Lacie External hard drive re-connection problem

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Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Ho folks,

Normal procedure (2+ years):
Turn on Windows XP PC and lacie external hard drive powers up automatically and can be seen as 'X' Drive via explorer.

Intermittent problem procedure.
Sometimes lacie external hard drive powers up automatically, but explorer doesn't display the 'X' drive.
Instead it shows 'Local Disk (J)'.
'J' is next unused letter as A-I are used.

If I click on 'J' drive in explorer to see drive contents, I receive a message 'Incorect parameter'.

I can sometimes resolve this by turning off the lacie, removing the 6-pin firewire cable from pc, re-insert it.
This automatically turns lacie on and usually 'refreshes' the explorer window to show the 'X' drive.

This problem is now happening more frequently.

I don't think it's the firewire cable as it is only a problem when I turn on pc.
Lacie shows in the device manager and says it is working properly at same time as non-reposive 'J' drive shows.
This afternoon it is being obstinate and connected after about 7th time of turning lacie off(pause) on.
Any ideas/suggestions?

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

We had a pair of LaCie firewire drives that played up like this - here's what I did.........

Find the drive in device manager, choose un-install (or remove).

Then right click in device manager and choose scan for hardware changes.

I've still got the drives but don't use them much since adding a few TB of network storage to move projects onto.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Thank-you Gavin.
I will try that next time it happens.
Still can't fathom why same pc simulataneously reports a problem in one interface/window and 'all ok' in another.

>I've still got the drives but don't use them much since adding a few TB of network storage to move projects onto.

I also use it less now as I use hard drives in Icy boxes to migrate projects to.
I still use the external hard drive for exporting final productions to (just the avi), as backup copy in case the project and it's constituent files should be a problem.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

It's happened again - tried your fix Gavin, to no avail.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi folks,

In case Lacie gets worse, I have decided to back up to my internal Icy box as I have spare carrier and drive (new/unused).
I replaced the Icy box carrier in use with the spare, turn the key to lock, lights up and makes whirring noises and can be seen in device manager(says working ok), but drive does not appear in explorer.
I don't recall a need to format disk (I installed the first 8 months ago).
Is there something else I need to do for a new/empty drive?

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Traced it now.
Computer management/disk management showed drive as unallocated.
Wizard to partition it contains option to format it.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

I have a 250GB external La Cie, connected by firewire.
Sometimes it is not obtainable at all and doesn't show in explorer.
This is usually when the computer has been used for a long period.
Sometimes it is not possible to boot the computer at all unless the LaCie is switched off.
At first boot the next day all may be normal.

Les

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi Les,

I had 250GB external for several years - it turned on/off and showed in explorer automatically no problem.
I had similar symptoms - dropping out from being shown in explorer, though still showing on system via control panel.
Sometimes a reboot or connecting to different firewire socket would cure it.. but seemed to get worse/more persistant lost connections.
I used a 'good' moment to copy all data to another drive.
I've since switched to using internal drives within ICYBOX caddies - lower cost and hopefully more reliable.
I am assuming your Lacie is outside g'tee period - didn't help me, but I tried switching firewire cables (both 4 wire and 6 wire).

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Tried switching cables - Yes.
Less than a year old.
It hasn't caused trouble recently - and it hasn't been required recently.
How can I complain?
The supplier maintains something wrong with the computer - but that's no trouble without, or when La Cie is working.
Just write off to experience.

Les

Gavin Gration
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Joined: Jul 29 1999

I bought a job lot of USB2.0 500GB LaCie big discs recently.

All were customer returns from Staples at a bargain price.

The internal controller hangs in a state of limbo - the drive appears dead (to windows) and the blue lamp flashes repeatedly - I can't remember the exact error message but here's the fix.

Disconnect USB2.0 cable & drive PSU from mains.
Connect to mains and power up unit using blue button.
Wait for blue lamp to stop flashing.
With PC running connect USB cable.

If you try to reconnect in any other manner the drive remains in it's veggie like state and doesn't work.

I can't work out why they do this - most were like this when I first connected them - I've only had to reset a couple of them over last few months of daily use.

I know these are USB2.0 units but the gizzards may be similar - worth a try for your firewire drive.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Having said yesterday "No trouble with La Cie recently" Today.....
Start computer in the normal way. Try La Cie - unobtainable.
La Cie switched off before boot up. All works correctly. Switch on La Cie - not recognised.
Try this. - Start computer with La Cie switching on. That takes 1min 35 sec.
at 2min 55 sec, - "windows starting up" text
at 5min 42 sec. - "Welcome"
at 6min 38 sec, - Desktop displays.
50sec later - "Welcome to La Cie backup software" notice. That last one minute.
La Cie is still unusable. Clicking La Cie brings the 'hour glass' icon.
Nothing can be used. Shutdown is impossible.

Les

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005
LesWinn wrote:
Tried switching cables - Yes.
Less than a year old.
It hasn't caused trouble recently - and it hasn't been required recently.
How can I complain?
The supplier maintains something wrong with the computer - but that's no trouble without, or when La Cie is working.
Just write off to experience.

(After copying data on lacie) pass to mate with pc with same o/s (if current locking up isn't too hazardous).
Then you can tell Lacie it's tested duff on 2 pc's.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

This BBC link is liable to change over time.. should point to
'Testing the limits of hard disk recovery '
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6677235.stm
Not directly relevant to Les, but of passing interest.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Computer, with La Cie, has not been used for six hours.
Boot up. All works correctly.
lacie.com - download and install the latest drivers. 3.09MB. (February 2007).
Reboot after installation. Message - "A drive needs checking for consistancy" - (La Cie is mentioned) - several pages of text and figures follow.
This message has displayed previously, but not every time.
Now wait and see!

Les

nash
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Joined: Nov 20 2003

I downloaded the latest drivers from the Lacie site as I was having the same issues as described here. Now appears to be working A ok! he drives were crashing every 10 - 15 minutes but since the download not one crash.

thanks chaps (es).

Regards........Neil

Neil Ashcroft
Fastroc is Media in Motion
http://www.fastroc.co.uk
[EMAIL=info@fastroc.co.uk]info@fastroc.co.uk[/EMAIL]

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi Neil,
Optimistically I tried the download for the Lacie I now regard as redundant.
Still NBG - though even if it worked I be nervous about relying on it.

Stephen Carter
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Joined: Nov 18 1999

Had the same problem with external cheapo ebuyer caddies. Everything seemed OK when new but have got progressively more 'iffy' trying to find drive letters.
Decided to go for esata drives. Not a very auspicious start with connection leads but we will wait and see.

Stephen Carter
www.seraphmedia.org.uk

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002
Gavin Gration wrote:
...the drive appears dead (to windows) and the blue lamp flashes repeatedly - I can't remember the exact error message but here's the fix.
Disconnect USB2.0 cable & drive PSU from mains.
Connect to mains and power up unit using blue button.
Wait for blue lamp to stop flashing.
With PC running connect USB cable.
If you try to reconnect in any other manner the drive remains in it's veggie like state and doesn't work.
I can't work out why they do this...

Hi
I've got one, and its done this with Mac OS X, exactly the same. Mine came back of its own accord after a month - I may have inadvertantly done your fix ;)
Anyway thanks for the detective work if it happens again.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
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Joined: May 3 1999

They don't all do it, mine doesn't (yet).

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Stephen Carter
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Joined: Nov 18 1999

You have to be a bit careful plugging in USB and Firewire devices connected to an external power supply. If you plug in the power first you get a voltage appearing on the shield of the connector. As you push the connector into the socket you can get a spark which can be enough to blow up sensitive CMOS devoces. Motto. Plug in the data cable before connecting the power.

Stephen Carter
www.seraphmedia.org.uk

colinb
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

I've had a Lacie 500GB USB drive for the last couple of months and have not had any problems with it. Mine has an orange light. not blue, so perhaps a slightly different model.

The only gripe is that the USB cable is too short. I can't even rest the drive on top of my full height tower case as the cable won't reach.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
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Joined: May 3 1999

USB2 cables up to 2m long are available in all decent computing shops.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Having a clearout and no point in keeping a Lacie 300gb drive that doesn't work.

It's a shame/not very green to bin and I have/had data on there that I wouldn't want to get into the public domain.

My options are:
i) Take to local, believed reputable pc recycle place, for reformatting/ re-use.
ii) destroy with extreme violence
iii) remove drives for data backup (knowing it may be unreliable)

Inside it's 2 * Maxtor 150gb ATA drives.

In my icy box caddy I always use SATA drives.

I am ignorant to the significance of this.
Can I try to use these ATA drives in my caddy, which I normally use with SATA?
Will I need to reformat or do anything special to them after removing from Lacie casing?
(had it several years so well outside g'tee period).

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
I buy LaCie boxes like this off eBay - with or without the drives inside. The Mac OS X's diagnostic tools make recovery of the drive's contents relatively easy if formatted the Mac way (unless the drive has failed entirely).
So I will happily make a contribution to receive it ;)
And guarantee to totally erase any data thereon should you include the drives (the reformatting to Mac OS is one part of that process).

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Paul, PM sent.