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New 250GB drive in old 120GB LaCie d2 case reads as 128GM

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Arizona_Joe, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Can anyone help? (I did ask here before I did this...) I have several LaCie d2 case external FireWire drives (hooked up to a G4 PowerMac). One bit the dust some months back, and I just decided to finally re-use the case by putting a new drive in it. Asking around, it sounded like anything could go in its place, so I upped it from its former 120GB to 250GB. (I could have gone to 300GB, but decided I'd be safest staying at ATA/100 and also the max size I was seeing LaCie sell in this case... plus it was Western Digital, same brand that came out of the case. So... the physical transplant went fine, but it comes up reading undersized (reads as 128GB, i.e a little more than 120 instead of the usual little bit less). The buffer's the same (8MB). The jumpers are the same (none). Any advice on what would make this come up to its full size (before I go putting any data on it) ....? MANY THANKS!
  2. macrumors 68030


    Your problem is a common problem. The short answer is that the drive doesn't support higher than 136 gb drive size. If you goto a store and look at the empty enclosurers you will see stickers on the one's the support 200 gb or higher drives etc. You can also look to see if the support "LBA-48 bit" which means they can support the big beefy drives.

  3. macrumors newbie


    Thanks for the info. So I guess I have a couple of questions.... 1) Is there anything that can reasonably be changed on this existing enclosure to "up" its abilities? and 2) if I proceed to use this 250GB drive with just a 128GB capacity, is there any harm done? (other than, of course, spending $180 for a 250 when I could have bought a 120 for $99...!) .... thanks again! Joe
  4. macrumors 68030

    1) Sorry, I am of no help here. I know not if you can change anything on that enclosure to make it support larger platters.
    2) Running your 250 @ 128 will be fine and will not "harm" the drive in any way physically. Your major point is the worst, that you essentially pay nearly double for a larger drive to only utilize half of it...other than the pain and light wallet, the drive will survive.
  5. macrumors newbie


    Thanks. I'm tempted to ask, well, if I start putting data on that 250 when it's rating itself as just 128, then if someday I find I can update maybe a cheap controller card on the drive enclosure, etc. ... would that just leave data-to-that-point untouched and create a balance of more room? But... of course I'm paranoid enough to back it up, reinitialize and restore... after all, paranoia is nothing but a heightened state of awareness, isn't that what they say? Thanks again.

    PS: Basically agree about the girls... although if there's a girl who disagrees, I'll agree with that.
  6. macrumors 68030

    I would assume that if you begin to write data to the drive as a 128, and then someday are able to have it be recognized as a full 250, you would most likely be able to write to the unused portion, although a partition may have to be made.

    On second thought, I would think that you may not be able to use the other portion if the computer automatically formatted the drive as a 128 and the remaining 122 (give/take) was skipped. If you can format the unused portion as a new partition and use it, then great but to be safe I would definitely suggest backing up the 128 and then reformatting the entire platter in whatever size partitions you like.
  7. macrumors newbie


    I suppose I could partition it now, while it's still empty, and make a 120 and an 8... then if someday all the capacity were recognized, maybe the 8 would grow to the balance of 130ish... or not. I guess that's a potential experiment that's not really worth trying... more of an interesting theoretical what-if!

    Too bad I wasn't feeling max-conservative when I bought the replacement.

    Thanks again.
  8. macrumors 68030

    No problem.

    You might want to wait until a time when more members are online to post their ideas. What I stated I believe to be true, but I am not entirely positive about the recognition of the remaining 122 if you somehow add support to the enclosure. Anyway, hope it helps, best of luck
  9. macrumors newbie

    New 250GB drive in old LaCie d2 case hits 137 limit... help?

    I posted this in the middle of the night and got a tip or two, but was also advised to try during normal hours... anyone?........
    (I did ask a few key questions in this forum before I did this...) I have several LaCie d2 case external FireWire drives (hooked up to a G4 PowerMac). One bit the dust some months back, and I just decided to finally re-use the case by putting a new drive in it. Asking around, it sounded like anything could go in its place, so I upped it from its former 120GB to 250GB. The physical transplant went fine, but it comes up reading undersized (hitting the 137GB limit and reading as 128MB, which I've read about some). The buffer's the same (8MB). The jumpers are the same (none). (1)Any advice on what would make this come up to its full size (before I go putting any data on it) ....? (2)And just to double-check... if I load data on it, but have an opportunity to get it up to 250GB sooner or later, will I need to archive and restore first, or will it just make more room? MANY THANKS!
  10. macrumors member

    i think the 1394 (firewire) bridge thats in it wont support more than the 137gb limit. Do some searching on the manufactures web site and see if theres a firmware update for it or see if theres a 3rd party firmware to do it. You can always just buy a new external enclosure or find another bridge to put in it.
  11. macrumors member

    DONT put ANY data on it untill u figure this problem out. you will have to reformate to get all the space out of it. You could just partition it in to multiple 137gb volumes.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Thanks, both. LaCie doesn't keep any more info on the basic d2 online... it's all Extreme, Big, Bigger now. Somewhere I should have an original CD that might have a PDF manual, but it seems to be lost to antiquity. LaCie does have a brand-new firmware upgrade, so I downloaded that last night. Only one drive wanted it applied, and it wasn't the drive in question.

    I'll try calling them on Monday, but of course can't ask about this... I've opened the case, not to mention the original is out of warranty, so they are not obligated to answer my questions. But I'll make up a question about our newest, warrantied drive and see if I can get a side question in ...!

    I did just try to do the multiple partitions. No dice. I tried to make a 128 and it wouldn't let me (full capacity as it thinks of itself now); tried 120 and it started the process, but the first partition (greyed out while formatting) is reading 64... and, to make matters worse, it's hung up at about 80% in the progress bar... I'm debating whether to force quit or what.

    As for getting a new case.... @#*$&@#$.... :) .... I only did this as an opportunity... had a perfectly good case going to waste, thought I'd reoutfit it with a new drive. If I'd gone with a 120, I'd be done. Having spent $180 ($196 with tax) on the guts, I don't think I'm likely to buy a case; I could have bought a new LaCie 250 for the same or less (just did; that's what got me t' thinking).

    I've searched around online for replacement bridge info... not finding anything like that... any tips? Would I know which "piece" it is when the case is open? Thanks again.
  13. macrumors G5


    New 250GB drive in old LaCie d2 case hits 137 limit... help?

    The FireWire-IDE Bridge is the circuit board directly behind the firewire ports, on the inside of the case. Your D2 case consists of a power supply, a box, and a bridge circuit board; there is really no opportunity to swap out one bridge chip for another, unless you want to get into custom fitting someone else's bridge into your case. Easier to buy a new case.

    Companies change versions and suppliers of their components like the FW-IDE bridge on a regular basis. Information on newer LaCie drives is not likely relevant to your older drive.

    Didn't you say in an earlier thread that it was a 160 Gb drive originally?
    "My old one is 160GB with 2MB (cache)"

  14. macrumors 68030


    The reason why, it doesn't support lba-48 bit because the hardware and embedded software in the controller of the enclosurer doesn't support a 48 bit drive size number. It is very doubtful that controler firmware will be updated to support the larger drive size, but you could look on the lacie site and see if it has been. my guess is though, there is hardware limitation. the best solution is you just get one that supports the larger drive size. The partitioning idea won't work, but the controler can not read a drive that big anyway, making logical partition won't help because it does know the extra data is there to begin with.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Victoria! Love it! We've just been talking about that! I might be back up there soon... lucky you! (People down here look at me funny when I call it the "Pacific Southwest.") ** Thanks for the info. Dang. Well, I should have bought a 120 to put in this case... I guess I'll leave the 250 in there and call it good. Thanks for letting me know that chasing the bridge-swapping idea is pretty much futile. Maybe things will shift around in the future. I'll check eBay for a dead case for a 250 (which is where mine almost went!), then I could put a new 120 in this case... then I'll be set with drives for awhile, although I'll probably find myself with a daisychain that causes some other problem. ** No, that wasn't me with 160GB and 2MB buffer... mine was originally a 120GB with 8MB buffer. I know there's a bump at 137, so 160 would have beat that, but it sounds like there's a bump of some sort at 200 also, so it might still have not worked. Thanks again! Joe
  16. macrumors newbie

    I've already downloaded LaCie's newest (a week ago) firmware update, but it didn't apply to this one. I'm going to call them Monday, since I qualify to call on a new 250 Extreme I just bought, and see if I can sneak in a pertinent question on this. I'm not expecting much, but if they're in a good mood and answer my bonus round, then I'll pretty much know if anything can be done to read the 250. Meanwhile, assuming it gets no better than it is today, and I'm pretty much stuck with a 250 in a 137-limited case (and I don't want to buy a 250 case and a 120 drive and so on...$...), then the fundamental question that remains will be one from earlier...... if I go ahead and use the 250 in the old case long-term, and it reads as 128, is there any harm done? I've been told no. But then I was told this would work before I tried it, too. THANKS!
  17. macrumors member

    Similar thing happened to me. I put a 160GB HD in a CD Burner case until I ordered an enclosure for it and it only read as 128GB.

    Once I put it in my new $36 enclosure it still read as 128, as it had made a partition that size when formatted. If you made a 2nd 8Gb partition today it would still be 8Gb in the future.

    What I can recommend is VolumeWorks as partition manager, when you want to reclaim that space, because it can edit your partitions on-the-fly without erasing your data. I don't know of another OS X program that can do that.

    The only thing I do not know is if it does any damage to use your disk as a 128. I seriously doubt it as it seem to just be a 128 partition, and had no problems with using it that way for a week or so... unfortunately I honestly don't know that for sure.
  18. macrumors newbie

    The enclosures you mention... CD burner case, $36 replacement... were those LaCie d2 cases? do they sell them as parts? or just 'whatever' cases but an otherwise similar series of events? I just checked out VolumeWorks online... interesting... I'm more or less familiar with a similar thing AlSoft used to offer ('more or less' because I owned it but never dared use it!). Useful info, thanks!!
  19. macrumors member

    Not LaCie d2, just 'whatever' parts. The CD Burner case was a LaCie, but a hard drive is a hard drive and an enclosure is an enclosure. They don't have to be the same brand or anything. Your current enclosure probably looks nicer than some $36 enlosure and I completely understand a desire to stick with LaCie products. I just wanted something cheap.

    I bought a Macally firewire-only enclosure from Newegg.com. The only problem I've had is that I needed to update the firmware before updating to 10.3.6 from 10.3.5.
  20. macrumors demi-god


  21. macrumors newbie

    ja0912 (Hey, is that your birthday, 0912?) Yeah, you're right, it's nice to keep the LaCie look, once you start. Funny they obviously push their look (otherwise, what are they really selling but other people's drives?!) but then make it near-impossible to upgrade and so on, and stick with it. And yeah, good thing to check that firmware for v10.3.6 ... holycow, they say it can make you lose your hard drive data, 'sorry for any inconvenience'! Fortunately, LaCie has a new firmware version out as of I think 11/13; unfortunately, it didn't do a thing for this issue I'm dealing with.
    wrldwzrd89 Thanks for the link. The computer itself has proven it can handle the capacity... G4 quicksilver, pretty potent still... I have other LaCie d2-case drives hooked up to it with capacities of 160GB and 250GB... unless there is any kind of issue with having daisy-chained too many devices (three hard drives and an AIT2 tape, at this point, with the second FireWire port dedicated to a flatbed scanner I don't even use much these days). Thoughts?
    THANKS! .
  22. macrumors demi-god


    If the other two drives are showing the correct capacity, then that suggests a hardware or firmware issue somewhere. I'd guess you ruled out firmware as a possible cause, so that leaves the case you put the hard drive in as the only reasonable possibility. I don't know much about hard drive cases, but I would think that the case you use wouldn't make any difference as long as the hard drive physically fits inside.
  23. macrumors newbie

    That's pretty much the advice I got before I bought. It would seem that way, and I was really just checking whether I dared go above 250GB (what I'd used here, in that case) and whether I dared go to ATA/133 instead of 100 (using Maxtor instead of Western Digital)... and whether an apparent bulge on some of them (in online photos) made it bigger or was within the original dimensions, that kind of thing. So I thought I'd be cautious and stick with 250 and ATA/100... but the rest seemed fine. Well..... I guess the bottleneck is that there is a FireWire/1394 "bridge" as part of the chipset inside the case. And replacing it isn't practical, easier to replace the whole case, but can't replace it with the LaCie case that matches all my other stuff. So..... my choices are to use as is (and hope the missing capacity is not a technical problem for data i DO put on it)... get a 120 for this case and a case for this 250, but it wouldn't match... I guess that's really about it. Thanks again.

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