Cheap big LaCie drive

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Alan Roberts
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Today's flier from APRvideo has a LaCie 500G, £76.38 inc VAT, post frree.

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.

George Rankine
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Tempted, Alan, but I see it's only USB2, no firewire 800. Do you think that will matter for HD video editing?
George

Ps- none in stock!

Alan Roberts
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I didn't go for it because it's neither firewire nor ethernet. Didn't know it's out of stock. But I'm tempted by the 320 and 500G ethernet drives.

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.

George Rankine
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Looking at the spec, they aren't firewire either?-or am I looking at the wrong one?
Never used one on ethernet, what is the data transfer speed like?

Alan Roberts
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The cheap one's not firewire, only USB2.

I guess the transfer speed of ethernet systems depends on your ethernet system, the drive spec fvor the 320 and 500G drives says it's the fast version, so it just might sustain video if you've got a Gig ethernet fully working. I'd only use it for communal backups though.

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.

Z Cheema
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I use USB2 (lacie) on a regular basis with Scenealyzer with no dropped frames at all, in fact I have had better luck then FW for some strange reason.

George Rankine
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Yes, I think usb2 is pretty good too, FW 800 should in theory be faster, I believe, but not convinced in real life. I am curently having some probs with mac capture, not too important but will start a new thread when I've finally got some definitive data.

Alan Roberts
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I agree about USB2, it works just fine most of the time. But you have to be certain that there's no other USB device trying to poll the same port when you're passing video through it. So a drive for video has to be plugged directly into the computer and not through a hub, although I have a hub-connected drive as a backup/server.

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.

George Rankine
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Yup, on reflection, 500 GHz for 70 odd quid might just be great for storage, trouble is the more you get on 1 drive the more there is to loose!!..the old backup thing is never ending!!..

Cheers and thanks, Alan

dvnam
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George Rankine wrote:
Yes, I think usb2 is pretty good too, FW 800 should in theory be faster, I believe, but not convinced in real life. I am curently having some probs with mac capture, not too important but will start a new thread when I've finally got some definitive data.

FW is better for video as it delivers the data in a constant stream, not in packets like UB2.

Do you mean you're having issues with FW? You can get problems if you're capturing to the same FW bus, depending upon the model of your computer, you could add a FW card to add a second bus or use E-Sata storage to avoid this problem. There is also an possible issue with capturing from Canon cams.

George Rankine
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dvnam, my problem is when I try to use i movie in the mac in time lapse mode, was trying to capture about 3 hrs of time lapse using the facility offered by that programme, capturing 1 frame every 60. When I try to save it after the 3 hrs, the whole caboosh just disappears and I get a black screen which won't obviously play anything!
Tried it on 2 different i macs, a pro and a standard one, using both the internal hard drive and an external one and I get the same problem on all combinations. It's not hard drive capacity, and the problem only seems to occur with long captures. If you've any ideas, great, but I'll probably start a thread on the mac section wh#en I get some time in a few weeks.
George

Dave R Smith
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George Rankine wrote:
Yup, on reflection, 500 GHz for 70 odd quid might just be great for storage, trouble is the more you get on 1 drive the more there is to loose!!..the old backup thing is never ending!!..

Cheers and thanks, Alan

I have an external Lacie, which went flakey on me some time back, so I backed it up during a good spell. Don't know if it's the connection, or the drive.

As it's my only external drive, and the only drive (including internal) to fail me to date, I share George's view that bigger drive is bigger risk, and also because I believe 'external' to be less reliable.
An external is handy for occasions where portability is required for transient data, but a bigger drive means more temptation to use it for longer term data storage, with reliability required.

When an external hard drive fails, I don't know if it's the drive itself that typically fails, or it's wrapping/connection. Perhaps you can remove the drive from a failing unit and use it as an internal drive with data intact if it's the 'comms' that typically fail?

So, any thoughts on whether external hard drives are less reliable, and if so, why?
Possibly because they don't have a fan?

Alan Roberts
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Well, I've got a 250G LaCie, 2 Maxtor 120Gs in ADS boxes, a box with caddy that takes 2 ancient IBM 25G drives (1999) and an old Maxtor 80G (2001), plus a 40G LaCie portable. So far, no crashes. The only drive failure I've ever had in around 20 years was the internal one in a little old Dell laptop.

I know that this is only my personal experience, but it does show that we don't all get the same problems.

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.

Medidox
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I've had two Lacie external drives fail on me. The first a 320 Gb drive was out of warranty but the second a 500 Gb was only four months old. LaCie said that it wasn't the drive that had failed but the internal power supply, but they didn't repair the failed drive but sent a replacement.

I do have all my material backed up on more than one drive but I wanted to see if I could rescue the 320 Gb drive by transferring the hard discs into the 500 Gb replacement casing but I have to report that it didn't work, although the hard discs did fire up as normal they were not seen by the computer.

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Alan.
I think I recall Gary/Harlequin commenting on many external hard drive failures.
As he works within an area that uses more drives than our small samples, I take his experience as being less distorted to the wider picture.

I use icy box's (internal) for changing drives, not familiar with ADS boxes.
Is this what you mean? :
http://www.cwol.com/firewire-drives/ads-dual-link-2-5-drive-kit.htm

Dave R Smith
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Thank-you Medidix (post crossed with previous reply).
Interesting feedback on your surgery. This seems to 'up' the risk if OK hard drive in bad housing can't be swapped like any drive.

harlequin
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My experience has been based on my personal experience plus those of the drives at work.
Some externals were bad , due to the chipsets used in them
Some externals were bad due to the make of harddrive in them

The biggest problem is that if a SATA drive fails , it is more dead than a failed standard ide drive.

Icy boxes came out with a poor implementation of the usb/firewire board , and killed three drives for me , before being replaced by a new model ( which so far hasn't killed any thing )

my favourite external box is the ADS , which cost a lot .... but keeps on ticking , it did get it's bridge board replaced , and when druive was put back in , not 1 byte was missing from drive.

my present externals are
seagate 300GB
Westerbn Digital MYBOOK ( 500gb )

both usb2 , both reliable once formatted NTFS rather than FAT32

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

PaulD
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Dave R Smith wrote:
This seems to 'up' the risk if OK hard drive in bad housing can't be swapped like any drive.

Hi
That isn't a problem except for RAID O LaCie dual-drive models (ie BigDisk and bigger, etc).

I use about 20+ IDE drives that I swap around as necessary into different FW caddy/containers - all without any problems whatsoever - apart from regularly running a directory-maintenence application to correct any directory corruption (which accounts for about 95% of external drive mount-failures).

All the single-drive LaCie models I've dismantled (usually to put a larger drive inside) have worked fine - the old drives can be used in other FW boxes with no problem.

That's my Mac OS experience.
As I've posted elsewhere, my G5 Macs don't respond well to USB 2 drives - I don't know whether Intel Mac USB 2 performance is any better:
My two USB drives sit in a cupboard and are only used for overnight backing up, since everything takes three times longer than my FW drives

Sequential
Uncached Write 15.63MB/sec 256K blocks
Uncached Read 17.83MB/sec 256K blocks
Random
Uncached Write 15.06MB/sec 256K blocks
Uncached Read 12.61MB/sec 256K blocks
For a USB 2 LaCie BigDisk 500GB drive.

FW400 is 28-35MBytes/sec, and FW800 gives 55-68MBytes/sec. "

Dave R Smith
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Alan,
Hope I'm not off-topic and stamping on your parade ground - I felt that value for money hard drives includes reliability.

Thank-you Gary and Paul for your experiences.

I don't pretend to understand the difference between IDE and SATA (but found this
[url]http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termss/g/serialata.htm)[/url].

My concerns over external hard drives haven't eased.

Gary:
You say
'both usb2 , both reliable once formatted NTFS rather than FAT32'
presumably these are SATA, for which you say:
'The biggest problem is that if a SATA drive fails , it is more dead than a failed standard ide drive.'

So you have something risky, but reliable to-date?

Alan Roberts
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FWIW, I've got no SATA drives, they're all IDE.

Dave, you're far from off-topic, and I'm happy with what you're saying. I only report my experience based on my own samples.

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.

harlequin
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all of my externals are ide in usb2 to ide cages.
i have internal sata drives.
i have had ide and sata internals die ....... i have rescued data from ide , nothing from a sata

i formatted the external usb2 devices using ntfs to allow files greater than 4GiB to be created. ( allows dvd images to be saved ).

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

Alan Roberts
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All mine are NTFS except the 40G LaCie portable. I keep that as FAT32 so it works on MACs as well as PCs.

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

Thank-you Gary and Alan.
Though I'm not sure if that leaves a clear policy for low risk set up (apart from usual copy/back-up).

Neon Films
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Joined: Aug 23 2000

I used to work for a well known NLE system retailer. They sold hundreds of of Lacie drives. At least one third of all the Lacie drives they sold came back faulty. There were various faults but mostly it was the USB or Firewire interface that was at fault. Lacie had a very very slow turnaround for repiaring faulty drives. They were also terrible at fulfilling orders. I know that numerous customers were waiting months for some drives to come into stock.

I haven't used many Lacie drives for the last 18 months so I can't comment on what the current drives are like but I can't imagine that they are any better. So in conclusion I'd never recommend a Lacie.

Mark Smith

Leeds Media Services
Video Production in Leeds and Yorkshire

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

That's illuminating and frightening Mark.
Given your insight (though acknowledging you aren't as current as you were), can you reccomend a manufacturer or method for having an expandable system, with a low risk of failure.
Possibly caddys, external boxes etc, with 'big name' hard drive and whether better to get IDE or SATA(though I don't understand the differences of IDE/SATA).
Or is the message, just avoid Lacie?

Alan Roberts
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I know that big LaCies get hot, and that stacking them horizontally makes it much much worse. I only ever use mine vertically, on the stand. DVC have told me of an instance of someone buying a lot of them and stacking them despite advice not to, and having several failures through overheating. I wonder if that's the cause of this reputation.

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.

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

A friend bought a big (at the time) LaCie for Mac use and being of a nervous (cautious) disposition, ran a series of diagnostics before committing precious data to it. It failed so she obtained a replacement and tried that. Same result. She tried one more and gave up. She now uses G-tech.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Neon Films
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The NLE system builder where I used to work moved onto G-Tech drives and they seemed much more reliable. I use a Seagate 320GB FW/USB2 drive and that has been running fine for the last 12 months. I can't comment on any other brands having not used them. The main point I'm trying to make though is to avoid Lacie drives at all costs.

Mark Smith

Leeds Media Services
Video Production in Leeds and Yorkshire

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

Hmmmm? Very interesting, and worrying.

I have had a 160 GB version one of the small Lacie drives fitted with both firewire and USB, that you can use without an external power supply with a laptop which has only 4 pin fire wire, on order for some time.

Lacie are unable to supply anything larger than 80 GB in this range and cannot give an ETA. Does this mean thet are reacting to problems, or that they have given up but will not admit it?

It sounds as though my safest option may be to cancel.

dvnam
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I have 2 x LaCie d2 FW HDs, a 160 and a 120 GB, both of which have failed, one of which spins up and the power light comes on but doesn't show in Disk Utility or in System Profiler (I work with Macs), the other doesn't even power up and an 80GB LaCie (Porsche design) which I've had no problem with.

A girlfriend had a LaCie d2 160GB which also failed but she contacted a place - 161 West Street Sheffield (used to be Mac Solutions) who said they may be able to get the data off if it wasn't too damaged and transfer it onto another drive that they would then put into the original case - I can't remember how much they said it'd cost.

I'm definitely going with G-Tech now.

BTW, I was once advised to try putting the drives into the freezer for a while (as a final final resort) which may unstick (technical term) the playhead.

PaulD
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Alan Craven wrote:
...drives fitted with both firewire and USB, that you can use without an external power supply with a laptop which has only 4 pin fire wire...

Hi
Lots of cases like that available, for 2.5" hard drives - connect via FW, with a USB power cable. You can fit whatever size laptop drive you wish.

dvnam
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Further to the last post, I've just contacted the shop and they inform me it would cost £25 per drive to check the amount of damage and up to £120 to recover the data (if it's possible) - more if it's over 250GB (If I remember correctly)

I don't know if that's a reasonable cost - I've never enquired about this sort of thing.

The number is 08707467383

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Thank-you Paul, your advice will definitely be followed.

Search for g-tech, gave me this (as well as many hedge trimmers):
http://www.planetdv.net/Content/Storage/G-Tech.asp

Is the first item, the g-safe, the sort of thing you are referring to?
It's not clear if a 250gb unit is 125gb mirrored, or 500gb worth in total.

Also mentions hot swappable, but not whether you have to be a caddy as well for any supplementary drives.

Is it the mirrored versions that were typically sold to NLE folks (as mentions 'photographers' specifically). If not please can you post a link to 'typical' g-tech solution for video/NLE folks.

TIA

Alan Craven
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The G-Tech mini drives in the PlanetDV link look to be a good bet, but nowhere can I find a definite statement that they can be used with a 4-pin (non-BUS powered) firewire connection, by using a USB connection as well to power the drive.

I believe that the LaCie drives have a second USB port which oprovides BUS power but no signal to achieve thios.

Alan Roberts
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The little LaCie I have (40G) has 4-pin firewire and USB connectors. It works when connected via USB, and when connected via firewire needs a different cable to get power from USB. So I always use it USB. The only re4ason for using it firewire would be for speed, and that's not the sort of use this little box gets, for me.

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
dvnam wrote:
Further to the last post, I've just contacted the shop and they inform me it would cost £25 per drive to check the amount of damage and up to £120 to recover the data (if it's possible) - more if it's over 250GB (If I remember correctly)

I don't know if that's a reasonable cost - I've never enquired about this sort of thing.

The number is 08707467383

I don't know about prices either, but assuming it requires a techie, sounds reasonable for work done - presuming it's payment on results for the £120.

'Worth' to yourself.. or your clients project, is probably much higher.

Alan Craven
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PaulD wrote:
Hi
Lots of cases like that available, for 2.5" hard drives - connect via FW, with a USB power cable. You can fit whatever size laptop drive you wish.

Is this the sort of case you mean?

http://www.span.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=19_1301_1313&products_id=2850

The specification mentions a "USB A + PS2 to DC Jack Adapter Cable", and there is no mention of a power supply.

PaulD
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hi
Yes, from the description.

Alan Craven
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PaulD wrote:
hi
Yes, from the description.

Thanks - I'll cancel my LaCie order and investigate this. I have bought from Worldspan before and been happy with their service. They do at least answer emails when you have a problem.

Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

D'oh!! too late!

When I emailed LaCie to cancel my order they replied that it had just been dispatched, and with that was their standard email informing me of this.

I shall just have to hope that the three months delay in fulfilling the order is due to them sorting out the design.