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Lacie Porsche Portable Hard Drive Review

For the record, the Lacie Porsche 250 GB hard drive is something I do not recommend. My unit failed within a year. Even after reformatting it failed again. I know hard drives fail, that’s not why I am upset. I’m upset because Lacie requires that the drive have a mechanical failure before they’ll replace it. Apparently the drive corrupting data and becoming inaccessible doesn’t qualify.

Lacie will not look at it, and somehow diagnosed that mine is operational over the phone (how brilliant) and pointed to a one-year warranty which has just passed. I won’t be buying Lacie again.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

74 replies on “Lacie Porsche Portable Hard Drive Review”

Just bought a 500gb yesterday with a samsung drive in it. Moved 100GB last night and today; Drive: L\ is inaccessible. Tried it in 2 other computers, same deal. Glad it died now and not after the 14day no questions asked return period is over. Glad I also read this. Going to get an external enclosure instead I think.

Right….

Bought a Lacie (Seagate) 2TB Extreme in September. Transfered my 13000 images of family etc over to it. Happily running along until Friday this week when I saw a error message write failure to j: drive (yes the Lacie).

So I turned everything off and on again, and the drive stared whirring and clicking. And now NOTHING!!! have all my families photos on there and only backups from a year ago! (yes I hear everyone shouting… but but but… my fault!).

The question I now have is I think it’s the disk motherboard/ controller and possibly the power supply thats screwed this up as my pc recognises the 4 individual hard drives if I put them into the PC (although they are dynamic and wanted me to convert them!!! eeek). ANyway I want to know can I take the hard drives (one by one) and put them into a enclosure, connect via udb/ firewire and take the files of each of the hard drives until they are empty?

Am I being thick?

HELP!

D Owen

Re: the following comment:

“I did not keep my Lacie 500 GB Porsche Drive on 24-7. All I did was plug it into a usb and the lacie power cable, I press the power button, light starts to flicker…I wait, nothing loads. I check out the drive, light is no longer on. I press the power button on again, nothing. Then it starts smelling everywhere, like something just fried. I look for the source…figure it might be the hard drive since it was acting up – yup, my hard drive is fried. RIP Lacie 500 GB Porsche.”

Describes my situation exactly. I’m going to try to put the drive into another enclosure and see how it fares.

I have used my 250 gig FW Porcshe design for about 3 years on 24/7 for recording via Logic on an older Mac G4 without any problems whatsoever…. until yesterday, when the drive started making a LOT of loud spinning noise, and now will not mount at all. My Disk utilities “sees” it, but can’t/won’t mount it. Luckily, I have backed up to DVD mid summer, so I only lose a few tweaks and maybe one whole song that I can easily redo. I have an empty usb case, so tomorrow, I’ll pop the Porche case and put the drive in the usb case, and HOPE it mounts. IF so, I’ll buy a new FW case and move on. If not, I MAY go to a local guy that recovers data and hope he can get back what I’ve lost. Before I bought this drive a few years ago, I did do some research, and all I found was favorable.

I’d always heard to stay away from Western Digital, but MANY here have commented they are a good brand. Other than the LaCie, I have 2 Seagate internals that have never given me a problem, at all (knock on silicon!). If my endeavors are successful, I’ll report back.

I have used my 250 gig FW Porcshe design for about 3 years on 24/7 for recording via Logic on an older Mac G4 without any problems whatsoever…. until yesterday, when the drive started making a LOT of loud spinning noise, and now will not mount at all. My Disk utilities “sees” it, but can’t/won’t mount it. Luckily, I have backed up to DVD mid summer, so I only lose a few tweaks and maybe one whole song that I can easily redo. I have an empty usb case, so tomorrow, I’ll pop the Porsche case and put the drive in the usb case, and HOPE it mounts. IF so, I’ll buy a new FW case and move on. If not, I MAY go to a local guy that recovers data and hope he can get back what I’ve lost. Before I bought this drive a few years ago, I did do some research, and all I found was favorable.

I’d always heard to stay away from Western Digital, but MANY here have commented they are a good brand. Other than the LaCie, I have 2 Seagate internals that have never given me a problem, at all (knock on silicon!). If my endeavors are successful, I’ll report back.

After a macbook problem, the store adviced me a clean re-install of osX.
So i went to a shop to buy the Lacie 500 gb Porsche to have a backup of all my data.
Guess what, 2 days later, before i could transfer all my data back, it fails to be detected.
The drive spins, the orange LED is on, but both macbook and my pc fail to detect the storage device.

*sigh*

I am in film school and my Editing class requires that I have an external hard drive. “Good,” I thought, thinking about the Lacie Porsche drive 320 I had received for Christmas. That is, until my teacher mentioned that the Lacie Porsche drives make great door-stoppers. Apparently her TV station bought about a dozen and most of them died, some after a few months. I guess I should get a new drive before I loose all my data on my current one.

My Lacie 500gb external drive recently changed the color of the status led into yellow from orange and refused to start properly and show up in my Windows. I’m definetily not buying Lacie ever again.

However, I decided to not give up. About 50 HDD shutdowns and restarts later I managed to get the hdd to start properly! Don’t know why but the sound was suddenly different and it just started. I backed up about 50 dvd’s worth of data from it and it ran nicely for about 24 hours and then failed again and now it shows the yellow light again and doesn’t start properly.

My point being, if your Lacie refuses to start and changes the led color to yellow from orange, keep restarting it and if you are in any luck that piece of crap will eventually start one more time and you will be able to back up your data!

hello, i have or had a 160gb F.A porsche drive Lacie, Firewire which i bought in may of 2005. This month Feb 2008 i went to get some stuff out of it and it was definetely dead. Neither my mac or pc woudl recognize it ( i was running it on my pc via macddrive) it was mac formatted to begin with. But anyways, needless to say it just makes clicking sound and then it stops.
I believe i left it on for too long without switching the power button off in the back. ( so yes its probably my fault) Before I always unplugged it – i am just pissed they dont’ make them to shut off after the actual computer they are connected to are off themselves. 🙁 now im just researching to see if i can get my pictures and portfolio without a hefty fee to retrieve if it could actually be retrieve. I use to love my Lacie – since it lasted for a while.. but now my reliable back up is no longer reliable – Lacies response is i should have had another backup 🙁 i think next time i will have dvds backups.. as well. vs another harddrive . Any suggestions. thanks.. will be appreciated

You can’t leave a harddrive on for too long – it’s supposed to work 24/7 if needed.

And my suggestion is to keep restarting the device, as chances are it will eventually start up properly again once more. I know mine did but the process did require patience.

I want my new 500GB Porsche to turn off and on with my main system power switch. Can I jump the internal switch to do this? Am I better off buying another enclosure for the hard drive? It sounds to me from the comments that the enclosure may be the problem half of the time anyway.

hi, since about a year back i’m the owner of a 500gb porche drive, which hasn’t failed me yet. i’ve been carrying it around, mounting it to different platforms, gone from cold environments to warm – all without a problem. maybe i’m just lucky.

by the comments here (and forums elswhere) i figure it’s however time to back my stuff up before i’m as unlucky as some of you. sorry for your data losses. it’s a real bitch.

anyhow, i’m thinking, those of you that have experienced corrupt drives and such, have you been careful enough to unmount/eject the drive (ie, using safely remove hardware etc) when you’ve disconnected it?

i’m wondering because i’m curious how much it matters in terms of life length of the unit. i myself am pretty anal about unmounting, just because i too have had bad experiences before. but maybe it’s just a matter of bad luck, and not at all related to this precautionary matter.

thanks.

patrik

Hey All. I have a LaCie Porsche 500Gb External HDD and it’s awesome. Many of you have cried about the drive and praised WD, Seagate, Maxtor and others. I think it’s all a game of chance. The bigger HDDs get, the more they’ll fail and if you keep you “life” on a HDD exclusivly, and it fails, then you are an idiot. Back up your data and protect yourself. My LaCie is working great and it’s all the U.S. Marine Corps buys for it’s video editing systems so that should tell you something… (not the lowest bidder crap either). I’m wondering how much of these failures are user error. Any thoughts?

Rob, people expect the LaCie Porsche to work reliably for a long time but that’s not always the case. Why should it be a game of chance ? You call us stupid because we trust LaCie then you recommend them yourself on the ground that the U.S. Marine Corps is one of their best customers. What kind of reasoning is that ?

You advise us to backup our data; guess what : that’s why we bought a LaCie Porsche. Are you suggesting that for each 500 GB external hard drive that we possess, we should carry around 125 DVDs ?

When most of us buy an external hard disk, we read its manual, plug it in the computer, turn it on and start using it right away. If that’s what you call “user error”, then please tell us how you use yours.

To the other wise guys, we have peripherals that are left on 24/7 (scanners, printers, webcams, faxes, external dvd burners, …) yet they don’t fail after a year. So, stop patronizing us.

If the LaCie Porsche were such a great product, there wouldn’t be so many complaints about it.

Almost a year after I bought it, and therefore just out of guarantee my LaCie Porshe is no more.
The orange light would come on and the drive would spin up, but no PC I’ve plugged it into would even recognize it. Tried different power supply, tried different USB lead. Nothing.

No clicking sound, the drive sounded as if it was running normally, so I bit the bullet and opened up the casing and pulled out the drive. Turns out it’s a seagate inside, plugged it directly into mc PC and whaddya know? it works fine.

It would seem from my experience and a few others here it Lacies circuit board that can sometimes be the weakest link, when all else fails it could be worth trying my steps.

Yeah man,those lacie drives are useless,i use a macbook running digital performer and was using the lacie 250gb firewire drive to save my audio files and digital performer projects.After a year of use it has started to play up,digital performer can’t open any projects and i keep on getting error messages which pisses me off no end,and to add insult to injury i can’t even record into digital performer because of this.At the time i brought the lacie i had just refurbished my music studio so i could only afford one drive,more fool me now i have lost everything and i am having to look at getting two replacement drives.It seems that most of the competition is no better and it is a lottery where external hard drives are concerned.My whole studio was held together by a thin strand of string and that was the lacie hardrive.Do yourselves a favour and buy three hardrives as a precaution.

I am a solid mac junky (since the 80s). Lacie was their partner in external drives for years. I have an older Porsche 160gb and it has stood through the ages and is EXCELLENT. I have dropped it so many times….yes…nothing has ever hurt it. I carry it in my school bag as backup for my laptop. Last week I bought a second Lacie Porsche that was on sale (discontinued 320gb 7200rpm model). It is exactly the same box with the exact same power supply. This drive mad NOISE! My first one is 100% silent. This new one is only quiet when doing nothing. When you write to the drive there is a constant chucking noise. We read many posts then they said that it was an issue with the power supplies, so we called lacie (on hold 30minutes before talking to anyone EVERY time we called). They said they would send one in 2 days, so we could get it and try that before deciding to return it. It has been two weeks now and nothing has arrived. We called today (last day to return the drive) and were told they were still waiting for new power supplies POOR SERVICE! They said to keep it and they would replace it if it has trouble after getting the new wire but we read hundred of posts from others that lacie will not replace the drive unless it fails–not for being unreliable or noisy. Then I used my brain…duh…I swapped out the cord with the one on our older drive (EXACT SAME CORD). The noise persisted! The cord was not the problem. It is clearly the drive. So I looked at which drive was in it. I had read that they were using Seagate 320gb drives (a model with a 5 year warrantee. This was not what I got! inside the 320GB is a Hitachi HDT725032VLAT80. I looked up reviews on this drive and they are not good. noise and failure is constant issue problems starting from day one and failing in a year or less. If you drive is no 100% silent when writing. Return it and get another. When you get a good model and drive you will know. Also look up the model of the drive in your Lacie (on a mac you can read it information in disk utility). newegg.com is a great place to read about each drive so you can see if the drive enclosed is a good one.

Add me to the list of people with a failed 250 GB Lacie Porsche drive although mine isn’t portable. The orange light comes on and never turns green even though I can hear the disc spinning. When I connect it to my computer it doesn’t show up. And it’s not a problem of overheating as this drive is only used once a week or so to backup another hard drive. It’s turned off the rest of the time. It is precisely for this reason that I have two copies of all of my stuff.

I also have two other 250 GB Lacie drives but they’re the mini drives that look like the Mac mini. I’ve had them for three years now and they work flawlessly so I’m pretty sure it’s the porsche enclosure that’s the problem. Either that or I’ve been really lucky with my mini drives. I have three ScanDisk Bus Powered firewire drives that have also worked flawlessly. I would highly recommend ScanDisk for portable drives.

I bought one of these (the 100gb model actually) last November, and it failed in May. The LaCie tech support people were very friendly and helpful, and exchanged it with minimal trouble.

I also bough an external DVD burner from LaCie and after a few months the power supply went bad. I sent them an email and they sent a new power supply, no questions asked at all. I didn’t even have to send them back the old one.

Tha LaCie warranty is rubbish. After extensive discussions about returning a unit with a burned out motor I find that they WILL guarantee to reformat my drive even when I ask them not to and they WILL NOT guarantee not to replace the disk even when I ask them not to. Basically, they guarantee to return an empty drive. Not quite what I had in mind when I dumped a load of data from my laptop to the 500GB external drive!

To add insult to injury I still can’t open the bloody thing to see if I can effect my own data recovery.

LaCie – never again!

I like LaCie drives (have been using them for about 18 years when they used to be owned by Quantum who had a good reputation for drive mechanisms) but I think the external brick power supplies are rubbish. I have had a couple of power supplies fail. My sister’s apparently dead drive came alive with a new power supply today.

My Lacie Porsche just fried aftet two years of being plugged in 24/7-good to know I’m a moron, better for everyone else to know Lacie has a reputation for sucking and horrible customer service. Bummer I lost all of files, but it’s not life ending

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