Boycott LaCie

The Lacie Boycott

In August of ’07 I bought one of these:

linky

First of all, this drive is NOT 2 Terabytes. No sir ree. LaCie is misleading, at the very least, in their marketing. This is actually four 500 Gigabyte drive, shoved in one case, and laid out in a RAID array. Which means your data is written in little, tiny pieces on all 4 drives. So, if one of the 4 drives fails, you’re screwed. Or, as in my case, if the “controller” part of the RAID fails, and can only read 1 of the drives, you’re equally screwed.

I already had a couple of 250 Gig drives, and I got this one just to back up my DVDs and Music (the bigger stuff). And immediately I noticed some “rattling” noise, almost like something wasn’t attached properly inside. So I reported it to LaCie and they sent me a return box. I shipped it in, and they backed up my data (but only after begging them), they put it on a new drive, and sent it back to me.

Good, right? Well, not so fast.

Almost immediately after I got it out of the box, and plugged it in, it started spinning REALLY FAST. So, I emailed their tech support again. And they said “unplug it for 30 minutes”.

So, I did, but the symptoms persisted. I emailed them back… but nothing. I emailed them back again… still nothing.

Then, the drive started “dropping” from my system window. Just like that, it would “unmount”, randomly. So I emailed tech support again, and they told me to use a different power supply.

But then they emailed back and said “wait… DON’T USE A DIFFERENT POWER SUPPLY!”… which was very confusing. Because I was getting different emails from different tech support guys telling me to do, or don’t do, different things.

Then it just plum died. Well, not totally. I could bring it up in “disk utility”, but it only read 1 drive, just ¼ of the RAID array. Meaning something wasn’t “connecting” the drives together.

I emailed them about that… but heard nothing back. So I called.I talked to a very un-inspiring guy who told me that it “looked bleak”, but offered to send me a new power supply, because in his experience the power supplies were “frying the RAID controllers”. Wait. WHAT?!?!?

So he sent me a new power supply that did absolutely nothing.I called back, and that’s when they told me to call a “data recovery” place, and gave me a couple of numbers to call…

$10,000.00.

Seriously.

$10,000.00!

And LaCie WON’T HELP AT ALL.

The don’t have even an “ad hock” data recovery function. Not even an enclosure they can put these 4 drives in and re-connect the RAID. They ONLY fix the drives (which makes absolutely no sense), and they ever-so-smugly reminded me that “in the fine print” it stated clearly, yet small-ly, that they don’t do “data recovery”. Ironic, isn’t it?

Never mind that this is a “hardware failure” in that the CONTROLLER that connects the drives together was FRIED BY THEIR POWER SUPPLY. I asked them very nicely, based on my extended, and storied back-and-forth with customer service, if they would “help” defray the cost.

They said, in effect, hell no.

Now, you may ask “why don’t you just let those movies and music go?” Well… because… and this is a funny story… right before the drive failed I got Mac OSX Leopard. And I wanted to use the new Time Machine backup scheme, instead of my (achem) LaCie SilverKeeper backup-to-backup scheme. So I moved my backup to another drive, and that backup to this 2TB drive (which again, LaCie ASSURED me was still fine)… and that very day, as if on cue, it gasped it’s final breath.

Here’s the kicker: it just so happens that at that exact point in time the ONLY thing that wasn’t backed up… was my entire professional portfolio. Seriously.

Look. I’m a backup fanatic. I have always had a backup of my backups (though previously only on FWdisks, not DVDs). But the one, seriously ONE time I flew by the seat of my pants (so to speak) for ONE DAY I got burned, and burned bad by LaCie, their faulty products, and their awful customer service. On a drive that was acting a bit wonky, but a drive that they assured me was a-ok.

The funny thing was I had read many, many, many BAD reviews of LaCie products before I bought this one (just do a quick Google search, or even check out the ones on the Amazon site link). I had read all the computer magazines reviews, and saw that almost ALL other drives consistently had better ratings than LaCie. But, unfortunately, I was suckered in by price, and a misleading description of the drive.

And false hope.

Well, now I’ve got to send in my drive to LaCie’s “partner” data recovery service (sound fishy?) and spend an ungodly amount of money to recover data from a drive that failed from 10000% hardware malfunctions. As in: LaCie’s faulty power supply fried LaCie’s RAID controller. As in LaCie’s fault*.

So learn from my mistake. Back up your back ups of your back ups. On DVDs as well. And if you’re going to buy a large external drive, find out if it’s a RAID. If it is, think again about buying it.And more importantly, avoid LaCie like the plague they are. In fact, tell everyone you know to avoid LaCie. Buy any other brand… well, except Maxtor. They’re the only brand with *almost* as many bad reviews as LaCie. Almost.

A call to arms. Boycott LaCie.

e

*Lawyers: a class action suit against LaCie would net you about a zillion dollars. But all I want is my data recovery expenses reimbursed.

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  1. Mike’s avatar

    A single 2 terabyte drive does not exist moron. The largest a single drive currently available is a 750GB. Warranties cover hardware replacement only not data recovery services. You should have backed up.

    Reply

  2. edstate’s avatar

    You kiss your mother with that mouth, Mike?

    Reply

  3. aron’s avatar

    I’m an editor at a small production house. We were using a bunch of lacie hard drives and in one month three 500gb externals all died on us. We’re big on backing everything up too, but in when the second drive died it’s backup was the third drive that died two days later, as we were waiting for our new Rocstor hard drive to arrive…. I know better than to call Lacie for any tech support. Their customer service record with my team falls short of despicable, I took my hard drive to a reliable local apple dealer, and eventually it ended up at Drivesavers. I expect to hear back from them today or tomorrow. If the data is recovered $5k.
    Yup. $5K. Lacie hard drives are untrustworthy, and ultimately put the business I work for in jeopardy. We now have a new RAID hot swappable backup system, and are working to eliminate all Lacie products from our studios. So far I’ve had no problems with ROCSTOR, and I suggest trying them. I look forward to taking all my Lacie “Big Disks” up to the shooting range and letting my shotgun have his way with them.

    Reply

  4. edstate’s avatar

    Aron, I have heard about a zillion stories like yours. On the web, and in the field. It’s very, very creepy. …Thanks for your comment, and rest assured, we’re collecting as much evidence as we can.

    Cheers,

    e

    PS, I’ve heard that Glyph drives are way more reliable, and also include (gasp!) data recovery… I’m looking into them myself.

    Reply

  5. michael’s avatar

    I would like to see a class action suit against them I bought a 500 gb lacie ex hd it fried 3 months after the warranty you couldn’t give me a lacie product they know these drives are defective yet continue to sell them i work hard for my money I don’t like getting screwed I hope anyone who reads this and is contemplating getting a product from them is forewarned

    Reply

    1. Sirtaj’s avatar

      I just lost over 60 gigs of porn the other day when I had to reformat my stpiud computer. Hey Gene, I have a technical question/help about installing movable type on staynobody.com. If you could help me, I’d greatly appreciate it. Also, I am heterosexual, I just meant if someone wants to smoke some cock, let them smoke cock!

      Reply

    2. michael’s avatar

      I am going to try this Hopefully the drives are not fried but i read this works I will check back in a month to let you know
      http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/NP35FW/

      Reply

    3. edstate’s avatar

      @Michael
      I ended up going with DriveSavers, which is the LaCie “recco” company. They actually gave me quite a good “deal”, because the powers that be sensed that I had a case for ‘culpable’ customer service from LaCie. Although it was about 1/2 the price of the other 10+ services I approached, it still ended up being over $5,000, because they recovered 99.9% of my data. Go figure.

      Again though, most of my partners in the audio/video industry are gravitating toward the Glyph drives, because (apparently) they are better built, and come w/ drive recovery in case there’s a hardware failure. Which is a big Duh.

      e

      Reply

    4. Renderic’s avatar

      I too have had 5, yes 5 LaCie Big Disk drives. All had failed within 1 year! They had second rate OEM drives that can not be returned to the manufacture, with B, and C quality parts.

      But the kicker is that the fans usually die first, if not – they weren’t working from the get go. So the drive and controller boards slowly cook, which kills both eventually.

      So if your drive dies crack it open and see for your self. The cool designs are good looking but not functional for radiation and heat dissipation, so looks aren’t eveything.

      I agree lacie support is horrible. They make billions, yet can’t recover data or sell long term support contracts? Hmm wonder why, because the products are faulty seconds. Share holder don’t care because they are rich too.

      I spent $1k at a data recovery house in Denver to get my HD data back. Then I used Tiramisu and Easy Data Recovery, the second and third times!

      By the way I already thought there was a class action lawsuit against them?

      Now I use NetApp ( http://www.netapp.com/ ) They have a strong media and professional presence/background and do real industrial strength storage. Ever since I got NetApp Frames I have never lost any data, or drive for that matter. Even If I lost a drive, I will never loose my data because I run RAID DP (6). So I can loose two drives at once without a blink in service because of data loss. Get one if you can. Call the local sales rep, they sell an inexpensive version for small business as well…

      b_

      Reply

    5. NILO’s avatar

      I have had unfortunate running in with the Lacie Support UK team.

      Absolutely diabolical: incompetent, don`t repair device and send you back the original device, forget the power supply and all the other cables, slow in replying to emails….

      This company should go bancrupt

      NEVER BUY LACIE AGAIN

      Reply

      1. edstate’s avatar

        Apologies Nilo… I’ve been on the lam for a few weeks 🙂 But yes, “diabolical” is the word for it. Absolutely hideous is another one, too.

        Reply

      2. Fraser’s avatar

        Hi,

        Lacie make nothing but sub-standard junk…In the past month I have had 3 separate drives totally die on me.

        2 X 1TB LaCie BIGDISK U2&F4&F8 EXTREM 7200 16MB EK
        1 x 3TB LaCie ETHERNET DISK XP Embedded EK

        All three devices were rack mounted and used in nothing but the standard way, all still under 1 year old, all totally failed. The support (sic) was more of a joke than the hardware. The eng, actually had the gall to say “well all hard drives fail eventually…” really? Well whilst that may be true it really doesn’t help me at all does it…

        I will never buy Lacie products again and I would strongly advise anyone considering to do so to reconsider.

        Boycot LaCie!

        Reply

      3. Fraser’s avatar

        See the wikipedia page for Lacie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaCie
        Please add to the “problems” section if you have input.

        Reply

        1. edstate’s avatar

          Thanks for the link Fraser. … I will certainly add my 2cents.

          Reply

        2. edstate’s avatar

          Oops. Seems that LaCie has removed your “problems” section from the Wiki!

          Reply

        3. corvair girl’s avatar

          We have had 7 LaCie drives go down- 6 of them had enclosure/ sled problems which, to my understanding, is the only part of the drive that lacie actually makes in house. They have done nothing but waste my time. The La Cie corporation is even more useless than their drives. I’ve heard good things about glyph as well and we are buying those.

          Reply

        4. Want My Money Back’s avatar

          I have two LaCie d2 drives and they were bought at the apple store. Both always give me problems and after months of reformatting and haggling with customer support etc. I feel like LaCie should shell out some serious cash to compensate for all the people they have robbed with these faulty drives.

          The only thing they have going for them is they look nice… I was shocked to find out both of mine have Seagate drives in the external enclosures, which if im not mistaken are supposed to be great drives.

          Makes no sense why these drives are so faulty… I personally think it has to do with the chipset LaCie uses and I am sure they are fully aware that they made a huge mistake with the decision to use them.. I have had to take the hard drives out of the enclosures and mount them in my G4 tower to be able to use them since I have no money to buy better external enclosures.

          LaCie should at least send everyone new enclosures that will allow people to swap the hard drives over to, so we can at least get what we originally paid for…. Really frustrating especially when you buy from the apple store… quality? yeah right, these triple interface d2 drive/enclosures are crap.

          Just thought I would vent…. Normally I would not care but I spent too much money to have to go through all this. I hope this site/boycott actually makes something happen…

          Reply

          1. edstate’s avatar

            Thanks for your post. And I hope something will happen, too… it’s a bit of a lazy boycott, for sure, but I’ve gotten a lot of hits so far. Which means people are doing their research. And if we can at least inform consumers of the dangers of Lacie, as they currently opperate, then I consider that a victory. And if it can influence Lacie to start making decent drives, and doing right by their customers, then even better.

            e

            Reply

          2. EdAz’s avatar

            Failed Lacie d2 Ethernet Big Disk. I have two of these units and after 3 months of use the power supply went and was replaced 4 days later from Lacie. Now the unit went out and the power supply was the problem once more but, this time it out a drive. The drive will not spin so I checked on the drive and it’s ” DEAD “. I tired to Lacie to give me some idea on how to recover the data there was no help. It will cost me about $4000 to get the data back.

            I will never buy any product from Lacie. I’m done

            I built my own true RAID for about $400.00 and a true restore.

            Reply

            1. edstate’s avatar

              Well, you know that drive they so graciously replaced the failed with? Well, it stopped working a few days ago. And I hardly even use it for anything. They’re all absolute garbage and they should be ashamed of themselves.

              Thank God I had everything triple-backed-up to a 2TB MyBook.

              Reply

              1. James Cooper’s avatar

                I purchased the LaCie 1TB “Big Disk Extreme+” back in November of 2007. Generally, the unit worked fine until August, 2010 (3 months before end of 3 year warranty) when the external drive suddenly, would no longer appear on my computer screen; notwithstanding that the big blue light on the external drive glowed and blinked continually. Still barely, under under warranty I phoned tech support and they advised me to return the unit back to them which I did. They later returned the same unit back to me and included a new power supply cable….explaining that the source of the problem was a “bad” power supply. I plugged in the unit with the new power supply cable and it worked fine.

                Now, here it is May of 2012 and I am experiencing the exact same problem once again! I phoned LaCie tech support and explained that I
                am having the identical problem again. They told me that since my warranty is no longer valid, I must pay for a new power supply cable) since they believe this is the source of the problem. I replied that, “Clearly, there is some kind of defect in their product, whether it be the power supply or within the hardware itself! And as a result, I should not have to pay for the power supply or be responsible for shipping charges.
                Notwithstanding, we must have access to the data we stored in the unit so, we agreed to pay (they offered a 20 % discount).

                Then, thinking over this situation made me very uneasy of the prospects of losing the important data stored in the LaCie unit. So, I decided to do a google search concerning LaCie and……Voila! I found this page. We are a small business and now I have come to realize that we have been living very dangerously, by relying on a LaCie product. Tomorrow, we will seek to purchase an alternative external drive from a reliable competitor as it would be disastrous to lose our valuable data (possibly
                Glyph or other).

                In the event that a “class action suit” is ever filed, please remember
                me…..You can count me in!

                Reply

              2. SuperJuice’s avatar

                I just purchased a brand new 1TB external 5.25 disk after being convinced it was the best option because LACIE offered 2 years warranty. After 10 minutes (yes 10), the power supply started making an extremely loud hissing noise. I looked up ‘lacie hissing’ and found out that I wasn’t the only one.

                I refuse to use this power supply, it is so loud it sounds like it is about to catch fire. I contacted support and I am going through the run around at the moment, the place that sold it to me won’t replace it because it technically still works. I can’t describe how loud this hissing is, but if you get on youtube there are a few people who have posted videos that show what you can expect.

                I now have a brick that I can’t use, a ticket raised with support who are giving me the run-around.. and still no where to back my files up to.

                The power supply that comes in the box is “Sun Fone”, made in China. Avoid at all costs!

                Reply

              3. wotilu’s avatar

                Absolutely the worse drives on earth. I also experienced on several occasions brand new drives I purchased which didn’t work, and one is under a year old and now it refuses to mount. The customer support is absolutely insanely dreadful and not helpful. They say the same thing to all people— that it is the power supply chord —which I think is just a BS story they invented because the drives are faulty. I insist on a class action suit NOW! The retail venders here in NYC say they can not even keep up with the amount of faulty units they are returning.

                Reply

              4. Rob’s avatar

                Wow, I had not had such bad luck with my LaCie drives, but boy are they giving me the runaround. I registered my problem with them online, and they get back to me every few hours, asking me to try something else. The only reason I can figure they didn’t just tell me all the things to try in the initial email is because it seems they are trying to deliberately drag their feet.

                What just killed me is their last support message to me was identical to their first! Talk about making me go in circles! This has gone on for over three days now, and I just want them to honor their warranty and send me an RMA for this dead drive. Now I’m on hold, because I want to talk to a person, rather than go in circles with the online jokers.

                Reply

              5. edstate’s avatar

                Watch out, because I did what they told me and it actually ruined my drive. Make sure you’re backed up (duh).

                Reply

              6. Lee’s avatar

                Some of these drives may look like Rolls Royces, but they are Ford Pintos in disguise. I have to agree that Lacie has terrible customer service options for their products. I don’t fault the representatives, but the company standards suck.
                I recently bought a new Neil Poulton External HD that failed within 10 uses. It started clicking at first, then it got to the point where it wouldnt spin up and stopped being recognized perioid. Little blue light is on, but nobody’s home.
                I contact Lacie support, who makes you go through the routine of trying different cables, computers, etc. when you know they know a clicking drive is more than a cable problem. They send the power supply, doesn’t work. Finally get to where I HAVE TO PAY to get it shipped to a repair center. Add shipping to the price paid for the dead drive. The only options are either a) it gets repaired, or b) they send me a replacement refurbished drive. WTF?! I spend nearly 100 bucks on a NEW drive with a 2 year warranty*. It breaks in less than 3 months, and my best option is a refurbished drive? That shouldn’t even be legal.
                They should be refurbishing everything they put out before selling faulty products as new. This garbage shouldn’t even be allowed to be traded in for tickets at a Chuck E Cheese. I would have saved the time and money buying another manufacturer if I had know how disappointing this experience with Lacie would have been.

                Reply

                1. Lee’s avatar

                  *Update* – Lacie did end up replacing my dead external hard drive with a brand new one that had firewire. Has been working great since then.

                  Reply

                2. Faris’s avatar

                  Hey guys,

                  I have a 1 TB d2 Extreme LaCie external hard disk. It came with a 2-year limited warranty; at least this is what their support website told me. The AC adaptor started making noises after I plugged in when I came back from a two-month vacation. The second time I plugged it in the drive was no longer working properly and it wasn’t visible on the PC. After a bit of googling, it turned out that many others have had the very same problem (the drive wasn’t working when they used it after several weeks of being idle).

                  I contacted LaCie support before my warranty expires but I got no response AT ALL. I contacted them again just ten days before the expiry of my warranty asking them to respond before my warranty expires but I got no replies too.

                  No company has the right to treat its customers this way. If anyone filing a lawsuit, count me in! <<< evidence for contacting them is stored in my trustworthy Gmail :P!

                  Reply

                  1. Nicholas Migliaccio’s avatar

                    Faris,
                    I have just experienced the same problem with a Lacie power supply and found this forum while researching it. My firm is investigating bringing a lawsuit against Lacie for their power supplies. If you would like to discuss your potential claims, please contact me at nmigliaccio@masonlawdc.com.
                    Nick Migliaccio

                    Reply

                  2. Charlie’s avatar

                    Any news on the class action suit?.. I’d like to join if any law firm sees the opportunity. This company (LaCie) is not paying attention to the number of complaints about their products “designed by Neil Paulton”. poor guy.. he is getting a terrible reputation on his designs… I wonder if LaCie thought that maybe the design would compensate for the bad quality of the hard drive assembly and their terrible tech support and warranty service.
                    I bought a 4TB MAX Space NAS. The drive could not be accessed from the internet as advertised and the tech support guys do not have a clue what that means. 8 months after the unit could not upgrade its OS to the latest version. After 12 days of tech support misleading and false instructions they concluded a warranty repair was needed. They asked for the unit to be returned (this is where they still you new unit and give you an even older refurbished unit). 20 days after a “reconditioned” one was sent. It also failed to update the OS, I set it up for RAID to protect my data and ONE DAY LATER!!!!!! one of the 2TB hard drives crashed. The data nor the OS could be accessed… Now I am almost 2 months out of the nicely designed drive, because they do not have an old enough refurbished drive to send. This is a lemon !!!. Isn’t there a lemon law that can be used to suit their behinds?.

                    Reply

                  3. duncan’s avatar

                    Bugger it. My Lacie BigDisk Network just died… not the drives (in RAID 0) but the frickin controller. 8 months out of warranty.

                    Now I’m screwed… do I buy another the same to plug my drives into to get the data off or do I buy something reliable and kiss my data goodbye?

                    Lacie has me over a barrel…

                    😡

                    Reply

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