I don't own a Buffalo NAS device but I'm fairly certain when I say that not everybody is going to experience the exact same thing you have leading them to disavow all faith in Buffalo products.
Similarly the argument can be had for Hard Drive manufacturers. I know people that swear to their graves that they will never buy from Western Digital, Seagate or Fujitsu. But I also know plenty more that have never experienced catastrophic problems with devices from the same manufacturers.
It really all depends on your unique use of the device. I've seen people complain about all kinds of hardware failure and then I see the shoddy environment they run their equipment in ie, dirty and never cleaned area leading to major dust build up, constantly bumping the table where the device sits or they handle the device without due care as if it's a kitchen utensil.
I can provide recommendations for Synology devices but I won't because if you read their forums it's full of people experiencing issues....but what you're seeing is only that percentage of people experiencing issues, it could be a minority. There's probably a greater percentage not experiencing any problems. Similarly with Buffalo NAS's or any manufacturers devices. I personally use two Dlink DNS-323's and have not experienced any problems with them. But you wouldn't believe me if you read the DNS-323 forums.
You need to look at this from a 'common sense point of view' and not a 'my glasses aren't rose tinted anymore so my opinion must now change point of view'.
Sure, not everybody is going to have a problem with this or any other manufacturer.
However, I have had enough experience with their products and have heard enough other people bitching about Buffalo products with similar issues to conclude that their products aren't for me. And here's the thing... my drive was rendered unusable not by a firmware update, but by a notice about a firmware update
. Apparently, their software checks periodically for these updates, and can't read the information about the latest one properly, and errors out. That's what crashed my drive. And I can't be the only one, or else they wouldn't have a recorded message on their support line about this exact problem.
And, as I also mentioned in my original post, I wasn't particularly pleased with the drive in the first place. Both the performance and the interface are poor. The on/off switch doesn't actually work. The factory reset doesn't work. This just happened to be the last straw. And in my opinion, having my drive rendered inaccessible because of a notification
about a firmware update is a pretty damn big straw.
Since I first posted, I've pulled the plug on the thing about ten times. When I plug it back in, it works about half the time - that is, the Navigator can see it and I can browse it and copy files. After five to ten minutes - every time - I get a popup saying there is a "message" from the drive and it's unreadable again. I've tried it on another machine, same deal. This is the latest version of the software, on multiple computers and operating systems, that was updated AFTER they knew about the problem. This supposedly includes the "fix" to the inexcusable problem they allowed in the first place.
Finally, my main point in posting (aside from being a chance to vent) is to let folks know that if they see errors like I was seeing, it might be a good idea to start pulling data from the drive.