive they sent me was formatted. When I informed them that I would contact the Torrance Police Department as someone must have taken my drive - Joe then stated that the drive had been formatted. While it is their policy to contact the customer before formatting, this time, it seems they forgot. According to Joe, he "had a meeting" to remind people to not format things.

I understand that there is no warranty on the data stored on drives - especially when something is taken in for repair. My main concern about this product is (1) why it failed in the first place, (2) why my drive was formatted and (3) why the response/reply constantly kept changing.

1. The drive simply died. No warning, no clicking sounds, nothing. I asked several times of Richard and Greg what happened to my drive. At first, they would not tell me - they simply repeated "we replaced the power supply and we fixed a component." When I pressed, Greg said "I don't know." When I asked if it would happen again, the response was "probably not." Is this the type of drive you want to store YOUR stuff on if their "experts" don't know why the product fails? For nearly 4 months, it worked great! I transferred over 1.7TB of data onto it. All of that stuff is now gone.

Do you want to risk your data with them?

2. According to Joe, the Tech manager, their policy is to contact the customer before formatting a drive. Joe admitted that was not done this time. How could something like that happen? My e-mails to them said "please save my data." My RMA slip on top of the drive inside the box said, in big blue letters, "please save my data." According to Joe, the tech does not see the box, only the drive. I guess I should have wrote in large print on the drive itself - DO NOT FORMAT! However, no one ever told me before I sent it to them that they would format it.

3. First, no one knew what happened. Then, no one knew where my drive was. Then, the tech was on a trip to Taiwan (all their techs were). Finally, the tech manager said "oh well."

In summation, I have a 3 1 TB drives that have been working great for nearly 4 years. These are the drives you need to get if you want reliable data (LaCie, Beyond Micro and Western Digital). Micronet/Fantom Drive is NOT something you should risk!


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e148fefa, 2008-09-10, 11:53AM CDT

I had a completely different experience from the person above. Richard was extremely helpful and solved a major problem with my hard drive. It's hard to believe the previous account but while I don't doubt his/her veracity, it does sound to me like there is another side to this.

f314aec1, 2008-11-12, 10:50PM CST

I agree with the above review. Stay away from Fantom Drives! My Fantom drive 500GB Titanium mysteriously died after only 4 months. Frustrating because it still looks brand new, did not have any 'impact' damage and was in a well ventilated area with little to no dust. I lost all my data due to this hardware failure which is not covered by Fantom. Only option is to pay ten times the value of the original drive for data recovery services. Ouch. I know better for next time, but it is amazing how many people get screwed by this company and end up losing data.

b1b55c40, 2009-01-13, 09:22PM CST

I just had a 1TB Fantom Titanium II fail on me after 6 months of use.

I can't believe that data recovery isn't an option under the warranty considering the warranty lasts for 1 year and the expected life of hard drives are around 3 years according to the major data recovery services out there.

I haven't been fully through my support experience yet - I'm eager to see what happens.

18f26681, 2009-01-18, 02:40PM CST

It sounds like this last comment was someone that works for Fantom.

When I got my drive, the commit button didn't work and it was stuck in FAST mode. Of course, fast mode means that all data is spread over 2 drives and if either drive goes out you basically would lose ALL YOUR DATA!!

Now I'm hoping to get it exchanged...cause I haven't even started using the drive yet beyond trying to set it up!

b7716292, 2010-01-11, 07:01AM CST

I purchased three Fantom drives over a one year period. All worked well for several months but each failed completely after approximately one year. For at least two of these, the hard drive itself still worked but the external housing seems to have failed. Although the Fantom drives are attractively designed, I no longer trust their long-term reliability.

29917ee6, 2010-01-13, 02:07AM CST

I have owned 3 Fantom 250 gig drives bought in 2005, all worked great up until recently. it has been about 10 months since accessing the archived data. i checked today, ALL THREE drives have the clicking sound, no action from the fan, and just sitting there. WTF is going on with these drives? how can all 3 bought in 2005 with different lot numbers, just fail simultaneously??? im not a stupid person when it comes to tech, im a freaking webmaster and computer junkie, so i know it has nothing to do with "plug the thing it" or what not. i know this, im never buying Fantom again.

ad014ec2, 2010-02-14, 02:32PM CST

I have a 3 year old 320 gig Fantom drive that just stopped working. It was doing the clicking thing. I mounted it in to one of our computers and the thing powered up just fine so I figured it was something in the power supply. There's separate 12 volt and 5 volt supplies coming from the power supply unit. Tested all the wires I could up to the circuit board and everything look good. I then purchased one of those hard drive enclosures for about $20 and I now have a working hard drive again with no lost data.

043fe1a5, 2010-08-21, 08:57PM CDT

Over 2-3 years I have bought 10 Fantom Drives (1&2TB). All are working fine. Only one had the same problem as described above. I open the case to check if the problem was the drive or the power supply. I broke the warranty and did not have a record when I bought the drive, but I got in few days a free replacement. I was very grateful and impressed by the companys support.

f2c5d615, 2010-09-21, 08:02AM CDT

Out of nowhere my 1 TB just died. Click of death and won't mount. Never buying one of these again. I don't even think it was a year.

21864150, 2011-03-11, 06:48PM CST

I have to agree with the complaints mentioned here, and I'd like to add my own experience too. On two seperate occasions I purchased Fantom Drives, I think one was about 250GB, and the other 320GB. I picked them up for the same reason that everyone else does. They were at a good price. They both have since died, and now I cannot recommend these to anyone. I found out afterwards, from the tech support guys at Western Digital (whom we share the call center with), that temperature is one of the main reasons why all drives fail. They need to be kept below a certain temp. To be fair to FD, I didn't actually monitor the temp of the room where these were being used, but I did use a Seagate external drive along side of these, and it's still going strong. Luckily, I had most of my data backed up in more than one location, but even then, I still lost important data. I know better than to lose any, but I ran out of extra space and got lazy. Anyways, even taking into consideration the temp issue, I still can't honestly recommend this brand to anyone. On the other hand, I'd like to recommend Seagate. Oddly enough, one of the guys at Western Digital told me that Hitachi makes the most reliable Hard Drives in the world, and he also ranked Seagate fairly high too. They couldn't recommend their own product though, based on the number of customer's calling in with problems.

Tim T., 2015-05-13, 06:38AM CDT

I purchased a 2 TB Fantom Green Drive about two years ago, used it regularly and couldn't be more pleased. However, these drives have changed and appear to have been cheapened... at least internally. My first Fantom Drive is absolutely silent when copying data, as it should be, but the next one I purchased recently makes a clicking or tapping noise, which is very distinguishable while writing data. I created a support ticket and all they said was that they recommended I return it (at my expense) and provide proof of purchase. It was much simpler to return it to Amazon.com, no questions asked, no charge and order a replacement. Which I did, 2nd drive had the same problem and Tech support once again advised me to return it. I thought it was kind of odd to get two defective drives in a row, but I returned the 2nd one and now have a 3rd one which is also noisy while writing data. I believe that despite tech supports lack of knowledge regarding their products, this noise may now be characteristic of these drives. The green power light on the front is also about 10 times brighter than my 1st model, although they are the same model number. The power switch is also upside down from the first one I got. Obviously the quality has changed since I first purchased a Fantom Drive and will just reluctantly hang on to this 3rd one to see how it lasts. (if it lasts) Had it not been for Amazon's top notch service, I would not have ordered the 3rd one.

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