LaCie Big Disk Extreme Failure

Well, not sure if it’s an “extreme failure” or just a failure of a LaCie Big Disk Extreme. Either way, my shiny new 500GB backup drive decided to go on strike yesterday. Maybe the most depressing day of the year got to it. Maybe it thought, as a 500GB drive, that it should have been doing more exciting things than just backing up my crap.

I was copying over the latest MySQL dumps from our production servers, and got an interesting error – “write error” – meaning, of course, that the file could not be copied to the BDE. Mwaaaaah? So I fire up Disk Utility, and it greets me with this:
LaCie Big Disk Extreme Death Certificate

Great. I grab our copy of Disk Warrior, hoping to throw its advanced repair ninja mojo at the problem. No joy. It keeps finding errors, and complaining that it’s running slowly because of a disk error. Great. So, I decide to reformat the drive to start fresh. Blowing away 110GB of backups to try to fix the drive that’s supposed to be saving me this grief. I make 2 new partitions – one for a backup system, and one for data. I tell Disk Utility to verify each new partition. It chokes on the first one.

At this point, I’m guessing it’s a hardware failure, so pack up the drive to be replaced. Now, I’m sitting here without backups, hoping that Nothing Bad Happens™ before the drive is replaced and I have a chance to rebuild the backups… To add insult to injury, the SMART status on my desktop’s system drive temporarily flickered into “DRIVE FAILING” status, then returned to OK.

Update: I’m turning comments off for this post. I think it is just aggregating unhappy customers, rather than fairly representing what LaCie products are like in the real world. And, my blog isn’t a therapy group for disgruntled consumers. LaCie fixed my drive very quickly, and it’s been running as expected ever since. Give their support folks a shot – they did the right thing by me. Should be more productive that ranting into the night about a failed hard drive.

104 thoughts on “LaCie Big Disk Extreme Failure

  1. Now you have me worried-
    I bought an dual G4 Xserve to serve all our files in the office – then almost had a heart attack when I realized I couldn’t just slap some EIDE drives into it’s 3 open bays. I bought a LaCie 500gb BigDisk and hooked it up over Firewire 500 for $400- which was about what Apple wanted for an 80GB drive- talk about proprietary profit makers-
    I would have been doing better to buy any old G4 and a copy of OSX server- and do what I’ve done in every tower- install a RAID card- and run a couple internal drives.
    I’ve got an old G3 with dual 250’s in it backing up the XServe-
    if Apple would only get real about the cost of drive modules- I wouldn’t (and D’Arcy) wouldn’t be in this situation-
    with every new product intro- I look at the price of the XServe drive modules- and they still aren’t dropping anywhere close to market rates-
    If anyone has suggestions about alternatives to the internal modules- or a FW800 solution- I’m interested.
    If you are considering buying an X-Serve- realize- it may cost less to maintain- but the cost of ownership is going to be X-streem.

  2. It seems that external drives (especially if firewire-connected; no matter what price-range/brand) more often fail than work. I already had TWO external drives which failed. One lost all its data after iPhoto crashed and the Mac was hung up (Don’t know if the HD was the cause for crash or the crash the cause for complete dataloss). Another one failed right from the beginning. Figured it out by hardcore-testing it (using mp3-files) BEFORE putting any valueable data on it. YES I am able to learn and I HAVE learned. No more external drives other than USB 2.0.

    Since I have NEVER until now had any problem with discs which were mounted inside of the Mac I would recommend this as a way to avoid this kind of trouble. I suppose FireWire has some severe non-public problems (perhaps just under ‘certain circumstances’ but I was hit by these ‘circumstances’ two times now! All the two times I had a FW-drive).

    just my 2 cent.

    by the way: all those repair programs (First Aid) did *not* help me, too. I my case the HD did not even mount any longer as a device, or recommended a complete initialization. 😉
    I mean what is the basic task of a HD? I hope anyway we soon get some better mass-storage-medium than magnetic particles (which are slow, slow, slow), a complete flash-RAM-disc would be my favourite. no more mechanics, fast, no noise, low power consumption, small, …

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  4. I’ve found using Disk First Aid inside Disk Utility to repair a damaged disk does more harm than good. I destroyed three drives in a day using it last June. Fortunately, I got all my (un-backuped) data back with a lot of hand massaging on those drives, but I’ll never trust it again.

  5. Hi D’Arcy-
    I’d love an XRaid- but the cost is out of bounds.
    I realize the modules are a bit more complex- but- here are some prices:
    Apple 180 GB drive module (used from SmallDog.com) $299
    Used 250 GB $319
    New 500Gb ultra ATA $649
    Apple Serial ATA 250GB N- $499
    Apple Serial ATA 80Gb N $199

    go compare these prices with a new off the shelf drive- and you will find them from 2x to 3x more expensive.
    That’s painful.

    We don’t have University sized budgets.
    I’ve looked at some external SATA enclosures- that I can populate with off the shelf drives-
    and I can get a terrabyte for about $1200

    The whole idea of RAID’s was a Redundant Array of INEXPENSIVE Drives-
    aparently- someone from Apple missed the INEXPENSIVE part….

  6. David – the drive modules are just a hair more involved than simple cheap EIDE drives. And they do come in larger than 80GB capacities. Not sure about the cost, though.

    What I’d like to do is to pick up an XRAID to serve as the back end storage – we actually bought one for this purpose, but it got absorbed into our video production system (we now have 2 XRAIDS backing that – one fully maxed out, the other about 60% full of drives). It’s a little more expensive than off-the-shelf drives, but seems to work pretty well (we had an issue with an OS upgrade – but I haven’t been involved with that side of things so don’t know the details).

    Turns out our XServe was just fine after all – but was taking ~5-10 minutes on boot to check the boot disk. Because it’s headless, we couldn’t see the spinning pinwheel, and because the check occurs before any of the OS is loaded, we couldn’t SSH in to see wtf was going on.

    Lesson learned here – if you’re running a cluster node XServe. keep an old PCI based ATI graphics card handy (we successfully used an old ATI Rage 128 card) in case you need to see what’s going on. An additional blinking “I’m OK, just checking the disk” LED would have been really handy in this case…

  7. how about a 60GB iPod as a backup drive 😉 seriously though, the external firewire drives are cheap enough that you could pick up an 80-100 GB drive for under $200 if you find a deal – enough room to back up most home machines.

  8. Well- talk about foreboding-
    the LaCie Big Disk crashed- or more specifically- one of the two disks inside it did. There is this loud clicking sound-
    and it’s 3 months past warranty- to the day.
    Luckily- I bought it with my Am Ex card which doubles the warranty another year- and they should refund or fix it-
    in the meantime- I just ordered another FireWire 800 raid from Other World Computing- 600GB for $439- $30 more than I spent for the 500GB LaCie a year ago-
    I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore LaCie products- I haven’t had good luck of late.
    I asked them about SATA solutions- and they steered me to the FW 800-
    I sort of miss the old SCSI externals- that worked great- but- tomorrow before 10:30 we will see what the new drive does- and if I can recover anything from the LaCie when it is cooled down-
    if not- the back-up- 2x 250gb maxtors in an old G3 using Retrospect- will hopefully deliver the back up.

  9. Today was the last straw for me and LaCie. We’ve had 4 of those LaCie Big Disks and ALL of them have had to be returned to the factory for repair or replacement. Today one that we bought in Nov. of 2004 and had replaced in Aug. of 2005 went down again… of course this time it’s out of warranty since they only warant from the original purchase date… the tech support guy said they will not service them no matter what… Have to ask someone else. IMO LaCie is the worst piece of crap for HD i have ever encountered. Every unit purchased has failed. We’re switching to G-Raid now. We’ll see how that goes. But anyway, I took the LaCie enclosure apart and did some tests with the drives… they are fine, i think the problem is, and has been in each one of our cases, is that the controller boards LaCie uses get burned up or something. The HDs themselves power up just fine when connected to a different power sourse… but going with the original LaCie setup no dice. Hope you all have better luck but I’d recommend staying away from LaCie.

  10. I bought a 160 GB LaCie hard drive six months ago, and used it only for backing up files. My brother highly recommended LaCie because he uses about 6 of the things with his PowerBook G3 and has never had any problems. Every month or so I would boot my iMac running 10.3.9 from the installer CD and use Disk Utility to create a backup disk image of the iMac onto the LaCie — a procedure my brother does frequently.

    I was a little nervous, though, when the manual that came with the LaCie drive gave some warnings to OS X users. It recommended that the drive be “ejected” from the desktop and turned off when not in use, and to make sure it’s off before restarting the Mac, so I was always very careful to do that.

    Never had any problems with it until yesterday — I did a backup the same way I always do, then rebooted the iMac and reconnected the LaCie drive to make sure the disk image I just made was created correctly — something I always do after creating a backup. The drive made an unusual and ominous scraping crackle-crackle sound as it read the disk and appeared on the desktop. It had never made that sound before so I knew right away that something was wrong. But I went ahead and opened the disk image to make sure it went through all right but the disk image would not mount and I got the following error:

    “no mountable file systems”

    I also got this error when trying to attach a previous backup disk image which I remember quite distinctly worked fine last month! So something was definitely awry. Also, the size of these files was about 28 GB each — but after reporting “no mountable file systems,” the size of each file was now less than 1 GB, and I suddenly had about 60 more free GB on the harddrive than I did a few seconds previously!

    I did a Google search on this error, having no idea what it meant. A few articles said that attempting to repair the drive using the Disk Utility program would give a more detailed error message. Here’s what it reported:

    Repairing disk for “2006-03-17.dmg”
    Checking HFS Plus volume.
    Invalid number of allocation blocks
    Volume check failed.

    Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit (-9972)

    Repair attempted on 1 volume
    0 HFS volumes repaired
    1 volume could not be repaired

    Now this scared the living daylights out of me. I’m not terribly good with computers, but I knew that this was starting to look worse and worse. I did a Google search, then, on *this* error and learned that the drive had encountered “bad blocks” — meaning, apparently, that large areas of the physical disk were no longer reliable and couldn’t be used. When I read this, I looked at the warranty that came with the drive — unfortunately, I no longer have the original purchase receipt so it cannot be returned to LaCie.

    So today I did some more searching on the internet and came upon this page. Seems like LaCie drives are absolute garbage — there are limitless horror stories about them here and all over the web. So, even if I could send it back to LaCie, they’d probably replace it with another — and I most certainly do *not* want to trust another of their drives with my important backup data!

    Fortunately, all the other data of the drive seems to be fine — but it now cannot be relied upon to do its job, so I’ve given up on it. Also, I back up my most important files on CD as well on a fairly regular basis, not wanting to put all my eggs in one basket. I’m now very glad that I took the time to indulge such paranoid tendencies on my part!

    I toyed with the idea of getting DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro to try to repair the LaCie — but now I just do not trust it at all, especially after reading all these negative experiences. If this happened once, it will undoubtedly do so again. I will probably go ahead and get DiskWarrior (or the other, whichever is best), because I now realize it’s something I *do* need for my iMac, but not just for the LaCie.

    But I still need a large amount of space on an external hard drive to perform these periodic backups of my entire iMac. I see NetDisk and Maxtor mentioned above as alternative providers of hard drives… but what I’d like to know is what is the single most reliable brand and model of hard drive that is known to work well with Panther? I do *not* want to undergo such a phenomenal waste of money and time ever again! (To say nothing of the stress…)

  11. My LaCie Big Disk 500GB makes strange sounds today while I was downloading some files to the drive, then some messages pop up indicating hardware failure and some data loss, so I stop the transfering process, after that the sound becomes the sound you hear when it’s shutting down, this same sound repeats over and over, so I press the blue button to turn it off after that and unplug everything. After a few hours I replug them and this time the Found New Hardware Wizard pops up and it says it’s missing some software or something (I can’t remember), and that it needs it in order for the drive to work again. I unplug and replug again later, this time the Wizard doesn’t pop up but there’s that sound again (the shutting down sound), it repeats over and over again. Help!? anyone has any thoughts on this… I have a lot of data in the drive, I hope at least I can recover some of the stuff in there…

  12. Tom- The “drive” is actually 2 drives-
    and what you are describing sounds like one died (that’s what happened to mine). The power supply is probably not giving it enough juice- killed one drive out of the RAID- now your hardware thinks it’s a single drive.
    Call LaCie- see if you can get a new Powersupply- and pray.

  13. I’ve had two 500Gb Lacie Big Disks at the office for backups, running concurrently overnight every weekday, backing up around 60Gb. One failed within six months with write errors, cyclic redundancy check errors, then finally died completely and hangs explorer when switched on (not even a drive letter!). Second one has now failed (about a year old), in the same way. They are the worst kind of product – promises to backup your data, but can’t be trusted to do it reliably. I have 2 other backup strategies cos I’m now completely paranoid. If you have one, bin it or use it as a doorstop, or as a coffee mug warmer. Rubbish.

  14. Further to my previous post regarding the 1tb disk failure, the drive was sent back the the local (South Africa) Lacie distributors. It was returned within 24 hours with a new controller card installed and all data intact. Can’t get much better service than that.

    This is the interesting bit. Notwithstanding the fact that there is nothing about it in the manual and both 1394 and USB are by definition hot swappable protocols, the Lacie distributors said on those drives NEVER connect or disconnect a cable unless both the computer and the drive are powered off.

    Sort of defeats half the advantage but that’s what they said.

  15. LaCie returned the drive (about a month after it failed) saying it was a firmware update issue. They updated the firmware, nuked the drive, and returned it. It’s behaving so far… I guess, make sure the drive has the absolute latest firmware.

    I’m also planning on leaving it unmounted and powered off when not actively backing stuff up – save some hours of use, reduce wear and tear, etc. That will work as long as it’s not the mount/unmount process that gums up the drive…

  16. Wow, now here’s me wishing I had done more research.

    I can vouch for every complaint that anyone here has made.

    Here’s my story:

    Purchase 1TB Bigger Disk, which failed within 3 months! I lost an enormous amount of data, which caused me some serious financial problems in terms of projects… I’m an IT contractor. Got an exact replacement (not repaired) under warranty, thinking it was just a bad HDD. Two months later exactly the same problem, this time I wasn’t burnt quite so bad.

    My assumption, it was to do with Lacie’s new product line of 1TB and greater HDD and heat problems. So I requested a replacement of the 1TB with 2 x 500GB Big Disk Extreme… Well, it’s about 4-5 months after that replacement, and quite literally both are having the exact same problem, at the same time. I’m literally at this moment salvaging the HDD before they completely die, they have yet to completely fail. The tell-tale noise of the clicking is a sure sign of imminent doom.

    So, after being burnt 3 times, I will NEVER buy anything to do with Lacie again. Good ridness!

    My advice: DO NOT EVER BUY LACIE HARDWARE.

    Regards,

    Kevin

  17. Hilary-
    After getting the drive from OWC- I’d say there is a huge difference in build quality. I too had had good experiences with LaCie products before- but after this experience- would steer clear.
    They even dropped the prices of the OWC drives- http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/RAID/
    I would back up more than once a week- it’s automated- so I’d do it daily.
    I don’t know if you need a RAID for such small amounts of data-
    With some of the new network storage devices available- I might have considered skipping the XServe- but- the server does provide some additional advantages in our little shop.

  18. I’m considering buying a LaCie drive for backing up an xServe. We only have about 20BG of data on the server right now (which may cause me to ask why we bothered to buy an xServe in the first place, but…) so I was going to use rsync or Carbon Copy Cloner to create a clone of the server on an exernal drive via firewire once a week.

    Since I have a 180GB lacie drive which I haven’t had any problems with, I was considering going with lacie again, but this thread has made me reconsider. For those burned by their Big Disk Extremes, how to you feel about lacie’s other drives? What other manufacturers would you recommend?

    Thanks! (I’m new to this whole server thing and can use all the help i can get).

  19. I have a Lacie bigdisk 500gb. Starting to act funny after a little more than a month of use. One of the drives inside it have started to make strange noices, and I’m expecting it to crash very soon.

    Seems quite complicated to get 100% reliable products these days. Instead of getting your work done effectively, you can easily end up spending half of the time solving problems.

    A

  20. LaCie BigDisk Extreme, 500 GB
    Received this in January 2006, using for backup, initially connected up using UBS, seemed fine. Then swapped over to FireWIre 400, noticed some problems reporting disk file corruption. Decided to reformat with NTFS under Windows XP compeletely using FireWire 400 and repeat backup. All seemed fine until I connected it back to another machine running Windows 2000 via UBS. Same problem, disk.file corruption. Put it back on the original machine with FireWire 400 same problem. Ran chkdsk /F /D, repaired a number of problems, seems ok at the moment, uncertain whether I have lost anything, there is a lot on it. So basically it looks like I have a drive that can’t be reliably moved between machines or UBS/Firewire. Are their firmware upgrades for these things or is that it? Anyone? Not impressed.

  21. I too have a sad story about LaCie. Bought the Big Disk 500GB drive and over the weekend moved (not copied) many, many files from a smaller hard drive. While trying to move additional files from another USB 2.0 drive (NetDisk 160GB, which I LOVE and has worked flawlessly for 2+ years), I got the dreaded “Windows – Delayed Write Failed” message. After rebooting and reconnecting the drive, all of the data (~ 100GB) was LOST forever.

    I plan on calling LaCie tech support & ask them what they would do to recover the data. If they don’t help or are not responsive, I plan on posting my screen shots of the failure on the web. I plan on purchasing another NetDisk – THEY WORK! Wish me luck.

  22. The server can be great for even very small datasets. What you’re getting is a server that’s easy to maintain, can handle any traffic, and can grow with you as you need. If you have the cash, an XServe rocks. If not, even a Mini would do the trick…

    LaCie complained that the drive I sent back was just a firmware out of date, but a quick look at their drivers/firmware page doesn’t show anything listed for the BDE 500GB…

    http://www.lacie.com/support/drivers/

  23. I bought a Lacie big disk 500gb usb2 yesterday in it is mega mega mega slow is this normal? I have an old lacie firewire disk that runs a million times faster am I doin g something wrong or are they just crap (or could it be USB2 that is crap?)

  24. Very familiar stories; here’s mine. Purchased two 500gb LaCie Big Disks for back-up use in Feb 05; both have now failed. Disk 1 went down in Oct 05, sent for repair under warranty, now failed again in Mar 06. Disk 2 failed in Jan 06, awaiting return from ‘repair’. Masses of irretrievable data now lost.

    Common problem to all failures: (1) ominous mechanical noises prior to failure; (2)unexplained disk activity (flashing blue light) even when nothing is being written to/from disk; (3) final failure to mount; (4) diagnostics and disk repair utilities fail to read disk.

    I’ve had no problem with two 250gb LaCie disks, now two years old. Both 500gb disks are racked, daisy-chained, and connected to Firewire 400/800. Neither disks has suffered any physical trauma. But they do get hot!

    LaCie tech support in UK assure me failures of their 500gb disks are rare. Reading comments here leads me to believe that’s complete b/s.

    I now regard LaCie as wholly unreliable and not to be trusted. Never LaCie again, ever! Dreadful.

  25. Hello…

    My Lacie drive problems appear to be nothing new. I bought a 500Gb drive a while ago, but when it started to go down I was so busy that the only solution was to go and buy another one and copy data over… then after a week the old one was completly screwed, and then the new one fried and went down too!!!

    I called the Lacie people, and they told me it was an issue for Apple to solve as i bought the drive from the apple store… Apple said it was Lacie’s problem… no help anywhere!

    I have now lost most of my work unless a solution can be found.

    I will NEVER buy a Lacie drive again, and on the Apple Final Cut Pro forums i happily and regularly suggest that nobody ever go near Lacie products…

    I HATE Lacie.

  26. Once had files corrupted, fixed the disk.
    Now indeed, after a less more then a year: mine starts clicking too.
    If I power it down and restart it, clicking is over.
    Can somebody guess what this clicking is about ? Is it the HD, or the tiny driverboard inside?

    Are there people living/working still on a clicking disk for a long time without further hazard ?

    Damn,
    this sucks. So much important data too back up… on a LaNotSee

  27. Latcho, have you tried contacting LaCie customer support? They were really helpful to me.

    They mention the clicking problem on their FAQ.

    I’m debating closing comments to this post. It’s not really the proper place for this venting. They don’t have a discussion board on the LaCie site, but my blog really isn’t one either…

    They sell like 50 bajillion drives a year, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s a very rare problem – it’s just that we’re more vocal about the problems now.

    Anyway, my drive is working great (touch wood). If you have a problem, get in touch with their customer support folks. Give them a chance to fix it before giving up.

  28. Better add my two bobs worth to this horror story.

    We bought a 1tb Big Disk a few weeks ago. Used it yesterday for the third time (to store some vital scientific imagery). Came to retrieve it and as far as the computer is concerned that drive no longer exists. Any operating system, any interface type, makes no difference.

    We will see what the local Lacie agents have to say tomorrow but if they will only repair or replace like with like I am going to scavenge the hard drives out of the box and throw the remaining junk away. Anything that unreliable is good only as a paper weight.

    If anybody wants to start a class action I will cheerfully chip in some funding.

  29. Lacie big disk 400 extreme is clicking but not totally dead. Is it wierd that this happened four days after the year warranty has ended?

    I can still access the disk from time to time to get data moved from it to another disk, but most files are corrupted.

    I bought another 500 extreme so I could transfer. Now I feel that was a bad move after reading these post.

    Frustrated.

  30. I certainly wish I would have come across this thread prior to purchasing my Lacie 500GB external firewire drive (I think it’s the “big disk”).

    I use it with Mac OS X 10.4 and Final Cut Pro 4.5 HD. It failed recently (clicks like described above, unable to read/write data) leaving me in a real bind on a video project.

    Sure, I can recapture all the media, but this drive is a real pain. I lost untold hours of work and hardly have the time to find a suitable replacement that will WORK.

  31. I work as a video editor and purchased some of the first Lacie FW drives (blue plasic box) that still run great today. It was these drives that convinced me to invest in the D2 or Big Disk drives when they were released. Right after the release of OS X all hell broke loose. In total I think I lost 5 x 250GB drives. In frantic efforts to shore up this ripple effect of damage I lost some data and was left with everything else in total dissarray. Though Lacie knew that there was a problem back then, they we’re never willing to give a straight forward explanation of what the problem was. With a team of full time engineers on staff the idea that they didn’t understand what was going on is ludacres. These drives are not that complicated. But protecting trade secrects or fears of liability or some other corporate think guided a decision to keep the customers in the dark. Firmware updates and trouble shooting tips that eventually followed we’re filled with ritualistc voodoo along side whatever knowledge or science they passed down to maintian that initial stance of nondisclosure with customers. All this is combined with an arrogence when dealing with the public that is incompatable for a company that asks customers to trust it with some of there most important assets, their data. I guess you could say they sort of made me mad. This was more that two years ago. Now with an SATA back up solution now in place and just two of ten D2 drvies still doing minor duties (the old Blue’s still work fine) I’m surprized to find this thread and a whole new crop of Lacie drives up to their old tricks. Some people will post that they’ve used Lacie drives with out incident for years. Lacie will boast about these customers when the topic arrises. It is easy to show happy customers who have never had a problem, why wouldn’t they be happy. What might impress me is if Lacie could show off some customers who had problems like these but we’re happy becouse Lacie stepped up and helped them resolve thses problems. That’s what makes a great tech company. Class action? Maybe.

    AARggggg.

    Sorry for the rant.

  32. I too wish I had found this thread earlier. A month ago I bought a 500GB BigDisk for HD video work and my iTunes library storage. Big mistake! I got the drive formatted under OS X 10.4 and copied over 100GB to it when I got the dreaded write error. After that, the Mac would not recognize the device (I assume one of the drives failed). Just for grins, I tried it on two other machines (both running different versions of Windows). However, in all cases I had the same problem.

    So I arranged for an exchange with the reseller. The new drive came yesterday and it can be recognised! Wohoo! However, when trying to format the drive, it always hangs. I even let it run fo 10 hours but it just sits there with no activity on the drive’s light. of course, Lacie’s tech support is closed today (on Saturdays) so I have to wait for Monday to try to get the issue resolved. If I can’t get my money back from the reseller, I am going to get a replacement and eBay the thing immediately! Honestly, I feel sorry for whoever buys it but at least it will be under warranty. =(

    I thought Lacie had a good reputation. That is one of the reasons I decided to go with them. I can tell you this, they have lost me as a customer for life. I will also tell everyone I know to avoid Lacie drives.

    Mike S.

  33. I bought LaCie because of their reputation. But hopefully their reputation will become more accurately known as the company who makes disks that fail just out of their warranty period. Last night my LaCie big disk extreme failed with mission-critical data on it. Today I went out and bought a new Maxtor 500gb internal drive.

    But I still had the problem of how to get the data off my LaCie disk. I had another Big Disk Extreme that I started taking apart and swapping parts – putting my current drives into it and vice versa, swapping power supplies, etc.

    I can happily report that I got my drive to mount and was able to get my data off the drive onto the new internal drive. But I will still consider this LaCie drive dead and untrustworthy. So long, LaCie. Looks like G-Drive is the new winner for external storage.

  34. You know, there are enough problems here that we may be able to start a class action suit against Lacie. We can certainly prove damages and it appears it is a chronic problem with their design. Hmmm…

    Mike

  35. Hi BigPine

    Well, I’m glad you feel like that, because that’s exactly how I feel, was considering asking the same question you did just now, during the weekend.

    What I would be inclined to do is setup a website dedicated to this Lacie problem and try and find out how many more users (victims) have experienced this problem.

    Me personally, I have lost 2 x 1TB Bigger Disk and 2 x 500GB Big Disks. My wife had an much older 500GB Big Disk, which in fairness lasted about 2 years. It seems, however, that modern Lacie drives are attrocious. I’m gonna try and claim on the warranty of the 2 x 500GB, but they were a replacement for the two other 1TB drive that originally died, Which means that inherit the originally warrant of the date I purchased these drives on. I believe that warranty period has expired.

    I would like people to start sending me emails about their own problems and perhaps we can all get together and setup a website and amalgamate more stories from other consumers who have suffered dead harddrives and who have lost heavily investing money in very poor quality hardware.

    Regards,

    Kevin Smith
    kevin@netsmith.ltd.uk

  36. I think you’re right about their older drives being higher quality. My brother has had his for a few years now, so they were the model available in 2003 or so, and he’s had no trouble with them.

    I also think it’s a great idea to start a website to record bad experiences with LaCie in one place… And if any kind of action can be taken, I hope it makes it loud and clear to LaCie that they can’t continue to ignore this problem and just keep on making rotten hardware. Even if I don’t get my money back, it would be worth it to get them to mend their ways.

  37. Well, one of my 250GB Triple Extremes starting clicking horribly after about a year. Now it just gets SUPER hot and only works half the time. Sucks. I have another with alot of stuff on it and I sure hope it doesn’t die before I back up all those files.

  38. I have a 500GB external just under 2 years old. Have 3 partitions and use it for booting/restoring and storage. It has been failing to mount properly recently and today has stopped mounting at all. If I pull the FW cable OS X gives me a device removal warning !

    I’m going to try mounting it one more time to pull the data off onto DVD. Then I reformat and a check for firmware. An earlier comment mentioned that LaCie’s driver downloads don’t mention the 500GB drives – has anyone tried the firmware updater ?

    I’m hoping this is just restricted to the 500GB+ range of drives – I have a 20 month old 160GB drive at home that has been flawless (touching wood, touching wood)

  39. I have a LaCie 160 Gb porsche design which I’m about to return. I almost lost 60 Gb of pictures of customers. Luckily my neighbor was able to pop out the HD and run it in a server on forensic software (the one law enforcement uses) and retrieved it. We were shocked by the build quality inside the casing. NO heat dissipation at all, which probably caused overheating of the disk. The controller seams to be fine. Some wires are glued to the inside. It’s amazing it even worked at all.
    I have to say LaCie makes wonderful monitors but I’ll stay away from their HDs.

  40. Hey Latcho, the clicking problem surfaced for me literally in the past week. The same clicking thing happens, sometimes the drive freezes completely, then if I unplug it and plug it back in it works fine for another hour or so. I looked at the clicking thing in the FAQ on their website (thanks D’Arcy) and it says that a possibility is the power supply being defective (which I have heard before and I may order another one tonight to rule that out as a possibility) or not enough power from the USB port. The latter is quite possible for me as I am running a soundcard off of my USB card on my laptop (they specifically mention laptops being a potential problem as well- are you using a laptop?) and the solution as they say is a “”USB power cable”? Do you know what this is? I’m guessing its a powered USB cable but I’m not sure. I want to get this solved as soon as possible, I can’t take any risks with this data.

  41. more firewire hot swapping fun:

    I manage the Center for Digital Media at the San Francisco Art Institute, where we run a couple Mac networks with approximately 40 FireWire enabled computers and roughly 7 or so FireWire peripherals. These peripherals include video decks, CD burners, and peripheral hard drives. Of these, three Panasonic video decks now have burnt out motherboards from hot-swapping to and from Apple G4 towers (the decks cost $900 new, and $1,200 to replace the motherboards). Our JVC video deck has been in for repairs to the FireWire bridge three times at approximately $400 per repair. Two FireWire peripheral hard drives have fried, and four peripheral FireWire CD burners have burnt-out bridges, making the cases useless (we have since loaded those CD burners as internal units in the towers). This puts the grand total of damaged and repaired FireWire devices at roughly $3,500. Quite a nut for the convenience of hot-swapping, wouldn’t you say?

    from:
    http://www.lowendmac.com/misc/03/0421.html

  42. For those who have experienced the clicking problem, I got a new power supply and it seems to have solved the problem so far. I’ve been playing music off the drive for about an hour straight and by now usually it would have clicked a few times and maybe frozen, but I’ve only had the music stop once and I think it was due to system resources being low. If anything pops up and this doesn’t turn out to be a solution for the clicking problem I’ll post again, but the new power supply seems to have done the trick for me…

  43. Dito. Got a 1TB LaCie extreme which failed exactly 1 year after the delivery date. The LaCie guys refused to consider this a warranty case since they use the order date as the start of the warranty period. Such practice is very annoying given that it took them 1 month to deliver the drive. So the drive was actually just 11 months old when it failed.

    Wasted a lot of money. Never a LaCie again ever!!!

  44. Unfortunately, I happen to own four LaCie 500 G Bigger Disks (those goddamn two disk b*stards) and every one of them keeps on malfunctioning on a regular basis. Sometimes Drive Genius helps (I’m a Mac user), sometimes Disk Warrior does its magic – but still, I feel like feeding tons of Aspirin to a cancer patient, treating only symptoms, not curing the disease itself. My advice is: No more LaCie drives. Unless you like to hear your drive click. And click. And click. I remember when “Click Of Death” meant 100 megs of lost files – on iOmega Zip disks. Oh, those were the good days… 😀

    Actually, two of my drives had their power adapter changed to a more powerful version and the other 500 G disk went back to LaCie and stayed there for a month – it had an enormous amount of bad sectors and other shit – and they did nothing. They didn’t even reformat that one, I guess it was just lying there on the desk, keeping their coffee warm.

    A local LaCie representative here in Finland actually keeps on nagging I’m mistreating my drives pretty heavily, “none of those were never destroyed before, you’re the first one, nobody’s ever complained before etc.”. Hmm, I always thought hard disks were made for reading AND writing. Maybe they’re trying to tell me in a polite way to use them as door stops?

    I repeat: No more LaCie drives.

  45. Hi all,

    Seems I’m the latest in a long line to have this problem. Thought I’d post as to how I managed to recover my data.

    Right, background – purchased a 500GB Big Disk just over a year ago – the drive was just out of warranty when it died.

    As pointed out in this post, it’s the controller card in the external drive which has actually packed up – not the drives themselves.

    I was able to hardwire the drives (one at a time) directly to the IDE on the mobo, and power them using the PSU.

    Then had a problem with recognising the drive (think it’s to do with the controller card mounting the drives together, so they appear as only one drive through USB). Anyhow, ran “partition magic” and converted the physical disk to logical, but left it unformatted (this made the next step easier).

    Then ran “recover my files”, and did a sector search against the physical drive – this enabled me to recover the entire NTFS partition mith minimal data loss.

    Just thought I’d share this – it worked for me, and might be of use to others.

  46. I suppose I’ve been a little bit more lucky that most of you, but not quiet. I have slightly smaller, slightly older verison of the LaCie drives and mines worked fine for a year. Now I believe my problem is the same as Bloody_Typical, as my Drive has given me trouble since day one, sometimes I could use it, sometimes not, but just recently it decide to ignore me, not recognize by the computer at all. Its like a bad relationship.

  47. HI My Lacie 500gb started the shutdown process or clicking to be heard , this in turn caused a write failure to one of the discs ,

    the only way I have found to sort this is do a ‘scan disc’ from the tools set in windows XP.

    The reason Lacie’s are getting these failures is to due with the temperatures seen inside the cases ,

    they basically boil the discs and the raid controller ,
    the Power supply also gets WAY TO HOT .
    The Boiling will produce stress fractures in the solder joints of some parts either on the raid controller or one of the discs , causing intermittant errors ( as in my case ) or total system failures if on one or the firm wear chips on one of the disks)

    the best thing I can suggest is to undo the 2 screws on the back slide the whole insides out and point a small fan at it while you do the scan disk and recover your software .

    as to replacing the disks , you need to identical disks of ATA/100 or ATA133 and you should be fine ( as this is a raid 0 controller)
    I replaced my crappy maxtor disc with seagate ata 100 500gb and it runs fine , BUT
    I have also drilled holes in the top (30)and bottom (30) sides of the casing to allow more air flow , mounted the case vertically with the blue led on/off switch toward the bottom (means all the circuitry is as low & as cool as possible ).

    I have also put some old CPU heat sinks around the powers supply using a couple of Tie wraps and heatsink compound ( this seems to be very effective).

    so I now have a fairly stable 1TB firewire 800 system

    I hope this helps some folks out feel free to spreed this around .

    Personally I now make my own usb or firewire disks using segate drives and ICY BOX caddies , very quiet , run cool and look the biz.

    cheers

  48. Hi
    I too had a PSU off Lacie infact I am on my 4th , it isn’t the PSU , it is the temperatures inside the box that casue the problem , compounded by a really crap PSU.

    see my comments below onto how to avoid destroying your Lacie , try to run it as cool as possible and only use it when you have to ,
    ALso if you get the CLICKING OF DEATH , you will need to run Scandisk with the ‘seearch for and repair ‘ bad sectors selected .

    I hope that is of some help to all
    feel free to eamil me with any other questions 🙂

  49. I have a LaCie Bigdisk Extreme 500GB. One of the two 250GB HD failed and i am unable to recover anything from them.

    My question is can i still use the casing, replacing the original disks with two other disk (not nesascarily of the original brand and size)

  50. AS GM at a company with 5 terrabytes of data, I bought a bunch of laCie 1 and 2 terrabyte drives. I must own 20 of them. Complete garbage! I have returned more of them than I can count. More are failing all the time. It’s so bad that I dont even return them to La Cie anymore. I tried to use them as FW800 NAS & Backup space ith little continue success. I am moving to E sata raids in cheap portable raid enclosures. I built a 3 terrabyte raid with 4 seagate 750GB e sata drives in a small portable raid enclosure (size of a small toaster). Enclosure was 200 bucks with 4 drives at 189 a piece. So I got 3 terrabytes for under 1000 bucks. New drives are sata 300’s and spin at 7200 rpms.
    I hope this solution works well, I expect faster response and better throughput. Hopefully I can get back to working on something more productive than dealing with La Cie and their product.

  51. I must be pretty fortunate– all I’ve used for external drives for a few years now have been the Lacie disks that have FW and USB… I pack them in my luggage on real planes and bush flights, bring them home and forget them in the van in the sun, etc. Have yet to have one die. This after a series of almost 1/2 dozen assorted Maxtors and Seagates… and I shy away from Western Digital because of a horrific experience a few years ago. Didn’t leave a lot of options.

    I made a couple of enclosures at work… they work OK. I’ve had a hard time finding a good enclosure that doesn’t step on the drives… and I want one that does USB and FW800…

    Hear that? It’s me knocking on wood for revealing my Lacie happiness… I might get punished by the tech god for that 🙂

  52. We’ve invested a fair chunk for a small business in LaCie as our main Network Storage and External Storage drives. The 2 external LaCies started screeching and have both since died. The power pack green light blinks but they refuse to start up. They lasted just over a year each (how convenient!)

    Our 2Tb Ethernet drive failed, losing a lot of crucial data. When returend for warranty via Microdirect they palmed me off onto LaCie after 2 months. Over 5 months later and 2 failed attempts at fixing the drive and returning it and MicroDirect finally agree to give me my money back… BUT… only what LaCie credited them… NOT the full amount I paid. And there I was expecting some kind of compensation!!!

    Horrible experience, I will do all i can to influence any purchases AWAY from both companies – why is there no customer service any more? I think the biggest problem isnt that the drives fail so mcuh – that can be expected… its that companies try to hide it in an internet age where information is shared so freely – LaCie told me also that they have a very low failure rate on all their drives – a systematic stack of BS that deflects most upset customers!

    Am happy to sign anything anti-LaCie and contribute to any anti-LaCie web site… this cant go on!

  53. We have 10 LaCie drives being all used just for back-ups at each Macintosh computer. Sizes vary from 250-500GB. Up to today we have experienced problems with 4 of these (400 & 500GB). All the same clicking, delayed mounting and after some time dead.
    We have tried avoiding the later by reformatting, fixing directories etc. with TechTool and DiskWarrior, which will recuperate the drive. But after some time the same problem will appear leading to the final already mentioned.

    We will certainly not buy any LaCie drives anymore.

  54. Hi

    I have had the same with my 500Gb drive the worst thing about it is that both drives spin up it seem to be the USB controller plate what i found was i can get it to spin up if i leave the drive on perminantly plugged in for two days solid no power offs and the drive powered back on and let me get my data back.

    Was happy that i got my all my stuff back even though it was by luck rather than anything flash

    Good luck guys i wouldnt by another lacie drive

  55. NEVER BUY A LACIE DRIVE!!
    I’ve had a BIG Disk (500 GB) and a BIG DISK EXTREME (1TB) Fail on me.
    I had the 1st disks data recovered at considerable expense and bought the 1TB as replacement which I RAIDED into 2 500GB partitions, thinking that this would give me greater protection of my data. Yet again the clicking disk of doom and failure to mount or be recognised has resulted in serious data loss – no matter what disk utility I try, the drive just will not mount so I can’t even format the fecking thing!!! These have to be the most unreliable piece of crap on the market and for them to be marketed as back-up solutions really is astonishing. I repeat NEVER BUY A LACIE DRIVE!

  56. HI Guys

    I have had some interesting results playing around with my big disks

    I have several clients that have also had big disks that have failed

    Things that i have noticed are as follows

    If you have issues with your big disk being seen by your os and it says TB20 or something of that sort of message then you drives are recoverable.

    I got several drives for clients that had failed big disks i took the controller plate from a 300Gb big disk an put it onto my 500Gb big disk and the drive spins up and shows in windows every time.

    I was fortunate to have had a client that was just binning there as they had a single drive failure i have recovered data from a single drive faliured big disk using ontrack easyrecover to recover windows based data from an NTFS partition. just connected directly to a normal IDE controller in a pc

    i have also recovered data from a HFS partition for all you mac users out there

    good luck with you challanges with your big disks

  57. We have about ten of these drives and never had any problems until last month when two failed, replacing the power supply in both cases fixed the problems with the data intact (problems included; bad booting up, clicking noises, freezes and a complete failure to mount). Unfortunately the LaCie power supplies aren’t cheap. Hope this helps.

  58. I own a photography studio and we archived a lot of photos on to our 1TB Lacie Big Disk (gigabit ethernet) and today it gave us a serious scare. I was completely unable to access the drive via through windows network or using the Lacie IP utility.

    Turns out the drive was totally fine but it was simply the power supply adapter. The power supply adapter a made high pitch sound (not very noticeable unless up close) and upon opening the board had burnt brown areas and the capacitors where bulging out the tops.

    Once replacing the power supply the drive was completely accessible and worked fine. The hard part about suspecting this as the problem was that the drive still appears to work normal from a visual standpoint. It lights up, makes hard drive spining noises, etc. But apparently if the power is not delivered properly certain functions like being accessed by ethernet or USB is a no go.

    Before ruling out bad drives check the power supply. Saved me a lot of time, stress and money. I still won’t buy anything Lacie though after hearing all these comments on here. I’m going to go the route of a dedicated Gigabit Network computer tower with 8 bays for internal hard drives with tons of cooling. This works better for me than the G-Raid or G-Drive Q’s because I have 4 other employees that need to access the drives as well.

    On a side not my Lacie Big Disk has the Hitachi drives, not the Seagate. On another note don’t run your Big Disk in the vertical position. Lay it flat with the bottom divets facing the ground. Hard drives aren’t meant to be in this vertical position. Not worth the extra risk to save space.

    1. Thank you for for this solution! I had the *exact* same symptoms and buying the new power supply has me back up and running perfectly, and backed up to another drive as well 🙂

  59. This morning I was greeted with a seemingly dead Lacie Bigger Disk Extreme (640GB version). Flashing front light, didn’t appear to the system etc… I think all the commentators know the score.

    Thanks to the extremely useful information here I’m currently rescuing the data from this drive. Yep, power supply. I let it cool down for a while and now am able to access the drive and now copying the data off it before it decides to stop working again. Fingers crossed.

    It’s rather obvious the supplies are not made for extended use and the engineers probably expected the drive to be used for external backups and powered off more than we all do. Interestingly enough all the suppliers around me seem to be back ordered on replacements. Wonder why? As someone else mentioned, these power “bricks” are not inexpensive (I was going to say “not cheap” but I think they are cheap, they just cost a lot). Nice business if you can get it.

    Anyway, thanks very, very, very much for the comments here. Like others I don’t think I’ll be giving LaCie further business, in fact I didn’t want to in the first place but needed the drive quick and my first choice wasn’t available. Sigh.

  60. another opinion..had various models of these Lacie drives, all pretty unreliable. Power supplies & disks failed in 250,500,1TB & 2TB versions. Just one look at the tiny fan in the back and you realise this is not a long time option. If your data is so important either buy duplicate external backups, internal disk or raid systems made in a slightly more rugged way. The expected lifetime of most disks is only 3 yrs nowadays so better to get something every two years. I have had various backup solutions running over the years,and the main thing is cooling for hard drives. Keep them cold, air conditioned room preferably and all is well. Still why do manufacturers always add in fans worth a few pence!!
    Infortrend/adaptec systems been the most reliable so far.

  61. Wow, I to wish I had seen this site before I bought a 1.5 tb Lacie disk! I had it running on my g5 for a few months then it just stopped working. Flashing blue light, it mounts, but can’t access on my mac. So I unplugged it and a few months later need to backup my Alienware laptop (Xp). Windows USB saw the drive fine, but thats as far as it went, no disk managment connection at all. I think the drive or its concroller is hosed! I wish I had just bought another HD and used that. I bought mine from Apple and I have to say I am surprised they let this happen Wait, I forgot about all my dead ipods:) -Jim

  62. I have a 1TB Lacie Bigger Disk Extreme about 2 years old. It failed recently with a lot of data on it. Wouldn’t mount reliably at first, and didn’t show up reliably in MAC Disk Utility. Occasionally I could get it to mount but Disk Utility showed one of the RAIDs faulty and an attempt to rebuild the faulty drive partition failed. Occasionally I could copy a few files when trying to recover them to a new disk, but it would fail part way through and put up a message saying it had not been properly dismounted. Wouldn’t talk to the Firewire connection and would only occasionally mount using the USB port. Symptoms have been described by others – drives try to start up – they whine as they spin up, then you can hear them slow down, much clacking and the cycle starts again – can go on for a long time. Eventually it wouldn’t mount at all and couldn’t be seen by Disk Utility. I tried some disk recovery tools but they couldn’t see the drive either.

    I fixed it by stripping down the drive and identifying that the power supply could run two of the four 250GB WD disks reliably but not four (they are fitted in banks of two – I just disconnected power from two at a time while leaving the data cables in place). Disk wouldn’t mount with only two drives running, but it was the clue to how to repair it.

    Fix was to get an old computer with a functioning power supply (I had one from the early 90s) and plug two of the disks into the alternative supply. Ran the rest of it from the normal power supply. The LaCie ‘recovered’ immediately, booted up, mounted, and I was able to easily recover all the data to a new disk. Good as new. I suspect the problem is with the power supply that can’t supply the current needed (there’s lot’s of stories about this on the web regarding LaCie drives). I’m pursuing the issue with LaCie, but I can’t say I’ve found their technical help very helpful to date.

    The solution’s not for the faint-hearted (though the disassemble is straightforward)- but it’s better than paying $$$ to a recovery crew or writing off precious data.

  63. I have also had the above problem with a 1 tb big disk.

    Even though the power light was on the drive would not mount and it was also not possible to power down the drive without cutting the mains switch.

    The drive was out of warranty so I stripped it down and noticed that niether of the two hard drives were spinning up. I ran a 12v power lead out from my pc and used this to power the hard drives and immediately the big disk came back online !!. My conclusion is that the 12v 3a output from the lacie power supply has either failed or is no longer producing the required power.

    Whilst this solution works its far from ideal so I contacted Lacie yesterday and recieved a reply today suggesting that they would replace the power supply under warranty even though its outside the warranty period. Maybe there is a wider issue with the integrity of these units ?? I will post again when I get their confirmation of a replacement.

  64. After a promisiing start from the tech dept I am still waiting for a reply (chased twice now) from the service/warranty people !!

    I would ring them but they have no numbers listed, strange for a company focussed on service !

  65. HFS is bad for drives? really? someone should tell all of those Macs chugging away for years on HFS and HFS+ drives. And someone should tell the Wintel boxes we have that blew through several other (and later) Lacie drives that it’s OK – it’s HFS on a Mac that’s the problem.

  66. Well good news in the end, after almost 6 weeks a replacement and free of charge power supply arrived this morning and my drive is back up and running. My faith in humanity has been restored, just wished it had not taken so long. The delay seems to be that they had no stock of replacement power supplies, not sure if that means many have failed or that it is very unusual for them to do so.

    Anyways, hats off to Lacie for a no quibble warranty replacement even though the drive was over a year old.

  67. Hi, I have a Lacie Big Disk Extreme 500 gb triple interface and suddendly it stopped working, it just makes a clicking sound. I took the two drives out of the case and they are ok but I can’t acces the data because of the raid. Is there anyway I can find replacement parts for this disk, controller card for example, I have some data there I wouldn’t like to be lost.

    Thanks for any help that can be sent.

  68. My D2 BIG Disk Extreme 500GB stopped working with a clicking sound and the light flashing. The problem is the power supply. I swapped a supply from another Lacie drive and the previously dead drive came to life. When I contacted Lacie support I was told that the required supply was out of stock and is expected at the end of August. In looking at the link they sent to the required supply I noticed that it was a higher wattage supply that the one supplied with my drive. I am waiting for a response from support to my discovery that my supply was not correct for a 500GB D2 BIG Disk Extreme. This is the link to the information on power supply\’s on the Lacie site. http://www.lacie.com/us/support/faq/faq.htm?faqid=10564

  69. Alan,

    my experiance is that this is likely to simply be a failed power supply. Even though the power pack ligths up along with the on light on the BD if the 12v supply to the haed drive isint working the hard drives won’t spin up and therefore will not be recognised by your mac/pc. The clicking noise is a symptom of this. If you can try an alternative 12v supply for the HD’s or order a new power pack.

  70. Thanks for the reponse I’ll try to find a power supply on ebay or something beacuse they are out of stock on the lacie website, but thanks for clearing my doubts I thought t was the controller card.

    Thanks again!

  71. Hi,
    A few month ago I thought that my D2 Disk Extreme 500GB died so I took the drives out, put them back into another firewire enclosure and reformatted them because all my data was lost anyway despite all my effort to salvage my files. Now, my over 1 year old Lacie 2TB is giving me the “device removal” window and unmount without prior warning.
    I just checked the power supply from my dead D2 Disk Extreme 500GB and noticed it is a 26.4W and it should have been a 57W as specified on the Lacie page. I am sick and tired of this B……S!

  72. Just NEVER TRUST A LACIE PRODUCT. I lost everything (best memories of my family) when 2 of my Lacie Drives broke 3 days apart from each other. That’s all. It’s also worth mentioning that on of those two drives was a replacement from them after my 1-month old 500GB LACIE BIG DISK failed in 2006. Stupi of me not to have expected another breakdown. I hope nobody buys their product anymore and I hope they go bankrupt.

  73. If you own a LACIE, you should start transferring your files into CDs or any other media NOW, while you can still access them – better to be safe than sorry.

  74. I was having a problem with a 1TB big disk, which was really two 500gb Seagate drives inside in a RAID array.

    The power supply was faulty. Used an alternate power supply to power up the drvies and all is good.

  75. I have a 500GB Big Disc which futzed out because the chip that causes the two 250GB drives to read as one failed.

    I now have a Mac Pro, and there’s plenty of space to put in additional hard drives, so if I took them out would I get my data back?

  76. Hi,

    Lacie make nothing but sub-standard junk…In the past month I have had 3 separate drives totally die on me.

    2 X 1TB LaCie BIGDISK U2&F4&F8 EXTREM 7200 16MB EK
    1 x 3TB LaCie ETHERNET DISK XP Embedded EK

    All three devices were rack mounted and used in nothing but the standard way, all still under 1 year old, all totally failed. The support (sic) was more of a joke than the hardware. The eng, actually had the gall to say “well all hard drives fail eventually…” really? Well whilst that may be true it really doesn’t help me at all does it…

    I will never buy Lacie products again and I would strongly advise anyone considering to do so to reconsider.

    Boycot LaCie!

  77. I have a laCie F800 2TB drive, there was a slight disk problem, unfortunately it failed to mount after successfully rebuild by itself, dies anyone have the same problem? If so, did it get resolved?

  78. Thanks heaps to anyone that contributed to this site regarding the power supply problem. I have a 1TB Big Disk (about 18 months old) and up until 20/12/08 it ran perfectly. The drive is where I stored all my work data and used the LaCie Admin page to control what others could view/read/write on the drive/network. I found this an extremely econical way of controling access to data without spending a lot of Money. Has anyone found an alternative power supply that does not fail? Please post any info. Power supply aside I find the Admin software a god send to control a small network without spending a fortune.

  79. First thing is try Lacie, they actually replace my power supply free even though it was out of waranty !

    If that fails it depends how creative y0ou want/can be. If I understand this correctly the power supply brings in power at two differnt levels, one at 12v to spin the disks and on at (??v) to run the controler.

    In my case it was th 12v supply that failed. as a stop gap I was able to get the drive working by letting the power supply run the controller and feeding the drives directly with a 12v supply from my pc. Not ideal I admit but it worked so if you are creative you may be able o build a solution around that.

    Good luck

    ps my new power supply is running ok but I take the precaution of powering it down when not in use to extend its life.

  80. Ok – I bought a 1G LaCie big disk – it is raid Zero! Well, it died in September – it was fixed under warranty – though the data was not covered. They wanted $4,500 for data retrieval. They suckered me into getting another LaCie 1T single disk drive, and thank God I did! My original drive that crapped out – crapped out again! These people make a crappy product. I don’t know how Apple can sell this stuff in their stores. It is garbage. STAY FAR FAR AWAY!!!

  81. My problem is that my 1tb big disk stopped responding. Then when I tried to restart it would not power back up. After way to much back and forth they sent me a free power supply under warrenty, and it still does not power up. Waiting for a response from tech support, but I’m sure whats next is sending it in, which I will not do until I get the data off… (I never intend on using this again even if it was repaired) So my question is does anyone have anyway to recover the data off of these drives which I suspect are still fine? I’m guessing the controller is the problem, but have not opened the case yet until I hear what Lacie has to say. Has anyway had luck connecting these drives to a pc to recover data? Pretty concerned since I understand it to be RAID 0…

  82. If you power supply is gone, you can get both genuine replacements and “equivalent” from Ebay at the moment.

    They both are priced around 30, so I would go for the genuine ones. I bought one and they brought my drive a live, with only minor repairs to permissions needed.

  83. Follow up note to the solution to my problem. I ended up searching ebay and finding the precise model I had and ordering it. I then used this for parts. In my case the controller board and power supply were bad. I was able to restore it, but had to update the firmware on the new board first. So I ended up spending $250 to recover my data and ended up with 4 nice SATA drives which will be the beginning of a new high quality RAID 5 NAS… Any brand but Lacie of course. Hope others are as lucky as I was! Good luck.

  84. Lacie Big Disk Extreme here, 2 months out of warranty. Started crashing after sleep and not mounting at all. I borrowed power supply made all the issue go away!

  85. I’ve just had my LaCie 200GB drive fail. The disk justs stopped spinning. I was advised to try a different power supply, so I’ve ordered a replacement from LaCie. I’m encouraged by what I’ve read from others that often the issue is a power supply failure. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I bought a Seagate 1Tb for use as a backup disk and bought another LaCie disk (a d2 Quadra 500 GB) for external storage, to be backed up along with the internal drive on the 1Tb Seagate. I think if I’d read the reviews first, I wouldn’t have bought a LaCie for the second drive. Too bad. I *had* always thought that LaCie was a great company. The 200GB drive that failed was almost four years old. I’ve never had problems with it before.

  86. Replacing the power supply unit solved my problem. Failure: External FW LaCie d2 big disk extreme 500 GB. Symptoms: ‘click of death’, bad blocks, write failure, blinking blue light, unable to write any large file. TechTool pro 4.6.2 indicated tat read/write was OK, but disclosed 8 bad blocks. Was able to zero out the disk to eliminate the bad blocks and recreate partitions using DiskUtility. Nevertheless, symptoms persisted. Was able to create disk images of partitions (TimeMachine, ClonedHD, other). Replaced defective 34W LaCie power supply unit model No. ACU034A-0512 with 57W unit model no. ACU057A-0512 (About $25 US in Riyadh, Saudi arabia). All problems resolved. Restored partitions from disk images with no difficulty. OS X 10.5.6. Imac early 2006, 2GB memory. FW 400 connection to LaCie Disk.

  87. I bought a fleet of 8 LaCie 500 GB drives for disk-disk backup at work and most died for various reasons over three years. And these drives were typically only accessed once per week. Usual power supply problems people had, but other problems as well. I replaced these lemons with Seagates (that came with 5 year warranty) and have had no problems since. I will never buy a LaCie product again.

  88. Had a failed 250GB drive which I could not access. After reading this board and others I tried the “freezer” trick, which did not work. Then I tried swapping the Lacie covers/chassis with a working drive of the same size/model and was able to successfully access my data. From this I can conclude that the Western Digital HD was fine, but the Lacie chassis failed. I will not be buying Lacie Drives in the future.

  89. Well, haven’t I been here before? Bought LaCie 1Tb about 20 months ago. 11 months ago the power supply failed. Sent it back under warranty to receive new power supply and all data still intact. Thank god. Now nine months down the line, the power supply (I hope) has failed me again.
    As the actual HDs are now outside the warranty I took the brave step of opening it up, buying a SATA docking station and trying to access the data via that.
    Not straight forward as the disks report as RAW format due to the RAID setup, so I’ve had to spend money on the right data recovery software that can read, copy and convert RAW to NTFS to transfer to a new 1.5Tb internal HD.
    In all honesty, even if I do get another power supply from them I don’t think I’ll bother using it. Instead I’ll just reclaim what I can from each 500Gb SAMSUNG drive, reformat them and then dock them periodically to create offline backups of my more important data.
    It’s not that LaCie are malevolent, they’re just incompetent at producing reliable hardware for today’s digital mass storage requirements. No more for me thanks.
    On a lighter note; how many light bulbs does it take to change a philosopher?

  90. You’ve got to hand it to LaCie, when it comes to customer care they’re pretty much up there. After fiddling with terrabyte hard drive, i contacted them and they kindly advised me that as it was the power supply which had failed, and this was the item replaced previously, that it would still be under 12 month warranty. They gave me a merchant return number and i sent it back. Result. New power pack dispatched to me via recorded delivery within 5 days. Further result, after backing up all my crucial data I am now just waiting for the next PSU burn out at which point I WILL be mounting each HD separately for backups. Once bitten, twice shy. Third time’s an idiot.

  91. I have an eighteen month old Lacie 1tb Big Disk (2x500mb). No power at all. Power supply green light dimmed and flashes. I opened support ticket to Lacie tech support. He said it was the power supply, they mailed new power supply but again no power. Next he recommended calling and sending disk to disk savers dot com. I called disk savers. The cost? Only $4,410.00 to retrieve my data from the disks. What!? I contacted tech support again and the next thing was to send disk to Lacie and replace the disks with no data retrieval from original disks. I told him I believe it’s the control board that’s fried and asked to send me a new board which I would install. He mentioned their policy restricts them from sending any internal drive replacement parts and components. What the . . . now I have a dead disk with all my video editing files on them. I’m going to try a 2 raid enclosure to see If I can some how save my files.

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