I’m Beginning to Think That I Made a Mistake with My LaCie Purchase

Well I’m beginning to think that I made a mistake with my LaCie Big Disk purchase. Recently a fairly negative comment was posted to my blog that essentially said that these LaCie drives are junk.

“It’s junk. Stay away from it. I thought it was neato stuff before I received some of their products. I have 2 of the d2 500gb drives and a big disk 1000gb and an ethernet disk. The d2 and big disk both have problems with the firewire and usb interfaces acting oddly (frequent drive errors, frequently needing to recycle power, windows having problems detecting, etc.). The etnernet disk is another story (it’s a disaster).”

My experience thus far: The LaCie Big Disk cannot effectively copy a 120 gig folder full of .mp3s that I have on one of my hard drives. The copy project starts and then shortly thereafter I receive an error message that says that the file or path could not be found. These same files can be copied to other external and internal hard drives.

So I contacted LaCie and they swore up and down that these drives are perfect and should work fine for large mp3 batch copy jobs. It’s what they were built for I was told. LaCie suggested that I try to isolate the problem by:

1. Testing the copy job without using USB hubs — a direct connection to the USB ports.

and

2. Trying the copy job on a different system.

So first I tried connecting the LaCie drive directly to my PC without using the hub and I still got the error message.

Then I tried moving the drive and another external to another PC and I still got the same error.

After getting this error I tried to reformat the LaCie drive (I’ve already reformatted it 3 times) and the drive wouldn’t respond to the request from Windows Explorer.

So I’m going to take the drive back to CompUSA where I bought it and try another one. I’m starting to wish I hadn’t bought it and now I’m reminded of one of the things that I really hate about CompUSA — the fact that I just can’t return the drive and get my money back. If I want my money back I have to pay a 15% restocking fee. So… the saga is to be continued but so far I’m pretty down on the whole LaCie experience. I keep swearing that I’ll stop shopping at CompUSA because over the years I’ve had so many bad experiences buying technology from them only to take it home and find out that it doesn’t work.

To be continued…

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21 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    The LaCie ethernet disk mini 400GB is indeed a disaster. Its main selling point is that several PCs can share it over ethernet. That’s the feature that has a fatal bug.

    If two PCs are reading or writing files (different files, obviously) on the LaCie disk, it works OK for a while, but after a variable amount of time it stops dead. It does not matter whether the file accesses are via ftp or xcopy or using windows explorer, or using an application.

    The embedded OS apparently crashes and the system no longer responds, not even to ping. Since the disk admin is html-based, it cannot be used to shut down the disk. The power button does not work either, so the power cable has to be pulled out and then replugged to restart the disk.

    LaCie technical support has confirmed that the bug exists, and that they have known of it for a while. As yet, there is no firmware upgrade available, and no mention of the bug on the LaCie site.

    Moreover, even with a single PC accessing the LaCie ethernet disk mini, it seems to be really slow. It claims to support both 10 and 100 Mbit ethernet, but when plugged into a 100baseT hub, its performance is closer to 10 Mbit speed (copying large files, 100+MB per file).

  2. Anonymous says:

    è successo anche a me con i mini disk lacie da 400 gb.
    tutti e due hanno problemi analoghi a quelli riportati nei post qui sopra.
    Pensavo che Lacie fosse più seria, anche perché abbiamo diversi prodotti (monitor, hd, etc.) di questa azienda.

  3. Mike says:

    Two comments, two different issues:

    ED mini and sharing – protection of the files for dual access is under control of the system administrator, and the network client accessing the files over the network.

    Impossible to say what the issue is without more info to try and duplicate the issue.

    As for the Big Disk issues:
    – of course it is reasonable to expect that copies of large number of files should proceed without problem

    So what to do when it does not work as expected?

    First make sure there are no issues with computer, drive, or the formatting of the drive. The LaCie drives use Apple drivers; LaCie does not use any third party kernel extension of specialized driver.

    Yes, we have seen this type of problem with some users when their computer has other issues:
    – faulty or flaky RAM
    – FireWire or USB issues: cabling, hub, conflict with other connected devices
    – on PC – some motherboards require custom setting of VM on the computer — if 768MB or less RAM, set VM to 1.5x the installed RAM; if 1GB or more of RAM, disable VM; XP like this, to avoid paging errors.

    Comments welcome directly to firewire@lacie.com

    Mike

  4. pixired74 says:

    I am having a issue, when we moved over all of our depts data and mapped them thru it, they cannot access it from a remote site while being VPNed into the company. If anyone can shed some light, please email me at pixired74@gmaill.com, in the subject please write ‘lacie answer’

    thanks

  5. Gavin says:

    I recently bought a LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini 250GB after much trepidation (I had heard that it had problems), but decided to go for it anyways. Here’s my story…

    After connecting it to my wireless network and transferring my (uncompressed) music files to it, I decided to convert them to a compressed format (to go on my iPod).

    – conversion from AIFF to AAC (on average 40MB to 4MB files) from the LaCie disk to my Laptop was fine.
    – conversion from Apple Lossless to AIFF (on average 40MB to 25MB files) with both files on the LaCie disk was fine to begin with but then caused a major problem:

    As one of the files was almost converted, the program (iTunes) said that the file could not be found (!!).
    My Mac can no longer access the drive via AFP, I now have to use SMB. Attempting to connect via AFP causes the Finder to hang indefinitely, with a reset of the LaCie disk (via HTTP admin) the only way to regain control of the finder.
    Converting Apple Lossless files to AIFF (where the original and the new one are on the LaCie disk) can cause the OS to crash, with pulling the cable out the only way to switch it off.
    Occasionally, files visible with the Finder, FTP, and HTTP can only be deleted if the drive is connected via USB.
    I’ve had to repair the drive twice (with Apple’s Disk Utility), but this has never had any effect on my problems.

    The only thing that I can think of is that the files being converted were quite large (~40MB) which is bigger than the buffer (8MB as far as I remember).

    Note that this is *ONE* computer reading *ONE* file and simultaneously writing *ONE* file. I shudder to think what problems I’d encounter with multiple users!

    I’m reluctant to blame OS X as I’ve had more problems since getting the LaCie drive than I’ve had in the previous two years!

    Should anyone require it, I have a G4 Powerbook running 10.3.9 with the LaCie disk connected to the Ethernet port of my Airport Express (I don’t have any internet access as of yet, so no need for a router).

    My recommendation for anyone requiring a lot of network-based storage (and who can’t afford a proper server solution) is to use a proper computer as a file server, and use FireWire or USB drives. At least until LaCie fix the embedded OS.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I bought a 500 gig Big Disk on 2/24/2006 and am also having problems using the drive on a windows XP home edition system. I was able to successfully copy about 1.9 gig of data from my hard drive so things were looking good in the beginning. Now, the drive does not start up anymore when I boot my system. I have to unplug the usb cord, wait 10 seconds, then plug the usb cord back into the drive before it starts spinning. I have an open ticket at the Lacie support site. I’ll post the response when it comes in.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I got myself a LaCie ethernet disk mini 300GB yesterday. It looked like the best option of ethernet hd’s I could find.

    I also knew before I bought the drive I wanted to reformat the drive from FAT32 to EXT2 filesystem because of the file limit of 4GB on FAT32. This will loose USB functionality and I am fine with that because I only use it on ethernet anyway.

    After installation I copied about 70 GB of data to the drive and had no problems with it like hang ups.

    So I think using it as ethernet drive works probably better than usb drive if I read the other reactions above.

    LaCie could change a couple of things to the firmware/software to add some functionality like more than 1 share and select ability to tell wich user can use wich share..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ive got same problems with Lacie 300GB drive…
    ext3 file system is not a problem anymore on windows xp
    Im using ext2/3 fs driver from http://www.fs-driver.org/

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think a class action lawsuite should set them straight!

  10. Thijs says:

    I also have a 500gig ethernet disk mini. First of all it is slow as hell. Next there is a folder nameing bug when mounting in OSX and using the smb protocol. Biggest bloody issue is the fact that it doesn’t have a spindown function. I should have checked this before my purchase but of course they kept this well hidden on their website.

  11. chief says:

    I’m not sure how you guys are accessing the lacie drive using smb.. I have a bud who has the same problem under ethernet he can not mount hangs the finder under afp How are you under 10.4.9 able to mount the drive on the desktop?

  12. John says:

    Just thought I’d add my two cents here. I bought the Ethernet Disk Mini 250GB in Oct of 2005 and have to say that I’ve had no real problem with it. It’s connected to my wireless router via an ethernet cord and worked out of the box up to this day. It’s jam packed with music and video (ahem) files and works as expected… so much so that I’m looking around for another one.

    I can connect to it via 2 of my wireless Windows XP machines and a wired Windows 2000 PC.

    One thing I thought of as I read the previous posts here that I can relate to a bit is that for whatever reason, windows losses connection to the mapped drive the Lacie is on from time to time, causing lengthy file copying of large files to fail. I don’t know if this is a Windows issue or a Lacie issue as it’s not a big deal for me and I never investigated it.

    Other than that the only other related time it acted up was when I used the Windows Synchronization feature. Because Windows would not show the mapped drive as connected after a while the Synch functionality would get confused and lock up. I’ve tried to figure out how to make Windows stay connected to a mapped drive permanently but no luck yet. It happens to all my mapped drives including those on the other computers I have.

    Overall I am pleased with my Lacie Ethernet Disk Mini and hope to get another to add to my network. That’s my two cents for what it’s worth. Thanks.

  13. edd parris says:

    Ive had my EDmini 500gb for about two months now and have had no end of troubles.
    I only got round to installing/testing it about 3 wekks after recieving it due to moving out of home etc which was past the time i could lawfully send it back to lacie.

    1, I cant move/copy a file over 100mb over ethernet.

    2, The ethernet/usb connections are shady as hell, i cant play mp3s direct off the drive without it pausing a few times during the track.
    I thought it may just be winamp but itunes, songbird and WMP all share the same issue.
    I then came accross a fix… bring up a cmd window and ‘ping -t 10.208.75.101’ (the address of the disk wen plugged in via USB) but this has decided to stop fixing it over the last two days.
    Another fix for this is to bring up a windows explorer window and navigate to the drive which starts the playback again. Its as if the drive just looses connection to my laptop. I have tried this on other machines and its exactly the same.

    3, Any sort of intensive transfer via usb or eth to the thing makes it fall over and need a HARD reset (ie, power plug pulled).

    I wrote to lacie and asked wtf was up and they denied all knowledge of any problems and said if i sent it back they would test it and replace it. I have not done this because i know they will find ‘nothing wrong’ with it and just send it back. Ideally i would like a refund but they dont seem willing to give me one.. esp as its been a while since i bought the damn thing.

    My advice, if you want a NAS drive then buy a buffalo. my old man has one and ive had no trouble doing any of the above tasks, its performed flawlessly.

    thanks for the £170 paper weight lacie 😉

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi all!

    im from SWE and i ran to the store to get a external harddrive, i got the LACIE 500gigs! Biggest misstake ever! Im having problems detecting it and now it turned it self into a RAW disk? cant get my pics out, and ppl i have 8000 of them on there! Going sleepless over this and no help from the support! plzzz dont get Lacie if ure thinking of getting a HD!
    If ure a super talent at this format(RAW) and can help me plz dont hesitate to do that, my e-mail is tingo101@hotmail.com 🙁

  15. Anonymous says:

    My suggestion would be to forget buying drives like the LaCie. If you want Network Attached Storage, you’re much better off going this route instead: http://www.lime-technology.com

  16. Florian says:

    Same here, crappy slow like hell.

    🙁

  17. Hello, tnx for your precious post about firewire usb hub, well done!

  18. Phil says:

    I’ve been very pleased with my Lacie drives. I have 3 at my office and 3 at home. I’m using the raided 500GB NAS and the 1T Nas units. Both units have all three network connections: ETH, USB, FW. At the office, both the 1T and the 500GB units have been attached to my ETH 1G network and were used for high speed db transaction logs from a zOS mainframe. I was able to FTP massive amounts of data in a very timely manor.

    The disks have been flawless. The only issues that I’ve had are with security and the power-bricks. Due to the security issues, we no longer deploy them as DB log repository.

    They are now being used as back-up devices for workstations and to house documentation.

    Be Well ~ Phil

  19. Magnus says:

    I had the power supply failure and replaced with a standard ATX. Before I had some issues when transferring large files. With the ATX supply all problems are gone. Give it a thought… issues with power quality would give intermittent problems…

  20. Very beneficial stuff. Overall, I really believe this is worthy of a bookmark, terrific!

  21. Free Fetish says:

    You know this is something quite diffrent then I expected.. well, in any matter great work.. better then what I can write!