iStarUSA enclosure quality


Active Member
May 24, 2019
A couple of months ago, I had the brilliant idea to consolidate several personal servers into one for ease of maintenance. I replaced two 9207-8i controllers with a 9305-24i (works great with FreeBSD 12, by the way) and planned to move the existing array into an external enclosure using adapter brackets. Typically use Supermicro, but this time ordered an iStarUSA 2U 8-bay enclosure for ~$400. As you may know, these are built to order and drop-shipped from the factory. No returns.

I moved the drives to the new enclosure, hooked up everything, and pressed the power button. Nothing. Power cord was good, so I opened it up and discovered that the hot-glued power switch leads were not making contact. Fixed that and turned it on - no drives were detected. Played around with the cables and found two of the connectors on the backplane were not soldered properly. Fixed them, but still no spin-up.

I began replacing components starting with the "Xeal" PSU and ending with the backplanes. By the end, I had replaced everything but the chassis itself and the drive carriers. Happy with what I have now, but all the "guts" came from spare hardware I had sitting around.

I did not think a thing of it until watching a Linus Tech Tips episode (what will he drop next?) and heard the same comment about an iStarUSA enclosure - works well, but we had to replace almost everything inside.

Is this typical of iStarUSA quality? Not looking to start a holy war, but it's my first experience with the manufacturer - and not a good one, unfortunately :-/