LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt and windows 7

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kgallag1, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. kgallag1 macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    Hi, all. I recently bought a LaCie Little Big Disk (Thunderbolt edition) 1TB version.

    I installed it on my Macbook Pro and all seems fine in mac OS. However, when I attempt to plug it into Windows (boot camp), Windows can't pick up the drive at all (doesn't see it in device manager and a scan for new devices won't pick it up).

    LaCie support says the drive is not meant for Windows. what I wanted to know from anyone who's used the drive is, have they found that the drive is utterly unusable in Windows except with virtual machines from Mac OS (shared)? Or has anyone found a way to get Windows to read and work with the drive. I may have to take it back if it turns out to be solely usable in Mac OS as I rotate routinely between both operating systems.

    Thanks all
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Does Apple even provide drivers for their Thunderbolt port, except maybe MDP drivers to use an external screen?
  3. kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    thunderbolt windows 7 and Lacie little big disk

    I managed to get the LaCie to show up under Windows. You basically just need to load a USB key or DVD with the drivers for Bootcamp 4. I cannot seem to get RAID functionality to work, though I can live without it. Now to see if I can install Windows 7 to the disk.
  4. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    No RAID? why is that?

    I'm using one of these now and I want to use this in Bootcamp also. I noticed that, apparently, Bootcamp will read Mac drives on FW800.

    I'm wondering if it's the same for TB? Probably not, but I'm not going to format this with NTFS, so I'll have to use Macdrive or something. I also have to use RAID as i'm sticking with the rotaries. (it works pretty well stock-very fast)

    You said you don't care if you use RAID or not. That suggests that you installed a SSD, or what? (just curious)
  5. kgallag1, Oct 6, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011

    kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    LaCie and RAID in Windows 7

    I haven't been able to get the software RAID to work in Windows. Every time I attempt to create a striped, spanned or mirrored volume (basically any dynamic volume) to work (I keep getting an error saying there isn't sufficient space, no matter how much space I allocate).

    I'm not sure if I'm missing a step here or not. Anyone familiar with setting up RAID in Windows 7?

    Also, does anyone know if a windows software RAID volume would be readable in MAC OS with NTFS-3G installed?

    As to the question of why magnetic disks, it's because I didn't want to pay $800 for 240 gigs of space
  6. kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    software raid windows

    Figured out the software raid issue. I had to delete the GPT partitions and format both drives as MBR/NTFS. Once I did that, I was able to create the RAID drive. Only problem is, I can't get Windows to let me boot to the LaCie. I'm not certain Windows 7 will even allow booting to Thunderbolt. It keeps telling me the computer's BIOS (Darwin) won't allow booting to Thunderbolt, which I highly doubt as Thunderbolt is advertised as allowing booting.I did remove the software RAID to see if that did any good, which it didn't (both drives in the LaCie were treated as independent drives).

    Anyone know of any tricks or workarounds that might work to allow Windows to boot directly from the LaCie Thunderbolt?
  7. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Oh great. Good to know.

    Boot Windows from TB? DO you mean an install disk or running Windows from an external drive (don't think you can do that unless it's eSATA).
  8. bruceseegmiller macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    Hi, I have the same issue in that LaCie thunderbolt is not recognized under windows 7. I updated to bootcamp 4.0 and still no detection. Any suggestions please?
  9. kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    The issue is that the LaCie uses software RAID. From what I can see, you'd need a program like MacDrive to be able to read and control the RAID unless you want to delete the RAID slice and recreate it under Windows (at which point MacOS won't be able to read it)
  10. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I swaped the two 500GB Hitachi 72k.5 in the 1TB LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk with two 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs. This allowed me to remove the noisy fan.

    I was able to setup RAID in OSX and Windows 7 (thanks to the MBR tip). In Windows 7, the drive needed to be MBR formatted from with no volume and then select create new volume (I went with stripe set aka RAID 0). Formatting with MBR required me to do so in OSX Disk Utilities. As previously stated, the LaCie is software RAID only, so you need to choose the desired OS to work in.

    The performance was lack luster for two SATA III drives in RAID 0. Clearly, the LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk has SATA II internals. The best I was able to acheive in either OS is 480/380 read/write. My internal OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G single drives out perform the modified LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk with dual 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 drives. Both the SATA III drives on internal controllers are 550/500.

    I attempted to install Windows 7 several times through bootcamp with no luck. First, I allow Bootcamp to allocate some space on an internal drive. OSX will not allow you to select the LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk. However, once rebooted to the Windows 7 installer I am able to format the drives on the LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk. The file copy starts, but installation fails at the first reboot. I have a hunch that formatting a drive is OSX as MBR, then in Windows 7 formatting as Basic NTFS may allow installation. Windows definitely thinks the drives are internal. The enclosure is not recognized in Windows, but the drives themselves appear. You can also flash the firmware of drives in the LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk.
  11. hh83917, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    hh83917 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2005
    Looking to purchase the LBD for the same reason as well.
    I found this article on Apple regarding thunderbolt under windows:

    Have anyone tried booting to external drive with rEFIt?

    Or anyone tried this:
    1. Install Copy of OSX in external drive. (treat it as an internal drive)
    2. Boot into it and Install bootcamp in the external copy of OSX, leaving the internal drive untouched.
    3. Boot into the external drive and install windows
    4. Boot holding Option key and boot into external drive's windows partition?

    Will that work?
  12. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I'm going to try Norton Ghost my existing internal Windows 7 x64 instance to one of the LaCie drives I replaced with an 240GB OCZ Vertex 3. The drives are virtually identical. If this works, I may actually keep my second LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk modded with Samsung 830s. Still working on drivers to get SATA III performance. I ordered a Seagate Thunderbolt GoFlex adapter and plan to replace the modded LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk with a single drive bus powered solution for my HTPC.
  13. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I successfully installed the Marvell SATA 6 controller drivers in Windows 7 x64. However, the performance was worse than the Microsoft Standard AHCI 1.0 drivers. Read remained at 248MB/s and writes fell to 187MB/s measure on ATTO with OCZ Vertex 3. The similar internal drives hit 550/514 with the Intel RST drivers. An important note is the Marvell drivers do not appear in IDE/ATAPI controllers, but listed separately under Storage Controllers. They are likely not AHCI and could be installed without the AHCI hack, which could be good for those who want to maintain Sleep (S3).
  14. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I tried Norton Ghost unsuccessfully. I copied the MBR and still could not boot. I may try again without the MBR or making it bootable.
  15. simon567 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    I appreciate the updates on this, if you do get it to work I'd certainly be interested to know how!
  16. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    So I made a few more attempts. I used all the option available in Norton Ghost 15 to copy the drive with no luck booting Windows 7. I had to bcdedit my Windows loader get things straightened back out. :(

    Next, I attempted to install from my 2011 MacBook Pro and 2011 Mac mini using bootcamp. I even loaded the Marvell drivers before formatting the drive in Windows Setup. The system will copy and extract the files but fails at the following reboot.

    Last, I tried installing from within Windows 7 and had similar experience to using bootcamp.

    I've concluded the Thunderbolt drivers are not loaded earlier enough for Windows to boot, even though the Marvell SATA controller drivers are installed.
  17. arby1kenobi macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2012
    got it working

    hi all

    the lacie little big disk will work in bootcamped windows 7

    you need

    this allow mounting of apple raid volumes

    works a treat

    just got it working and doing a little dance :p
  18. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Jesus...someone has some disposable income burning a hole in their pocket. If you're looking for that kind of performance, why not go for a Pegasus? It's been pretty well documented that the Little Big Disk can't hold a candle to the Promise systems.
  19. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I would have went with the Promise if I knew the performance of the LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk with SSDs was going to be so poor. I needed something slightly more portable and I picked up the LaCie at release. I contributed to a lot of threads on poor performance with SSDs early on. Similarly, I also picked up the Seagate Thunderbolt GoFlex 2.5" adapter on pre-order to meet my portability needs. So again I contributed early test with several SSD and verified issues with large (480GB+) SSD disconnecting.

    Thought I would get a better response for contributing to the community :rolleyes:

    +1 For MacDrive Pro 9. It's been working great for a couple weeks. I usually avoid software solutions, but this one seems legit. The performance is also very good. Only a few MB/s lost in ATTO Disk Benchmark with the SSD modified LaCie.
  20. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    IIRC ? Does the laCie use the Apple software raid rather than a hardware raid? I think I read this in a review.

    That's why Macdrive is needed?
  21. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    You can use Windows 7 software RAID with dynamic disk OR Mac OSX software RAID. The drive comes formatted in Mac OSX RAID. You would have to delete the RAID array in OSX disk utilities and format the drive with FAT MBR to reconstruct the RAID array in Windows 7 disk management.
  22. krravi macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2010
    So MacDrive 9 is the only way to install Windows 7 on a Lacie Thunderbolt drive?


    Would you please detail the steps as to how you installed Windows 7 with that software?

  23. kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    If you want to run the LBD in software RAID, looks like. You can break the array if you want, but then you give up a huge amount of performance

    Macdrive is just a program with a driver for the Mac file system. They added RAID functionality. You download an executable and install it, that's pretty much it.
  24. krravi macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2010
    I see. I ordered a Lacie 4tb thunderbolt from They had a refurb for around 299.00. Couldn't resist.

    I ordered an iMac with 1 TB drive which I want to use exclusively for OS X. I want to install windows 7 on the Lacie thunderbolt drive using 1 TB and use the rest of the space on the Lacie for windows and mac backups.

    I am hoping I can make this work. But the horror stories I read about booting windows off external drives is a little disconcerting.

    I wonder if the RAID on the external drives is causing the issue. What if I remove the RAID configuration on the Lacie and use the two 2TB disks as JBOD will that resolve lot of issues?

    Another issue is Lacie comes with a default configuration of RAID 0. They claim it can be configured as JBOD(just a bunch of disks).. but no information on how to remove the RAID configuration.

    I want this so I can use one disk on the lacie for windows and the other for backups.

    Any suggestions?
  25. kgallag1 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Dorval, Quebec
    I don't think it'll work. You'd have no way to get the driver to run so you wouldn't be able to load the software RAID. I'm not certain you'd be able to install Windows 7 onto a Windows software raid either. Then again, I've only tried it on SATA raid.

    Remember, any RAID related functionality of the Little Big Disk is provided entirely in software outside the unit.

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