To use the SilverStone Treasure TS01, it's just a matter of plugging in the device and then the sensor keys must come in contact with the enclosure in order to activate the device. If the RFID sensors aren't valid, the device will not function. To tell if the device is activated, it's just a matter of looking at the LED indicators and listening for the beeps that are generated by the device. This process is fully explained within the SilverStone TS01 user manual. When setting up the device for the first time, the hard drive must be formatted.
When the Treasure TS01 had first come out, we asked SilverStone how the device worked and if it required any special drivers. Their response was it did not require any special drivers, so we expected it to work just fine on Linux. However, that was not exactly the case. It took a few tries before the device started working under Linux. When plugging in the device, nothing was detected by the Linux kernel (as monitored through dmesg). However, once the first sensor key was activated the kernel then setup the SCSI emulation for USB mass storage devices and had found the device. It then had to wait for the device to settle before scanning. On some of our tries, it would then report the USB device was disconnected while in other cases we got errors such as "can't set config #1, error -71" followed by a USB disconnect.
This testing was done with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel on Ubuntu 8.04. However, after a while it just seems to be a bit random whether the device works. If it isn't detected after using the two sensor keys, unplugging the device and plugging it back in followed by repeating the process would usually allow the drive to be mounted. Installed in the SilverStone Treasure TS01 we had installed a Seagate Momentus 5400.3 ST980811AS. This Seagate 2.5" hard drive is an 80GB 5400RPM 8MB cache. When installed into the TS01 and working within Linux we had formatted it to EXT3 using G-Parted.
For those interested in the controller used by this enclosure, the Linux USB information had detected it as being manufactured by J-Micron. The vendor ID is 0x152d and product ID is 0x2339.
SilverStone, a company regarded as one of the best computer enclosure makers and one of our favorites, has managed to create a rather interesting product known as the Treasure TS01. Encrypting data on mobile devices and external disk drives is often undervalued until it's too late. With the Treasure TS01, their data is encrypted and secured via RFID technology. However, should you lose the RFID keys, you will be permanently out of luck as they aren't replaceable.
The Linux issues we faced are concerning, but we are continuing to investigate this situation. At the end of the day we got the device working with Ubuntu 8.04 but it can be flakey whether or not the device is recognized on some connects. Replugging the device in and repeating the RFID sensor procedure seems to alleviate the problem. With the Seagate Momentus SATA drive inside the enclosure we had experienced good transfer rates for both reads and writes once the security protocol was met.
We cannot outright recommend a product that has show-stopping compatibility problems with Linux. However, since conducting our original tests though we have experienced more reliable results when using the Linux 2.6.26 and 2.6.27 kernels, but still it wasn't perfect. If you are just after a normal 2.5" SATA drive enclosure, there are other choices and ones that work 100% of the time under Linux using any 2.4 or 2.6 kernel. However, if security is a principal concern, it is definitely worth considering this device and its RFID security. The SilverStone Treasure TS01 retails for about $40 USD, which is more costly than other enclosures, but isn't expensive considering the added benefit of security if the drive is lost or stolen.
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