All I can say is yupieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee … 🙂 ok back to where I left off yesterday:

After posting to my blog I had a couple of suggestions… ok one. That was Jame’s idea of “you could try the old stick it in an air tight freezer bag with some silica gel and bung it in the freezer for 30 minutes trick.”. Which I slated him at the time but i’m slowly coming round to the idea. But still seems a bit radical. I’m sure silica can freeze as well and not soak up the damp as well…

Anyway I needed to test my last theory. Because the drive wasn’t being recognised by WinXP it maybe the controller card in the lacie drive which was not working. So the drives could be fine and dandy. The data could be fine. its just the interface to the computer which isn’t working. So in desperation I purchased ANOTHER Lacie 1TB Drive. The theory being that the hardware would be the same so I could swap the disks around and basically “replace” the controller card, and hopefully it would all work. Anyway posted my theory to Lacie to see if it was possible and got this back:

As long as both drives are the same make and model and both devices are Bigger Disk EXTREME devices bought around the same time, then yes in theory it will work.

Any variation of that it may not work. We don’t test this, for we don’t do any data recovery. Some bridges are only made to support particular models of drives. Drives newer then the case may not work. In the same regards certain makes and models will not work with certain cases.

This is of course in theory. We do not have a direct answer for you. This is not something we test.

Right so in english… maybe if I’m lucky. There was one minor flaw in my plan. The new lacie that I purchased was a tripple interface (USB2, Firewire, Firewire-800). My old drive was just a double interface (Firewire, Firewire-800). So the interface/controller was already quite a lot different, just need to hope that the RAID disk controller part hasn’t changed. Also it looks like Lacie have swapped disk manufacturer. As the disks in my old lacie were Seagates and the new system was maxtor, this maybe because they were having so many problems with failed disks in the past. So the harddisk params could also be different if they are not auto detecting the drives … the RAID array setup could be different connecting all the drives together as one… loads of things could go wrong and all kinds of chaos could happen… Also the backing plate screws are under a “Do not break this seal or your will invalidate the warrenty” so by openning up both of the drives will invalidate the warrenty on both. Anyway for 400 quid per drive to save my data. It was worth the price…. ok so I started to job, and hey if I was right and the disks were working I could easily put them in another machine so i’m not loosing the disks.

Here is what I did because I couldn’t find any photos etc on the net of what the lacie looks like inside and how easy it actually is to do:
1. Firstly I took the 4 screws out of the backing plate.
2. Removed the outter cover as you can see from the photo, by sliding it up and way from the front, looking down on the lacie drive you can see the double interface.Top down view of Lacie drive

3. Now write down the serial numbers of the drives and where they are located in the unit so that you can put them back in exactly the same place. Just incase if they have cable select on and you put the drives in the wrong order then things will get very messy.

3. As you can see from the image above its in two parts a fan in each. Each side of the lacie holds two harddisks with the controller on one of them. What you need to do is unscrew is one little screw at the other end of the unit.
The Screw to undo.
You can see that i’ve already taken the screw out. Then all you need to do is shift the two harddisks towards you and that “unclips” the two drives from the front panel. Make sure you take off the side with the controller attached to it, then you only have to remove two drives rather than all four.
4. Make sure you take off the ribbon cables and power cables carefully. I actully had to unscrew the drives from the chassie to get the power cables out.

5. You basically now just swap all the drives over with each other so you end up having all your old disks using the new controller… and put everything back together again. Both the double and tripple interface drives had exactly the same insides. The only difference was the fact there was three interfaces connected to the board… anyway a lot easier than I thought it would be 🙂
OK then came the big switch on. I replaced the lacie cover, plugged everything in … switched it on… the lacie seemed to boot up ok. Then plugged it into my computer and… BINGO! It worked WinXP regognised it and all my files appeared. So in my case it was the controller that was broken, not the disks. THANK GOD! Now i’m trying to get Lacie to send me out a new controller card for the drive which is “just” in warranty but isn’t really anymore because i’ve broken the seals to get into the drive. But even if they can send me over a new controller for 50quid i’ll do it.
I’m now copying all the stuff off my drive onto a mates lacie drive so I can then rebuild the new lacie that I just purchased. He’s also keeping a backup of some of my stuff… just incase 🙂


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