Disassemble Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt Disk?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 1o9ia0-3, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. 1o9ia0-3 macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    Hi Dudes,

    I'm searching for a good (and as cheapest as possible) solution for a TB-SSD. I want to use this HD for my primary osx boot device. I already used a FW800-solution, but since the new imac does not have any FW, I'm planning to use a TB-SSD in the future.

    I already read many threads in here (especially in the mini sub forum) about TB-SSD-solutions. The disassembly from a old Lacie Little big Disk, to remove the 7200rpm drives and took in 2 ssds looks nice, cause i already have a 128gb m4. But it seems, that i have to use the little big disk in raid 0 to reach a nice read/write-speed...

    So i saw the Lacie Rugged Thunderbolt. I thinks its the best solution for the moment, just 1 ssd, nice read/write-speed and the tb-cable is included.

    Now my question is: If i buy the cheaper 128gb version for now, am I able to disassemble the rugged disk later and change the internal ssd to a 256gb or even 512gb ssd? (The lost of warranty is not my problem if I do this in maybe 2 years...)

    I think this must be possible, what do you guys think? Maybe someone already tried or read about this? :confused:

  2. 1o9ia0-3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    A second option would be the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt 128GB SSD... or maybe the cheaper 500GB HDD-Version? For this device I've already found successful mods in here and amazon-reviews.

    Any ideas? Lacie... Buffalo... Moddingoptions? ;)
  3. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    It's quite easy to take apart the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt drive.

    No glue, no surprises. A piece of cake when compared to the Buffalo!

    If you are careful, and have some skill, you should have no problem taking it apart:
    - remove rubber bumper
    - release plastic catches on end caps of drive casing
    - drive and PCB slide right out from metal sleeve

    That being said, the SSD version is less expensive than the HDD version; $199 for 120GB SSD + both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt cables. HDD version is $249 for 1TB. 256GB SSD for $349. Apple Store only arries the 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD versions.

    You'll need to order the 120GB SSD version from LaCie or from your favorite reseller.
  4. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
  5. 1o9ia0-3, Dec 14, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    1o9ia0-3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    @g4cube: So after this, i think i prefer the Lacie Rugged. I already thought that it is technically no problem to change the drive. My fear is, that the lacie-case wont take any ssd?!

    @theSeb: And thats the point, why I'm not willing to buy the seagate goflex. As far as i know, the goflex is a little bit too choosy about the different types of ssds. Some 256gb ssd from some brands works fine, some other will not. More than 256gb as a single ssd should be near to impossible at the moment? After all what i read, i will need a extra power supply for the goflex portable version or straightforward the desktop version (200 EUR)... The powersupply seems not sufficient and the adapter will get very hot.

    I know the workarounds which are already linked in the forum (http://wolfgangtechnology.blogspot.de/2012/06/mac-with-seagate-thunderbolt-adapter.html). I also read alot from Philipma1957 (nice idea with the refurbished little big disk and replace the hdds ^^). If the goflex seems more stable, it would be a perfect possibility. Maybe the new revisions are better? I saw, that there are different STAxxx-version (eg STA121, 126, 128) offered?!

    But even the goflex portable will cost 120 EUR + 50 EUR tb-cable. With the lacie rugged (for example) i get this, and a 120 SSD for 15 EUR more (185 EUR)... :rolleyes:

    I dont know if the Lacie or the Buffalo case is more tollerant about the ssd, but i hoped anybody of you guys know more. :D
  6. g4cube, Dec 14, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    The LaCie will take any of the SSDs I've tried.

    Let me offer a caveat, though:

    - while every SSD may connect, be recognized, and appear to work, be sure to run some data integrity tests to be sure that all is well:
    --- going into and coming out of sleep
    --- working with both the Thunderbolt and USB interface, separately

    Simply running performance benchmarks is insifficient.

    As others have noted, not all SSD devices have long term data integrity. This may be due to power or other deficiencies.

    Also, recall that intensive read/write cycles to a drive actually can increase power requirements. A drive may seem to work fine with occasional use, but seemingly disappear with intensive use.

    Some SSD devices actually consume more power worst case than what is listed on a data sheet. Many devices are spec'ed with typical power requirements, not worst case.

    There may be a reason that LaCie only offers a 256GB max size for SSDs even though they offer 2x 512GB SSDs in their wall-powered Little Big Disk. If the drive were suitable for bus power, I'm sure LaCie would have offered that configuration.

    Be careful out there; you would want to damage your new computer!
  7. 1o9ia0-3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    So you tried several ssds in the lacie rugged disk?

    I already thought about this. This was about i was asking in here. I hoped that the rugged case is able to take more, but lacie is holding it just back for further releases... :confused:

    How should I damage my new Imac with a not suitable ssds?

    Either way, thank you for your response! ;)
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Suppose what may happen if you use an SSD that draws too much power?

    Unless you have the test ability to confirm power draw, I wouldn't risk it.

    While you may not cause physical damage, you'd hate to lose data, right?
  9. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    i am also in the same dilemma,

    my 128gb ssd on my mbp 17, 2011, is near completion
    2nd hdd is 750 gb sata 3 spinning hdd, for data

    i have certain reservations re running my osx externally, especially from a portable modded device!
  10. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Running from an external is fine. Just don't fuss so much with moving the drive and/or cables.

    Most data loss is caused by loose cables, or drives that aren't secured to prevent inadvertent movement.

    Keep a clean, organized work environment and you will be fine.

    Accidents happen when forgetting that a drive is connected externally; e.g. when using a laptop on one's lap and forgetting that a tethered drive is connected. Moving the laptop may pull or disconnect the external drive. Has happened to me when not careful. With luck, a reconnect and reboot will fix things.

    Be careful out there!

    I have several externals with complete OS and video editing apps on the drive. Convenient way to organize projects when using a laptop. Several 500GB and 1TB drives. Previously, these were FireWire and USB2/3 drives. Moving towards Thunderbolt portable drives like the LaCie for future projects.

    Of course, don't forget to backup to a 2nd drive!
  11. Rachel Hearton macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    My Lacie 'Rugged' 1TB external hard-drive no longer mounts... help!


    I'll admit that my technical knowledge isn't up to much, hence why I'm posting here, as you seem to know what you are talking about :)

    I have a problem with my Lacie 'rugged' 1TB external hard-drive, which isn't mounting anymore. I've not dropped it (it's not moved from my desk), and only had it since February, but when I plug it in, I can hear the drive starting up, and the LED does light up (although it is temperamental) but nothing shows on my desktop, or in disk-utility. I've plugged it into a PC and it detects the hard-drive, while not recognising it (it is a Mac HD) I've also checked my USB drives on my Mac and they are working with everything else.

    I still have over a year of warranty left, so could send it to Lacie and I've no doubt they will replace it, but that would probably mean losing all the data on it/paying for them to try to get it off the HD which would no doubt be extortionate.

    What do you think? Any advice? I've read a few things about Macs sometimes just stopping indicating when they are connected to an external hard-drive, but I've also ready many complaining about how this specific hard-drive is liable to stop working. Would be really grateful to anyone who could help :)
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Try another Mac. You wouldn't know what to do if you took it apart.
  13. Rachel Hearton macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    ok, will do. But I'm curious: why would it work on another Mac and not mine?
  14. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    There may be something wrong with your Mac's Thunderbolt port or cable.

    Curious. You said you connected drive to a pc and could see drive. Which pc has a thunderbolt port? How did you determine that drives were visible?
  15. Rachel Hearton macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    Sorry I should have been more specific. I only posted here as you were talking about Lacie external hard-drives... but mine isn't via thunderbolt... it's via USB. That's how I connected it to a PC.

    Any chance you could suggest what i do? Just moved to my area so can't think of any friends who might have Macs which I could test the drive on... and I'm guessing an apple store wouldn't let me even check the connection? As I said, I still have warranty, but I'm scared if I send it back to Lacie, they will do their usual diagnostics which will probably include re-formatting the drive, and I'll lose all the really important data it has on it. As I said, I've only had it since February, and I've not dropped it etc, my gut is that it's a problem with the connection, rather than the memory...

    Thanks again for any advice etc :)
  16. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Contact LaCie and ask about data recovery.

    If you cannot see the drive in Disk Utility, it could be a bad port or could be the drive itself has gone bad. If you have tried other USB ports and cables, and still no visibility, you need to resort to more comprehensive troubleshooting, and you don't seem to know how to take the drive apart to proceed further.

    Seek a more qualified tech at your local independent Mac outlet (voids warranty, though), or contact LaCie. LaCie does have data recovery, but it is an extra cost service.
  17. Rachel Hearton macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    Hi G4cube,

    Thanks for your reply... You've been really helpful. I contacted LaCie and they are going to send me another cable as they think that is the problem. Would a faulty cable be the reason for the drive not showing up in Disk Utility? They said the fact that, when I connected it to a PC it was detected suggests that it is a cable problem.

    Sorry for all the questions...
  18. lotech macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2009
    Handy tip from reading around there is a huge amount of variance in the chipsets of these enclosures - some only do SATAII (250MB/s) some are even slower - even from the same enclosure. I saw forum post form users who had upgraded their TB LBD that originally shipped with HDD's having a different/slower chipset in it than the SSD TB model.
    From my reading though it would seem the rugged SSD model is the best to upgrade to a larger SSD.
  19. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Lacie little big disk 240gb refurb is $229 with thunderbolt cable. It has 2 tb input/output. Not end of chain like others and has 2 ssd's so you can easily swap for a massive fast ssd drive as prices drop
  20. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    The original LBD that came without Thunderbolt cables had SATA II interface within. These were the 1TB and 2TB HDD versions and the 240GB SSD versions.

    The newer LBD with SATA III inside come with Thunderbolt cable, and have either 2TB HDD, or 512GB/1TB SSD capacity.

    So OP is correct, if you get the right 2TB version that has Thunderbolt cable inside (check packaging notes or description), it is likely to be the SATA III version.
  21. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    I received my lacie little big disk 240gb ssd with thunderbolt for $229. It included the thunderbolt cable. It is a refurb and they have 10 left. Not a bad option considering you get 2 ports for future upgrading and can use the two old ssd in other stuff to upgrade. Will be throwing my 2 ssd in my wife's laptop and use the other for my laptop. Watching the price on the 1tb ssd fall, thinking a 2tb ssd will be super nice.
  22. neosynthesis macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2013
    sleep/wake issues

    i've experimented with my rugged thunderbolt&usb3 as an enclosure with a few different drives. just wanted to share my experience.

    the Lacie rugged has an ingenious design! slip off the orange rubber, and it's easily the most compact, solidly built, most handsome portable thunderbolt drive on the market!

    it's designed from the ground up to be used as a enclosure so drives can be swapped easily and frequently with only 4 screws. obviously, Lacie's business model for the rugged is anything but user drive swap friendly but the design is the best i have used (i also owned Buffalo ministation thunderbolt, G-Drive 1TB thunderbolt, WD passport 2TB USB3, Lacie rugged is by far the best, most sturdy and the best looking without the orange rubber).

    i popped in some older 160GB 5400rpm drives and a new 1TB 7200rpm energy efficient drive from HGST.

    my rugged proved to be quite unstable over USB3 with the drives i've used it with. it would frequently go to sleep with my 2012MBP retina and frequently it would not wake up even after the mbpr wakes up.

    a few times, when the drive is connected via USB3 and the MBP reboots, it turned off during the restart process as expected but it would frequently not wake up even after the MBP successfully booted up.

    this occurred over both usb3 ports on my MBP and using all new, high quality cables. popping the exact same drives into my trusty usb2.0 enclosure on the same MBP did not trigger any of these wake issues.

    Lacie offers 7200rpm version of this drive only in smaller capacities but this top of the line 1TB version only comes in 5400rpm version only. the ssd version of this drive from Lacie only goes up to 256GB as well. all this leads me to believe that the power distribution of the rugged enclosure (the thunderbolt+usb3 version) is likely not consistent/powerful enough to support more power hungry drives.

    i might have an isolated faulty drive (it came new from the apple store), not sure. any else having a similar experience?

    BTW, using my Seagate STAE121 thunderbolt adapter, the same drives and on the same MBP proved to be rock solid.

    happy storing, all!
  23. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Nice report. Just goes to show you that there are variations across the many possible 2.5" drives.

    Without know the details, there could be drive firmware or power issues with each of the different drives you used. Perhaps the power-on surge is too much, or firmware defects affect recovery from sleep.

    In any case, your experiment helps to confirm that not just any 2.5" drive can be used. I guess there is something to be said about qualifying particular drives that are suitable.
  24. Lhovo macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    That doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
    Thunderbolt has the ability to output 18V at 550mA calculated power out at 9.9W
    USB general (there are some computer that will put out more on a dedicated "charging" port) output 5V at 900mA giving a total power output of 4.5W

    So if there is a power hungry drive installed your limiting yourself to thunderbolt.
  25. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    LaCie now shipping a 2TB HDD version of the Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 drive. It uses the Seagate 2.5"/9.5mm 2TB drive.

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