LaCie Drives are Crap, Crap, Crap

So my first experience with Lacie began about a year ago when I bought two LaCie 500 gigabyte “Big Disks” The idea was that I’d use one for recording TV on my Media Center and the other for mp3s and the what not. Well this did not work out very well — especially when transfering mp3s on to the LaCie drive. It was the worst performing drive that I’d ever dealt with. Copy errors were frequent and it was difficult to get the drive recognized even after multiple re-formats.

Finally I gave up and within my 15 day grace period took the drive back to CompUSA and got my money back. I did hang on to the second LaCie drive (much to my detriment) as within the first few weeks it seemed to be ok for recording television.

This did not last. Soon after my 15 day grace period with CompUSA expired I would find that all of my recorded TV on my LaCie Big Disk would be ruined. The drive simply would not be recognized. The only way to get the drive back was to use the Windows disk management utility and reformat it. After losing TV and reformating it about 8 times I finally gave up on it for my TV, used a different drive and used it instead as a back up drive for my photos.

Then one day about six months into it it just stopped working alltogether. I could not even get it to show up to reformat under Windows disk management tool to reformat.

Because I’m lazy the drive sat around dead and useless for about 5 months and then when I realized that my one year warranty with LaCie was almost up I just recently contacted them and sent the dead drive in for repair. As is typically the case, rather than repair my drive they just mailed me a new 500 gig drive.

And this is where more trouble started. First I could not get any of my four PCs to recognize the drive at all. With most USB drives you simply plug and play. You simply plug them in, Windows recognizes them, you reformat them from Fat32 to NTFS and you are good to go. But not with LaCie. Their drive would not recognize on any of my PCs. Finally I got it to show up under the disk management utility on my laptop. From there I was able to format it (this took about two hours for some ungodly reason) and it was finally recognized by my main PC. The other weird thing about the new drive was that everytime I plugged or unplugged the USB cable the power on the drive would go out. Quirky but I figured as long as it worked who cares.

So last night I spent most of the night transfering my photos on to the new drive. Since I purchased my Canon 5D and shoot in RAW my hard drive space is rapidly disapearing. I have a drive called “scratch” where I keep my unprocessed photos for later processing. I put all of my scratch photos on the LaCie. So far so good. Since it seemed to work I deleted my old scratch drive to use as an actual scratch disk for Photoshop. I have a new 500 gig Seagate drive coming in the mail to me any day so I thought I’d be flying without a net (i.e. without a backup) for only a few days. Super dumb on my part.

This afternoon I came home from work to my dismay to find my “Photograph” labeled LaCie drive not showing up on my PC. And now I can’t get any of my PCs to show the drive using the disk management tool. I couldn’t even reformat it if I wanted to. Of course I’m super bummed to have lost about 2 years worth of unprocessed photographs. These were super important to me and while I can only blame myself for being stupid, it still is awful. I also lost about my last 2 months worth of processed shots although I do have lower res backups on Flickr.

So now not only do I need to send the drive back to LaCie to get yet another replacement but now I need to try and figure out if there isn’t some way to rescue my data on my hard drive and get it back as it represents about 2 years of my every day work. So with the three LaCie drives I’ve worked with now all have been crap, crap, crap. This latest one latest one day. I couldn’t depend on it for the few days that it was taking my Seagate to arrive by mail and now two years worth of my photos are at least temporarily gone.

I curse the day that I ever saw that first LaCie “Big Disk” at CompUSA.

to be continued…

Update: Well after hunting around on the internet for a while tonight I was able to find this. After going through the steps I was able to get my drive back recognized again. I, of course, will spend the rest of the night trying to hobble up a backup until my Seagate arrives in the next few days. These LaCie drives are super frustrating.

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50 comments on “LaCie Drives are Crap, Crap, Crap
  1. Josh L says:

    External Drives are not ment for everyday use. They are back up drives. Its a shame your having such troblie with Lacie Drives, I have heard only good things about them. There are plenty of recovery places online that you can find. Ship the drive to them, and for a price, they will get your data back. Its amazing what they can do now. But you will be happy with your seagate, best drive i have ever owned. I have went through 2 maxtor drives myself, Now I only use seagate, I own the 300gb external model… amazing… I have droped it before, used it as a main drive. works great about a year and a half old now. Good Luck.

  2. Matt says:

    It sounds like the interface is flaky. Frequently, external hard drives are just a regular ATA drive with a USB-to-ATA bridge. If it’s this bridge that’s failing, you might be able to open up the enclosure, remove the drive, and install it in your desktop. It’s worth a shot. Of course, you’ll void your warranty, but do you really want another one?

    KwajKid @ Flickr

  3. Tim says:

    External Drives are not ment for everyday use. They are back up drives.

    What nonsense. 99% of the time they’re just standard hard drives in a caddy with a USB to IDE interface. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be suitable for everyday use. If you find otherwise, then there’s a faulty unit or a design flaw – and not a case of them being ‘only for backups’.

    I have an external Maxtor 250Gb USB2/Firewire drive that is about 18-24 months old that I have connected permanently to my PC and has never given me a minute’s trouble. It gets daily use – usually USB but I have on occasion used the FW interface.

    But you will be happy with your seagate, best drive i have ever owned. I have went through 2 maxtor drives myself, Now I only use seagate, I own the 300gb external model… amazing…

    Well, although I own a 300Gb external Seagate drive too (I use it for storing video on for my MCE PC), and it has performed perfectly so far, it seems I have been very lucky – these Seagate drives have a terrible reputation and failure rate. See the reviews on various sites, e.g. Amazon.com.

    From some comments, it seems like Seagate have rev’d the drive and the new ones are much better, but I’d recommend Thomas do some more research before getting one. As can be seen, some people (like me) are happy with their drives, but others have had a similar experience to Thomas with the LaCie drives :-(.

    One problem with these external drives is when the case is poorly designed, the drive can get too hot (the Freecom ‘Porsche’ drives are a classic example). So as mattyg says, opening up the drive and using a different caddy (you can buy bare caddies with usb/ata interface built in quite cheaply now) or just plugging the drive into your PC internally may be the best solution.

  4. BWJones says:

    I have had horrible luck with Windows (even XP) and external Firewire hard drives. Oftentimes, Windows will even lose USB drives!

    It does take some tinkering, but you can get them to show back up again. Or….. you could just get a Mac. :-)

  5. Jonathan says:

    There are two separate issues here: 1) the HD/USB interface and 2) the reliability of the HD itself.

    I’ve had good luck, several times, buying whatever Maxtor HD was on sale and installing it myself in a cheap enclosure (with Win2K or XP). The one problem that I’ve experienced (which the enclosure mfrs did not document, and it was very frustrating until I learned how to deal with it) was that Windows often failed to recognize a new, unformatted HD in an enclosure, and it was necessary to install the HD in my desktop to format it for the first time. But once I formatted my new HDs and reinstalled them in their external enclosures I had no further problems.

    As for drive reliability, they all fail eventually, so it’s wise to have not just backups but redundant backups.

    Also, I highly recommend the shareware utility XXCopy, which makes it easy to create batch files to copy exactly the files that you want in exactly the way that you want. Makes for quick one-click (or chron-job) copying once you get it set up.

  6. travis says:

    I heard about your misfortune from the consumerist: http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/complaints/hard-drives-should-come-in-two-packs-151956.php

    I have a 160GB USB LaCie drive that recently shit the bed as well. For awhile every time I’d boot I’d have to run scandisk or checkdisk on it to fix its errors. Now the partition is completely missing. After reading your story, it’ll be a long time before I buy anything from LaCie again, especially for hardware purchases at work. :-/

  7. Richard G says:

    Both mine and my friend’s 1TB Bigger Disks have essentially failed on us, with horrid grinding and moaning noises and data almost not retrievable. Luckily he was able to try the “freezer” trick to get most of his data back. I had been slowly moving mine off the drive because my confidence level was falling, and it seems not a minute too soon!

    (Both drives are under 1yr old!)

  8. Ray says:

    I’ve found that the best external drives are simply good internal drives (Maxtor, Hitachi, etc.) placed in an external casing (I’ve used Adaptec casings with no problem). The casings provide much better heat dissipation than the external cases in most “external” drives, and thus drive failure rates are minimal.

  9. I had a problem with a Laclie USB drive when using it through a USB hub. I was getting lots of failures until I plugged the drive directly into a USB port on the PC itself. Worth trying at least.

  10. Mike D says:

    I’ve only used it for music (serving up mp3’s for my Sonos) but I’ve had zero problems using a Buffalo Linkstation NAS device. Have you looked into that option?

  11. SamC says:

    Did you try connecting the drive to a different USB port? Or to another computer?

    Or, did you try a different USB cable?

    There are other things that may cause your machine to not recognize that drive. Having multiple drives go bad would make me very suspicious.

    One dead is a regular lemon. Two makes me suspicious. Three is probably not the drives.

    Also worth noting – my maxtor external drive has a ‘spin-down utility’ which puts the drive into a lower power mode when I’m not using it. It prevents the drive from overheating. (It makes a noticeable difference in temps)

  12. mdm says:

    I have the same drive. Works great with the Mac. Or has, at least, for six months.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another issue with the LaCie’s: the power supplies (and connnectors) suck. Drive issues can sometimes be resolved by relacing the brick and connector cables. Also, DO NOT use LaCie’s crappy USB or FW cables… buy and use good cables!

  14. Mike says:

    I have the converse experience of Maxtor/Seagate to Tim. I’ve had 3 Maxtor external drives all expire more-or-less 6-12 months after being unboxed. Amazon reviews repeat this observation. They were also subject to Delayed Write Failures constantly, regardless of which machine they were hooked up to.

    On the other hand, my Seagate 300GB which travels with me (unlike the stationary Maxtors) has been a fantastic performer and not a whisper of a problem.

  15. bryan "accident" Socha says:

    The Trick to figuring out which models will outlast the others, look at professional video editing requirements on hardware. Avid is always good for this. Lacie is probably the most used external drive in the video word however, theres only a couple models that will take the pounding a video editor will put on them.

  16. bryan "accident" Socha says:

    The Trick to figuring out which models will outlast the others, look at professional video editing requirements on hardware. Avid is always good for this. Lacie is probably the most used external drive in the video word however, theres only a couple models that will take the pounding a video editor will put on them.

  17. Tim says:

    To answer a point Mike made – my Seagate 300Gb drive has actually performed flawlessly – I plugged it into my media PC and put it on a shelf, and that’s pretty much been it in the few months I’ve had it – never a problem.

    The only issue I’m aware of is that the drive spins down after period of inactivity (I don’t use it for recording live TV – only storage of video). So sometimes in MCE, the ‘My Videos’ screen takes a few seconds to refresh as the drive spins up.
    However, I quite like the fact that the drive does this.

    My point was that although I’m perfectly happy with my Seagate drive, a lot of people have had problems (check reviews on most sites, as I mentioned), so caveat emptor.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Im having issues with my 250Gb drive aswell.. One day it works and the next day or after reboot it comes up as Maxtor HD instead of the Lacie drive in device manager but not as a disk under my computer.

    The only workaround ive found out is to uninstall the USB mass storage device and the drive and then try to reconnect/disconnect it a few times and after a few tries it usually comes back.

    I run this on several computers and one thing i have noticed is that the drive hates USB1 but works great on USB2.

    I´ve tried to find some firmware updates or different drivers but no luck there….

    If anyone has any other tips i would gladly have em! =/

  19. Anonymous says:

    MORE LACIE WOES

    I don’t know how old this thread is as the posts aren’t dated but I’ll feel better just getting this off my chest.

    I recently (23rd Feb 2006) purchased a Lacie 205gb Ethernet Disk Mini drive for use as a shareable drive on a small network with a number of PCs all running XP Pro.

    Imagine my surprise on installing the drive and reading the Quick Install Guide to discover (and I quote):

    ‘Using other file systems NTFS(Windows 2000/XP)or HFS/HFS+ (MacOS X) will invalidate the possibility to write files on the drive.’

    So, let me see, this is an XP-compatible network drive but it doesn’t support NTFS!!!

    I mean, NTFS has been around for about a decade now so what is the problem!

    Has anyone else encountered this problem and resolved it?

    I have of course emailed Lacie but predictably no response has been forthcoming.

    Martin

  20. Anonymous says:

    Here is a reply I sent to Lacie February 25th 2006. Regarding their support policy:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    What a crappy way to treat your customers.

    I’m an IT consultant who’s been in the business for 25 years. This particular inquiry was done on behalf of one of my clients. I recommended your product to them, purchased and installed it for them. It worked for about 6 months and died. I did not become aware of this until recently, and started the warranty process. In most cases I would just chalk this up as an experience and move on. I can’t do that on this one. First your product were recommend to me by CD Baby — at one point in time they were using a lot of your products, I’ve not talked with them in some time so I don’t know what kind of experience they are having with your products. This happens to be the third drive in this series (d2 big disk extreme 500mb) that I’ve had fail in the past year! The other two were replaced under warranty after much time and struggle.

    There appears to be an inherent problem with this series of drives?

    I would have been upset if you just told me hey it’s out of warranty, we don’t do out of warranty and let it at that. What fries me is your explanation.

    Even though most drives will work for years beyond the warranty period, hard drives are electronic devices with moving parts and won’t last forever. Most hard drive failure is due to mechanical components wearing out through normal use.

    In today¹s market storage products have become a consumable product and out-of-warranty repair charges are not cost effective. When comparing the cost of shipping a product to us and back to the customer, along with the cost of replacement parts and the labor costs of handling the service and the transaction, with the cost of buying something that is new, the cost of repair would be close to, if not greater than, the cost of a new product with new warranty.

    In some cases, the hard drive mechanism itself is still functioning and the hardware failure lies in the bridge or internal cabling. In these instances, it may be possible to remove the drive mechanism from the case and either install it onto an internal IDE bus of a computer or into another external case. While LaCie does not sell empty cases, you should be able to locate a company on-line or locally that sells external cases. (It may be more cost effective to purchase a new drive than an empty case so you will want to compare prices).

    What a bunch of crap!

    This unit still retails for $429.99 at CompUSA. The least could do is say were sorry – here is a $100 or what ever gift certificate or discount towards the purchase of a new drive. You might even offer to sell me one directly. Instead you tell me we don’t sell cases, go guy one from some else and build your own storage unit. Great idea! The next time I need storage why use Lacie at all – buy a case from someone else, cram drives into it and go. If I do this, using the SAME WD2500JB drives I can pay $14.95 directly to Western Digital and extend my warranty period to three years! The time I expect a component of this type to last.

    I’ve been a big supporter of your products in the past. The next time I need this type of external storage I will do some diligent shopping before I make the recommendation to my clients.

    This all said. The problem with this unit was one of the two WD2500JB drives was fried. I was able to purchase a new WD2500JB from Best Buy for $99. Install it, rebuild the partition, format the drive and everything appears to be working fine. What caused the drive to fail? Could it be excessive heat build up? Based on the discoloration of the IDE cable these units appear to be generating more heat then they can dissipate. Hummmmmmm

    Ok, now you know – I’ve voided the warranty on this unit. You can close this call and be off on your way. I will return the unit to my client, charge them $99 dollars for the repair, tell them that it’s no longer a Lacie drive and everyone will be happy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    GARBAGE!

    I’ve had the 250GB model for less than 6 months, using it as a music and photo storage unit primarily. I probably have it on (wait, HAD it on for 3 hours a day). And the thing craps out this morning. It will not become visible on the desktop of mine, nor my roomate’s computer.

    I can accept losing a bunch of music, I can easily (albeit slowly) re-rip a few hundred cd’s over the next couple months. The pictures sting a bit more, as I have not backed up my disk in a couple months (my fault, I know). I have a special situation where I live about 2 minutes from the Canadian distribution for Lacie Products and will be paying them a visit to see what exactly is up with the D2 series and i will be bringing a printout of this and the coutless other complaints put forth by disatisfied customers all over the internet.

    i will report back with any repairations made…

    as if right?

    Ben.

  22. mixerman says:

    got a d2 500gb . absolutely crap! won’t transfer files from another usb drive onto the lacie!. windows delayed wite error! don’t nuy 1. you have been warned!

  23. Rune says:

    I have 2 big disks.

    one have been running 24/7 for 6 months.

    the other one is uppgraded from 500 to 640 gb.

    I have issues with moving alot of files at once. (more than 100gb).
    It might be the jbod controller being overloaded by windows when moving alot of files. This makes the drives useless for large and easy backups.
    Have anyone tested this under osx?
    I have had better luck with this free util:
    http://ranvik.net/totalcopy/

    other than that i have had no issues.

    Here in Norway you don’t void your warranty when you open the drive. So i can connect the drives to my computer and format and copy files over ata to drives and have a separate partition for each physical drive. drives dont even have to be the same size.

  24. Rune says:

    I have 2 big disks.

    one have been running 24/7 for 6 months.

    the other one is uppgraded from 500 to 640 gb.

    I have issues with moving alot of files at once. (more than 100gb).
    It might be the jbod controller being overloaded by windows when moving alot of files. This makes the drives useless for large and easy backups.
    Have anyone tested this under osx?
    I have had better luck with this free util:
    http://ranvik.net/totalcopy/

    other than that i have had no issues.

    Here in Norway you don’t void your warranty when you open the drive. So i can connect the drives to my computer and format and copy files over ata to drives and have a separate partition for each physical drive. drives dont even have to be the same size.

  25. erg8t says:

    In reading all of these reviews and having experience with failing LaCie drive enclosures, I’d like to figure out where the fault actually lies.

    Is it the harddrive or is it the bridge/power supply in the enclosure.

    Here at the company which I work I purchased four 500gb Triple Interface LaCie drives. In a timely fashion two of the failed right after warranty period. I can’t afford to have our critical data being “futily” backed up. So after this happened I immediately purchased G-Tech G-Raid drives which actually do have a fan inside and a two-year warrranty.

    I’m under the impression that these drives should be able to run continously without even setting “spin-down”.

    Questions I have for the group here: What exactly is failing.. I just tore apart one of the TriInterface drives and so far, one of the 250 works PERFECTLY fine when put in a G4 (aside the fact that it only reads up to 128gb). I have noticed that the drives that failed or sounded like they were failing when I powered them up in the TriInterface LaCie enclosure. It almost sounded like it was struggling to supply the drives syncronously with enough power. Like they were spinnig up multiple times until their needed threshold was reached. I have no had the chance to tear apart the other drive yet. But I just thought I’d throw the question out there.. Is it the DRIVE itself at fault (Western Digital) or is it the encolsure/bridge (LaCie/oxford).

    I seem to think its the enclosure…. thoughts?

  26. Anonymous says:

    I had a problem like yours and spent hours on the net reading about it. The problem was not with the HD itself but with the chipset of the enclosure (firewire in my case). I thought it was the HD and I had the same problem with a new one. Whit the chipset firmware update it all went ok. To recover the files I’ve used GetDataBack. I’ve recovered every single file but it took 5 hours. Good luck! Believe me, I know how you feel! Guilty is stuppid but we feel it anyway!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I own 5 Lacie 500GB drives and love them. Had them for 3 years now, not one problem. If you look inside the drive, which most people don’t , you’ll see they are made by Maxtor. I have found that you need to shut them down when not using them, keep them cool, and don’t move them around alot.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I’m hearing Lacie drives have a “weak bridge” with their external drives. Lots of failures.

    As for my Bigger Disk Extreme Tri-interface 1TB drive… Within a week it started turning my drive format to RAW instead of NTFS whenever I transfered large ammounts of data. It’s just one problem after another with these things.

  29. Anonymous says:

    OMG what a bunch of noobs

  30. Andrew Mykytyn says:

    I had the same problems with my 2 LaCie Extreme drives. A nightmare from day one – formatting errors, lost data (crucial personal and work projects gone forever).
    I thought when I bought them I was getting high quality and was paying a premium for reputation and reliability.
    Will stay well clear of LaCie in the future.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I have had 4 500 G drives. Three have failed in the same way. The first one failed about a year ago. It still mounts but you cannot read data from it. It shows the directory, but clanks and clanks, reading a few KB at a time then goes into a stall mode. I gave it back to my IT guy and got two another. It failed in the same way. Then my second drive from the first purchase failed in the same way.

    I went out and purchased a RAID. I agree that LaCie is crap crap crap.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I have had 4 500 G drives. Three have failed in the same way. The first one failed about a year ago. It still mounts but you cannot read data from it. It shows the directory, but clanks and clanks, reading a few KB at a time then goes into a stall mode. I gave it back to my IT guy and got two another. It failed in the same way. Then my second drive from the first purchase failed in the same way.

    I went out and purchased a RAID. I agree that LaCie is crap crap crap.

  33. Man I am recovering from the same stuff. $899 for a LaCie 1TB “Bigger Disk”.

    Right out of the box, this drive gave me trouble. “Delayed write” failures meant that I could not move large file sets (folders containing ~100 RAW image files) except one at a time, otherwise the file transfer would abort. LaCie technical support was totally unhelpful, blaming the problem on vague system (XP Pro) errors, and offering no solutions at all.

    So I used this expensive drive only as a secondary back-up. When recently it began to make intermittent grinding noises, and when some image files became corrupted, I assumed it had a bad drive sector. A request for support from LaCie yielded this:

    “…we do not offer out of warranty repair. Most hard drive failure is due to mechanical components wearing out through normal use.” They went on to suggest that I might remove the drive, and try installing it in another case…. but they don’t sell empty cases.

    I am very disappointed with this drive.

  34. Man I am recovering from the same stuff. $899 for a LaCie 1TB “Bigger Disk”.

    Right out of the box, this drive gave me trouble. “Delayed write” failures meant that I could not move large file sets (folders containing ~100 RAW image files) except one at a time, otherwise the file transfer would abort. LaCie technical support was totally unhelpful, blaming the problem on vague system (XP Pro) errors, and offering no solutions at all.

    So I used this expensive drive only as a secondary back-up. When recently it began to make intermittent grinding noises, and when some image files became corrupted, I assumed it had a bad drive sector. A request for support from LaCie yielded this:

    “…we do not offer out of warranty repair. Most hard drive failure is due to mechanical components wearing out through normal use.” They went on to suggest that I might remove the drive, and try installing it in another case…. but they don’t sell empty cases.

    I am very disappointed with this drive.

  35. Anonymous says:

    LaCie is LaCrap!!! I have a 500g extreme drive and it has failed in much the same way. Total crap. When I asked support if they had other people calling in with the same problem they said nope! What liars!! I will never buy another LaCrap drive and I can’t believe Apple stores stock them. I bought a WD 1TG drive with a 3 year warranty this time.

  36. Moof! says:

    OK I put my LaCrap drive in the freezer without its case for about 7 minutes and then placed it on a chair (case-less) with a large floor fan blowing on it (high speed) and I got my data off. When I first took the case off you could fry an egg on it!! Seems the heat is part of the problem. Bad design!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I so wish I had run across the thread six months ago. I have spent the better part of 6 months screwing with a LaCie Big Disk and I have nothing to show for it.

    My symptoms are a bit different than other posts so I’ll share. My first Big Disk I immediately tried to plug into my laptop (Thinkpad T23) running Linux. I know they don’t support Linux, but that’s uncommon for any piece of hardware and frequently it still works. So I gave it a go. It didn’t work immediately, but after some troubleshooting and playing around with kernel drivers I was able to get it recognized once. But communication was lost with the device during an attempt to reformat the drive. I was never able to get it to work on any system after that So I was ready to take the blame for that one. An interrupted reformatting of a drive could have done it in.

    So I sent it to LaCie and they sent a replacement (I think they reprogrammed some USB eprom). The second time I first plugged it into a Windows desktop system. And it worked. I could see the drive, everything appeared to be fine. I then tried plugging it into the same laptop. And I got two errors about an over-current draw through the usb port in the system log. Now the LaCie Big Disk is powered from its own power supply, but it does use the power from the computer to sense when to turn on and off. At any rate, the drive was immediately rendered useless for any computer. So now I’m debating about removing the drives and placing them in something else. What a pain in the ass.

  38. Anonymous says:

    What a flop.

    I just took delivery of a 1 Tb big disk this morning. It’s now 11pm and it’s about to be boxed up and sent back.

    It all worked fine to begin with. Then it started rebooting while copying.

    Then it started rebooting while NOT copying too.

    Then it just started not booting.

    Now it won’t even turn on!

    That has to be a record. 14 hours of life from unboxing to dead.

    Well done LaCie

  39. Birdland says:

    I bought 2 500gb Big Disks a while back, and I believe I’ve gone through about 5 total now, between initial store returns and warranty repairs. And one is now failing again. Junk.

    Recently, I bought a Venus T4U 4-bay external USB drive enclosure (which has a fan, you might want to check that idea out LaCie) and put 4 250GB drives in it. So far, it’s working great, though it seems a bit slower than the LaCie FW800 (when the Lacie bothers to actually work, that is).

  40. Anonymous says:

    Lacie SUPPORT is HORRIBLE. Drive life is bad. Here the text from a current trouble ticket with them – see their ATTITUDE – they Don’t give a DAMN.

    Opened: 8/21/07 12:00 AM
    Last Updated: 9/15/07 12:00 AM

    Products

    * 250GB LaCie ETHERNET DISK MINI 10/100 – USA RECON
    Item Number (SKU): 300938UR
    Serial Number: 161080B710

    Problem description:
    250GB E mini disk – power went dead, pwr supply OK
    Robert P.

    Purchased refurb drive 11/20/2006 direct from LaCie. Drive has been running fine but began making noise in the last two months. Noise sounded more like power supply whine than drive whine but I could not be certain.

    Have measured power supply output cable connector and on pins on the circuit board directly at power connector. 5Vdc & 12Vdc appear fine in both places.

    Pressing on/off switch produces no noticable result anywhere (no fan or drive spin, etc.) except that the LED on the power switch board flashes on for a fraction of a second. It does this each time the power button is pushed. That is all that happens.

    Please advise. I am very capable of installing a new main board or any other part myself. Do I need to ship in the drive or can you ship me a part. robert@irpworks.org 806-791-3923

    ——————————————–

    Posted: August 22, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    Hello Robert,

    Thank you for contacting LaCie Tech Support.

    Unfortunately your device is beyond its warranty period and we are unable to repair it. LaCie will repair products through their warranty period but we do not offer out-of-warranty service.

    LaCie does not sell loose components or Empty enclosures.

    Sincerely.
    ———————————————————–

    Robert P.
    Posted: August 22, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    You mean you will sell me a refurb product but will not provide repair services? I did not imply that I expected free warranty repair. Do you not have an obligation to either offer repair or parts for repair? There is no ship-in bench repair available from you? Please advise as this sounds rather impossible after my 24 years in the PC biz.

    Dion

    ——————————————————-
    Posted: August 23, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    Well You bought it in Nov. 2006 had a 3 month warranty. It’s now Aug. 2007. There is nothing else i can do.

    Sincerely.
    ——————————————————

    Robert P.
    Posted: August 23, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    That makes no sense. A Warranty is only a promise of free repair. I am not asking for FREE repair. I find it unbelievable that your firm does not offer repair services for products it sells. How am I to get the data off of the drive? This would be like Ford saying that because the car is out of warranty, you cannot have it repaired. I’ve never heard of such a things.
    —————————————————–
    Dion

    Posted: August 24, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    We do not offer repair outside the warranty, because it is just as expensive as buying a new drive. You can remove the drive out of the enclosure and install in a computer to retrieve data. (Unless it was set to EXT3 instead of FAT32).

    Sincerely.

    LaCie Support
    ——————————————————
    Posted: September 14, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    If your issue was resolved please check the “My question has been answered. (Close)” box and click the “Add Reply” button.

    Unless you post a response, your ticket will be closed one week from today. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Best regards,
    LaCie Technical Support Team
    ——————————————————-
    Robert P.
    Posted: September 15, 2007 @ 12:00 AM
    It HAS NOT been resolved. I am not attempting to read the drive in another machine. It sees the drive but does not recognize it as having been formated. Suggestions?

  41. Carl says:

    Thomas. A client of mine just asked for help on her two 1TB Big Disks. The drive would not mount, nor show up on her mac. I checked the “blocK’ power supply, that was OK. Then opened the case and powered the drives by another supply source, they were OK. Failure was a regulator board in the case. SYmptom was drive not mounting and the blue on button just blinking, blinking.

    ANother item was they used Seagate HDs. Seagate had been having some difficulty also and have posted a firmware updater as a fix.

  42. A. says:

    I have purchased 3 or 4 Lacie Hard Disk extreme drives. ALL of them have died within a year of purchase. ALL. Lacie drives are indeed garbage.

  43. ace says:

    Is there a way to use AC adapter from a different vendor (in my case the lacie ac adapter is faulty and I think that buying a lacie spare part will result in another faulty ac adapter ….).

    Thank in advance.

  44. daemeon says:

    I have had extensive opportunities to evaluate & repair both good & dead external USB & firewire disks. There is a serious problem with La Cie Firewire interfaces (I have now looked into over 30 just since I started asking around). Further, there are only two or three (so I have been told) makers of the firewire chips, most use the same vendors. The problem appears to be worst on PowerMac G5 and iMacs. Interesting to me is that I have not run into anyone yet who has had a failure on a laptop!

    This smells (pun intended) like brownout related power supply problems from the public utility (I have a box of good La Cie power supplies, as well as a few bad ones). I also have a huge pile of iMacs and a couple of G5’s with bad power supplies, am seeing the same problems on PC tower power supplies.

    What is curious is that I (at home) have never had a system fried but I have been using UPS’s on my systems for 20 years! I am curious, do you use a battery backup type UPS? Specifically one that does always-on power conditioning like from APC, Best, or whomever?

    I even wonder if La Cie (or Maxtor or Seagate) even realize that this could be a brownout problem …

  45. poppasmurf says:

    There are two issues with LACIE the ac power supply bricks are usually rubbish and dont last and the bridge board inside the one with connectors from IDE to firewire usb etc.. these also fail.

    My power supply unit broke and this version is now obselete so anyone with an under 320GB drive will have to use the 57Watt one instead of the 26.6Watt or 34Watt it came with… I’ve got a SATA 2,5″ Fujitsu awaiting data transfer before I remove the LaCie drive for good and put it inside my MAC.

    If you have a desktop system then my suggestion is to remove the HDD and connect the IDe drive in there, should work perfectly, as again the bridge boards used can be faulty.
    The hard drive is usually perfect as they are not made by Lacie all LaCie do is repackage other manufacturers hard drives.

    So two things LaCie can improve on product testing and customer service at least get a helper that knows what they are talking about.

  46. poppasmurf says:

    Hi again if my terminolgy above post is incorrect then im sorry.

    But I do (think I) know what im doing. :-)

  47. Trinzini says:

    I, like many others, have had a 500G LaCie USB drive go bad 3 times. Out of the box it was unreliable. Sometimes seen most times not. LaCie blamed power supply – replaced under warranty. Still same problem. Sent in and replaced the Seagate drive with a Fujitsu. Worked for a while. Very few on time hours as I use it at client’s to transfer data. Two days ago, worked fine – today can’t be seen on any of my machines.

    I have many clients who have had the unpleasant experience of purchasing LaCie drives and ALL have failed. ALL within warranty and many more than once!

    I had numerous e-mail exchanges with high ups at LaCie and they just don’t get it. Their attitude toward customer service from top down seems to be that of not giving a damn. The Canadian President quoted all these stats showing theirs are top quality, low failure rate products. I countered with my disappointment with the state of the industry if his stats are true and with my ‘man on the street’ experience, to no avail.

    I have since purchased an external USB (SATA) enclosure from NexStar-3 (Vantec) and transfered the 500G drive into it and reformatted and have no problems.

    I also have an older NexStar-3 USB (IDE) enclosure that I use for reclaiming data from drives and I move drives in and out of it all the time – never a problem

    So, LaCie, get with it, listen to what your one-time, no-repeat customers are telling you and put some form of quality control in place or eventually (hopefully) you’ll go out of business.

    My personal view, If you can’t put out a quality product, don’t put one out at all! Save us the trouble.

    Fred

  48. Trinzini says:

    Further to my previous post, I also have a small USB enclosure from Daiwoo, no less, that I picked up from a local surplus jobber for $13. (Leatherette case included) I put an old IDE Laptop drive in it and it has been working flawlessly for 2 or 3 years. Very small, takes power from 2 USB ports if needed with a special cable or can connect an external p/s to it. Can be seen and works flawlessly on EVERY machine I have tried it on.

    Point being, if a cheap basically no-name enclosure can work so well, what’s LaCie’s problem???

    One of my clients has a drawer full and a shelf full of LaCie drives of various types and sizes – ALL dead for one reason or another. They are an advertising agency and store lots of artwork etc. They have sworn to NEVER use LaCie products again!

    As I said, LaCie, your internal stats CAN say, and I imagine DO say whatever you want them to, but the real world experience on the street indicates something very different.

    The others posting here are not wrong. They are also correct in that if out of warranty, forget LaCie, just take the drives out (assuming they’re still OK) and put them in a new enclosure, or internally in a computer, format them and the drives will be fine.

    That’s my rant. Enjoy

    Fred

  49. Omer says:

    My 500 Gb Lacie just died on me. My i-Mac does not recognize it anymore. I was using it as back-up drive (Time Machine) now I have started to use another one but having the security of a time machine for older files I might have deleted is now gone :o( Lacie is really crap ! I will never ever buy another one and I recommend others not to do the same mistake as I….

  50. KENTON STUDIOS says:

    YES. My RAID QUADRA was a total disappointment. NEVER AGAIN will I buy LACIE. 3 TIMES in 2 years, I loose everything. This time in a RAID 5 format, 1 drive goes faulty… simply stick in a new drive and it is find and should reformat to keep all files in tact. NOPE. They had cheap HITACHI’s installed and sent new drive but they way things are set up if it is not the exact same make and model… you loose everything. SO again. My stuff is toast. After $100 of shipping the console 2x and 2x for chords and harddrives… what a waste. MAC STATION shame on your for selling it! Apple… why do you promote it?