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La Cie external drive failure
November 2, 2008 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Mac, Leopard, La Cie external hard disk drive spins but does not mount. What's my best option for getting data off this drive?

I've got an external La Cie drive that won't mount. I've tried 3 of the 4 interfaces (USB 2.0, FW400, FW800) but cannot get this disk to mount. What are my best options for getting this data before retiring this drive?
posted by gen to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
How have you tried to mount it? Have you tried File | Mount inside the the Disk Utilities utility?
posted by Manhasset at 5:42 PM on November 2, 2008


Yes, try mounting with Disk Utility. If the drive shows up but won't mount, you might try Data Rescue II.

If it does not show up in Disk Utility, the next option would be removing the drive mechanism from the LaCie case and trying it in another enclosure, if you feel comfortable doing this.

I have also had excellent experience dealing with LaCie directly on repair/replacement. If all else fails and the data is crucial, look no further than DriveSavers.
posted by dickyvibe at 5:54 PM on November 2, 2008


Stupid, but have you tried powering the drive off and restarting your Mac?
posted by nathan_teske at 5:58 PM on November 2, 2008


Try removing the drive from the enclosure and putting it into another. This has worked for me a few times.
posted by chillmost at 6:09 PM on November 2, 2008


I had a weird thing with my external USB2 drive -- a single USB port couldn't power it sufficiently for it to mount, but it had a weird cable with 2 thingies and plugging in both of them resulted in the drive mounting.
posted by troy at 6:11 PM on November 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


You'll also want to make sure the problem is not the power supply. I've had what I thought was drive failure (with symptoms just like you describe) turn out to be a bad power supply. A new power supply is less than $20 from LaCie (you can order it through their website).
posted by al_fresco at 6:13 PM on November 2, 2008


Make sure you have run all maintenance scripts and reboot before trying anything else permissions to mounted drives can become fragmented and keep them from mounting.

Putting the drive into another enclosure will at least tell you if the drive can mount at all.

let us know.

Henry
posted by silsurf at 6:19 PM on November 2, 2008


I had what troy had - just this morning, in fact, with a borrowed drive. I thought I'd killed it because it wouldn't mount and kept going click kerclack instead. Plugging both USB plugs in made it work. I imagine hooking up its optional power brick would have done the same, had I had access to it.
posted by flabdablet at 6:21 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had the same thing happen approx a year ago with a LaCie external drive. It wasn't working so I took the drive out and shoved it in a computer. Still didn't mount. Put it all back together, including the warranty stickers and got a return label and it was repaired in a couple weeks. Yippee for warranties.
posted by DJWeezy at 6:24 PM on November 2, 2008


What model is it? Some of Lacie's drives have two physical disks in them that are striped together (aka RAID 0) for greater capacity. The major drawback of this configuration is that your chances of losing data are higher than with a single bigger drive.
posted by pmbuko at 6:29 PM on November 2, 2008


How have you tried to mount it? Have you tried File | Mount inside the the Disk Utilities utility?

Unfortunately, it won't show in DU to mount.

Stupid, but have you tried powering the drive off and restarting your Mac?

Yes, both the external drive and my Mac.

I think I'll try removing the drive and trying it in another enclosure first. Then I'll try Data Rescue II.

I'll report back. Thank you everyone.
posted by gen at 8:36 PM on November 2, 2008


I had moderate success getting data off of my external drive with Stellar Phoenix. Some of the data was corrupted, but the structure of the disk was intact. As I recall, the failure of this disk was a direct result of me not taking the 10 seconds to dismount the drive before I yanked it out of the USB port. YMMV.
posted by squorch at 8:38 PM on November 2, 2008


Bad news the drive itself could be no good.

Good news there is a chance that it's the interface in the enclosure. I've had a lot of luck opening enclosures and using a SATA/IDE to USB converter (from Amazon.) The directions are lacking for a standard 2.5 IDE try without power attached first.

Note, I've only used this with windows (ME, XP and Vista) and linux (circa 2006 OS)

Good Luck
posted by RobGF at 9:30 PM on November 2, 2008


Perhaps before you try Data Rescue II (which saved my bacon once or twice a while back, but is a major pain to work with, as it returned all of my files with a near-useless numerical designation instead of their actual names), I'd recommend trying SpinRite. It's a PC-only app (there's supposedly a hack to make it work on a Mac under VMware, but I've never gotten it to work right), but it's definitely worth searching out a friend/colleague with a PC to try it. It can take a while to go through the disk, but once it does, more than once I've seen full-on "disk works fine now" miraculous-style recoveries with SR.
posted by mboszko at 10:03 PM on November 2, 2008


It can take a while to go through the disk, but once it does, more than once I've seen full-on "disk works fine now" miraculous-style recoveries with SR.

Aha, great advice. I've got a Vista partition on Bootcamp here so I'll try SpinRite then.
posted by gen at 11:09 PM on November 2, 2008


i had the same setup and same problem. it was the power supply which had died. i called lacie, and they sent me a new one, free. turns out it happens a lot.
posted by prophetsearcher at 1:04 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


(to be clear, the power supply doesn't totally die, it just stops providing enough power to get the drive to actually mount. it just spins pathetically).
posted by prophetsearcher at 1:05 AM on November 3, 2008


I've had success mounting an otherwise dead disk using DiskWarrior. Recovered a large amount of data from an otherwise unbootable, trashed disk. If you can get a copy it might be worth a try.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2008


Thirding power supply. I had a similar problem two weeks ago with an external LaCie drive. I posted on their support forums and since my drive was under warranty, they overnighted me a new power supply. Quick and easy.
posted by rglasmann at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2008


I'm contacting LaCie and asking them for a new power supply first before I do anything else. Will report back when I have more news.
posted by gen at 6:25 AM on November 4, 2008


Reporting back: it was the power supply as described above. I took the chance to order a new power supply and it's back working! I am going to back it up asap...
posted by gen at 1:59 PM on November 20, 2008


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