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Promise Pegasus J4 — Reliability Issues

Feb 2014: the Promise Pegasus J4 does not work with 4 X 480GB SSDs.

Taking 4 proven OWC 6G SSDs, the J4 will disappear 4 or 3 or 2 or 1 of them. Yet the same SSDs work perfectly in the MPG Mac Pro and have done so for 18 months. It’s a configuration previously tested, but is seen to be non-functional with a J4 purchased late in 2013, and it can no longer be recommended (and it is discontinued in early 2014). It could be that the power draw is right on the borderline, and that could vary with each J4 unit.

Calling Promise Technology for support, it took Promise nearly an hour to get to this diagnosis—and your author had to suggest it. It took Promise support 30 minutes to gather everything and anything of irrelevance, followed by insistence on direct screen viewing access into the computer (unacceptable intrusion to open a hole into my firewall to my work system!), and/or a complete listing of all system data of all kinds from System Info. Yet the indicator lights on the unit itself clearly showed it to be a hardware issue with the J4 (unit says “no drives installed”)! Ridiculous and unhelpful and unacceptable. Not one useful suggestion was offered.

In the end your author here at MPG diagnosed power draw as the likely cause and then posed the simple question of “how much power draw can the J4 support”, the answer was “we don’t know” (after being put on hold and inquiring). At least power draw seems to be the likely culprit (measured at 17 watts peak pull using the WattsUp power meter, suggesting a very low grade power supply). But even reduced to three SSDs, the unit was still flaky. No hint of any willingness to exchange the unit was offered.

Moreover, the Promise Support tech was unable to accept an OS X system diagnosis report (About This Mac => More Info => Save) as an Apple “.spx” file, showing that Promise is a company that does not take the OS X platform seriously. I was told to generate 20 or so PDF files, but I suggested plain text of the key items (the possibility escaped the support tech), and of course this yielded zero insights and zero suggestions. The entire ordeal really felt like it was designed to wear me down; it was all collect, collect, collect, with no feedback or suggestions.

An hour of my day was wasted with this crap support and in the end I was left with a J4 of no use. The good news? OWC stands behind what they sell, and agreed to take the Pegasus J4 back for a refund.

Promise Technology is not a brand that MPG will be considering in the future. Other reports gleaned from multiple credible parties lend support to quality issues being a problem.

Promise Pegasus J4 with 4 X OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD
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