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500GB Lacie crash, looking for controller


My 500GB Lacie external harddrive crashed. I know, I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place, but that was at a time before lightstalkers…
I got most of the stuff backed up on DVD, but I’d still like to try to recover it. I read the various posts here on LS on the topic, which was very helpful.
The 500 GB thing has two 250GB harddrives in, which is my problem. They both seem to be fine, I connected them to another external harddrive unit, which normally only has one harddrive in it and they are running, but not showing up on the desktop. Disk Untilities can find them.
So I guess I need something like a controller that can combine both harddrives again. "Because they think they are one."

I was wandering if anybody has a controller or another 500GB Lacie that I could borrow.



by [a former member] at 2005-10-22 21:17:15 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) New York , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→


call lacie asap… maybe there’s some way for Disk Utilities to rebuild the RAID array without having to get a new controller. Are you sure that what failed is the raid controller board, or could it just be one of the Firewire interfaces ?

another thing you can do is get the part number, and take things from there. I know that LaCie used an OEM design for their RAID5 unit, and i’d be surprised that they aren’t doing the same for their controller boards. People like FW depot should know, and would likely be able to send you a replacement card.

If all else fails, i know someone with one here, and i’ll be happy to back your stuff up to floppy…

I’d also suggest that you don’t dink around too much with the drives, as disk "repair" utilities might try to attempt to repair the FAT for you, which isn’t something you want if you’ve got half an array hooked up…

tangential, but are you coming to Milan for the reGeneration opening ?

by [former member] | 23 Oct 2005 00:10 | Lausanne, Switzerland | | Report spam→
I know the feeling Christoph. I had the same prob with a 200gb lacie. Took it to the Apple store where I bought it and they managed to get a good bit back. Today that very same HD sits in a drawer. Scary to think you have all that info on it and it could crash at any time. Best of luck! -ken

by Ken Cedeno | 25 Oct 2005 15:10 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
RAID drives are great for performance but a RAID 0 array (where 2 drives are combined in the manner of your lacie drive) are notoriously unreliable and it’s surprising that lacie have gone down this route in the construction of their drive. I run 2 200GB as a single 400GB array on my PC but I also have 2 more identical drives backing them up.
What has most likely happened to you is that one of the drives has gone down or your controller has died. If the data is that important to you then send it to someone like vogon data recovery and they will recover the data for you but it’ll cost you a couple of hunded quid.
If you are going to try and save it yourself by getting a new controller then try and remember the array settings (chunk size / space used / were they bootable) as you’ll need to put these back in at some stage and if you get one wrong…. no data!

As for your current problem – its good that they don’t show up on the desktop as a drive will only show on the desktop when it has been recognised by the system as an operational, single drive. To achieve this you would need to delete the file allocation tables and repartition and reformat the drive. This woul obviously totally destroy the RAID.
What you really want is an identical lacie controller to plug them back into. Contact lacie and see if they can help.

by sam furlong | 26 Oct 2005 23:10 | Worcester, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Having a similar promlem with my 400GB LaCie myself…
LaCie said: “a flashing blue light usually indicates a failed ahrd drive mechanism…”
Not sure what excatly that means. Looking for an identical LaCie enclosure to put the two drives in…maybe that will work?…Data Recovery just too expensive.

by Patrick Cavan Brown | 27 Oct 2005 08:10 | | Report spam→
Thanks everybody for the good advice.
In the meantime I bought a new Lacie 500GB harddrive, put the broken harddrives into it and was able to recover some of the files with Data Rescue II.
Tekserve wanted 2,800 Dollar to rescue the data.
I was lucky and had almost all the data on DVD anyway. But I was able to recover the file structure, so at least I know exactly what was on the drive. The drives don’t have structural damage. It seems it was some kind of corrupted data or something, what do I know…

I was also lucky that the new 500GB Lacie harddrive had two nice Hitachi 250GB harddrives in it. The old one had crapy Western Digitals. These I put in two seperate harddrive shells from OWC. The old one that were broken I reformatted and left them in the bloody Lacie shell. I will use it maybe to make additional backups. Like the backup of the backup of the backup.

I can recommend OWC. (Other World Computing, http://www.macsales.com/)
I bought an additional 500GB Harddrive there and assembled everything myself. It’s very easy. I also bought a couple of 80GB portable ones for on the road a while ago.
No Lacie any more for me.

Back to work.


by [former member] | 31 Oct 2005 19:10 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
No kidding? It actually worked? That is fantastic…how much data were you actually able to retrieve? Anything other than just the file structure? Were there some files that you couldn’t retrieve? Sorry for all the questions…but you have gotten my hopes up a bit.


by Patrick Cavan Brown | 31 Oct 2005 20:10 | | Report spam→
I was able to recover some data. But most of it was lost or damaged. Lots of pictures with funny green and pink lines in it….
So, I am sorry to destroy all your hopes. I am not an external Harddrive magician either…

But generally, if there is no structural damage to the drive, like strange sounds or something, it is always a good idea to put the drive into a different harddrive shell. Sometimes it is just a power surge and the harddrive itself is fine. That wasn’t the case for me though. My drive was physically fine, but the data was damaged.

Check out the other postings on this site concerning external harddrives. It’s quite entertaining…


by [former member] | 31 Oct 2005 22:10 | New York, United States | | Report spam→

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Ken Cedeno, Photographer Ken Cedeno
Washington Dc , United States
sam furlong, sam furlong
Brictol , United Kingdom
Patrick Cavan Brown, Documentary Photographer Patrick Cavan Brown
Documentary Photographer
Austin, Texas , United States


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