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View Full Version : Putting new replacement drive in old LaCie d2 case


Arizona_Joe
Nov 13, 2004, 07:36 PM
I have a dead 120GB LaCie d2-case external firewire drive I'd like to rebuild. In searching what's available, options come up right away that I wanted to double-check...
1: ATA-IDE. All listings seem to be ATA, old drive says IDE... these are the same, right?
2: MAC-PC. Mac vs. PC... one source makes you choose early in the search process. But either is fine in OS X, once it's in this Firewire enclosure and hooked up, no?.
3: SERIAL-PARALLEL No specifics on the drive, box or website. LaCie's site says serial ATA is the latest in parallel ATA. Outpost.com makes you choose between the two, others don't mention it. Does it matter? Sounds critical.
4: BUFFER AND CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT? Bshiro says "just look around for whatever hard drive you want." but also says "Beware of LaCie's models <250GB because they only have 2MB buffers for the hard drives. You'd have to get the 250GB model to get a drive with a modern 8MB buffer." .... My old one is 160GB with 2MB buffer, but that's all a matter of the drive I'm replacing, no? If I get a new bigger one with 8MB buffer, will the chipset or case limit it or be incompatible? Or is this jus all the more reason to go bigger?
5: CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT? The biggest LaCie offers in this case (basic old d2, not Big or Bigger or Extreme) is 250GB, but I can easily get a 300GB replacement... any reason not to? too hot, chipset, buffer, etc.?
6: BRAND AND PHYSICAL SIZE? The old one is Western Digital... I know LaCie currently uses Maxtor and one other, not sure which. The Western Digital ones now look too big (in online photos), with an arc on one end for the drive itself, that looks like it could keep it from fitting in the case... know anything about this? Recommend a brand? They give no dimensions.
7: IS THE DRIVE WHAT'S BAD? One post somewhere else referred to a drive in which it was the power supply and fan that went bad... any way for a person without an instrument to tell?
All I want to do is go to CompUSA or Fry's and buy one asap. I could get one online, probably even for a little less, but all those same questions (and more) come up right away in the search, plus I'd like to get the job done without the wait. THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE!!!!

mklos
Nov 13, 2004, 07:50 PM
I'm not sure how big of a hard drive you can put in there, but any drive should fit in there. As long as the hard drive has an IDE connector on the back of it then you should be fine. I hardly doubt that has a SATA (Serial ATA) connection inside it as thats a fairly new technology.

If you don't have a particular reason to get a 300GB hard drive then you'll just be wasting your money IMO. If the old 120 GB hard drive size would sufficient for you then thats what I'd get. It doesn't matter what what brand of hard drive you get.

CanadaRAM
Nov 14, 2004, 12:08 AM
ATA-IDE: For your purposes the two terms are synonymous
MAC-PC: You're right, there is no difference in mechanisms Mac vs PC
SERIAL-PARALLEL: You want Parallel ATA (otherwise known as IDE or EIDE) Serial will not work
BUFFER AND CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT: 2 Mb and 8 Mb buffer drives will both work. 8 Mb is $10 - $20 more and is a bit faster. Buffer size don't matter to the chipset or the case.
CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT: That's a good question, can only be answered by LaCie. The Firewire-IDE bridge chipset may have limits or may not. I have not run into limits on recent cases. The fact that the case was running a 160 Gb establishes that it is not limited to 128 Gb.
BRAND AND PHYSICAL SIZE: Incorrect, the physical size of a 3.5" 1/3 height drive is set to a standard. Any 3.5" IDE drive currently sold should fit. Brand shouldn't matter (with a slight caveat about the chipset).
IS THE DRIVE WHAT'S BAD?
The case's power light goes on when you turn on the drive, right? If not, it's probably power supply not hard drive mechanism.

You have to do some detective work. When you start the firewire drive, listen to it. You should hear two different sounds, the fan starting up (assuming the case has one) and the drive spinning up to speed. The drive should then do a short "chucka-chucka" head access.

If you can't hear the drive spin up, pick up the firewire case and try again, you can sometimes tell from the gyroscopic effect whether the hard drive is spinning. Or open the case and place your finger lightly on the hard drive case (avoid touching the power supply, capacitors and cables please).

If the drive is not spinning up but the fan and lights are on, it's likely the drive mechanism.

Question: How did this fail? Did you get progressively more frequent errors in the OS reading or writing to the drive, or did it just "disappear" one day?

If you physically remove the drive and install it in another case, or directly into a G3/G4 PowerMac (check that you set it from Master to Slave as appropriate to the Mac you are putting it in, presumably the main drive of that machine is already set to Master), does it spin? Can you read data?

Have you tested with a different Firewire cable?

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com

Arizona_Joe
Nov 14, 2004, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the great answers, Trevor! It sounds as though it's the drive, not the power supply... it's been months since it went bad, and it's disassembled now, so I doubt I'll recreate that part of the experiment... and I doubt I'll put it in another machine at this point... I'm quite sure it went bad over a few sessions... I remember frantically trying to copy to another drive while it was iffy... so the light was on, the fan was going, it was getting noisy. I'm going to assume it's the drive and move on that, at this point (not let that one other random posting divert me now, knock on wood!). I think I'll get a Western Digital 250GB w/ 8MB buffer... that pretty much duplicates the largest-capacity drive I've gotten from LaCie in this "d2" case... and not press my luck on the 300GB of some other brand. I can get that at CompUSA, nearby, so I'll be all set. Thanks so much for the response!! (PS: A lot of the confusion came from poorly-organized websites! If they didn't force you to choose so many forks in the road early on, many of which are clearly false choices, they'd have better results and probably even more sales!) Joe