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Old August 15th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #1
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Urgent LaCie D2 Big Disk questions

Just ordered a second one of these 400/800 firewire drives today (will make two, 500 gig) and not long after I did my capture process ground to a sudden halt and posted an aborted clip with 5,019 frames dropped, an avg. frame rate of 21.99 fps and an avg data rate of 2.52 MB/sec. I tried several things. I quickly restarted everything. I swapped cables. I swaped out cameras I was using in lieu of a deck. Same thing. Finally, on a hunch, I disconnected the Big Disk (which was stunningly hot) and tried capturing to an internal drive. My system is now purring along happily capturing as I type. So my questions are...

a) Is it possible the other one is a lemon?
b) Or is getting too hot just an issue with these that I was unaware of? It's been running for the last six hours.
c) And if it was just too hot, what can I do to ensure that doesn't happen again (assuming it comes back up when it has cooled down)?

Thing is, I'm in CA and we haven't even hit the genuine hot season yet. Doubt it was even 80 today. And I have 90 hours of video to bring in and cut under a deadline which WILL run through the hot season. So, I'm stressing because I can't take an hour break, every couple hours to baby the thing. Would a fan aimed directly at the drive help? Are there big drives out there that this is not an issue with?

Any feedback, as always, would be very appreciated.

Marcia
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Old August 15th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #2
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What operating system are you using, Mac or PC?
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Old August 15th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #3
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PC. XP, actually.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 02:13 AM   #4
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Drives can definitely get too hot. Cooling is very important and
you should be able to find out at the Manufacturers website
what the maximul allowed temperature for the drive is.

How is the drive and the camera connected to your computer?
I've had capture problems when my camera was daisy chained
through my firewire harddisk. I now have the harddisk on USB2
and the camera on firewire.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Urgent LaCie D2 Big Disk questions

>>a) Is it possible the other one is a lemon?

YES! I've had two Lacie HDs go bad. Others report similar trouble too.
Usually if you make it past the first two weeks of use they're good.

>>b) Or is getting too hot just an issue with these that I was unaware of? It's been running for the last six hours.

No, they do get HOT. I would advise against stacking them.
Also, avoid hot plugging (even though it isn't supposed to damage, I
have heard otherwise from repair guys).

>>c) And if it was just too hot, what can I do to ensure that doesn't happen again (assuming it comes back up when it has cooled down)?

I have mine sitting on top of a metal plate to act as a large heat sink.

>>Thing is, I'm in CA and we haven't even hit the genuine hot season yet. Doubt it was even 80 today. And I have 90 hours of video to bring in and cut under a deadline which WILL run through the hot season. So, I'm stressing because I can't take an hour break, every couple hours to baby the thing. Would a fan aimed directly at the drive help? Are there big drives out there that this is not an issue with?

A fan pointed at the drive should help a lot. Don't worry too much as these
drives do run hot, but something that helps keep them cooler
than "normal" is a good idea imo.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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Jacques, thanks very much for the helpful info. I rushed out and bought a desktop fan which I have blasting away at the drives at all times now and have not had a problem since. This certainly begs the question as to why on earth LaCie would go the route of "quiet fan free operation!" What would I need the heat sink/plate for btw? Never took physics, I'm afraid. ;-) Just curious what that would add to the configuration.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #7
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I have Lacie 500 GB and terabyte ext hard drives. I have had no problems with the 500 gb drive, but I have only used it for capturing video and backing up files.

I had no problem capturing with the terabyte drive but after a couple of hours of editing during which the drives are speeding up and slowing down, I have had nothing but problems. I receive the notorius windows (xp) blue screen with various error messages including "delayed write failure...WINDOWS WAS UNABLE TO SAVE THE DATA FOR THE FILE F:\SYSTEM VOLUME
INFORMATION. THE DATA HAS BEEN LOST. THE ERROR MAY BE CAUSED BY A FAILURE OF YOUR COMPUTER OR NETWORK CONNECTION. PLEASE TRY TO SAVE THIS FILE ELSEWHERE"

I have 650 GB of files which constitutes several days of capturing and transferring files and 8 hours of editing. I have talked to two Lacie technicians. The first one (male) was calm and helpful and walked me through a check disc utility (which ran for 2 days to repair the files) which finally got me to the point where I could see the files associated with the drive letter. It worked for a short time and the same message appeared.

The second technical person, a frustrated lady, told me it was a software problem and I must reformat my hard drive (which would wipe out all my data). After a sleepless night, I booted up the drive and the files again appeared.

The problem (unfixed) appears to be a cooling problem (not software). My reasoning is that when I have subsequently shut the computer down for a long period of time, it will again recognize the files. When I work with them, I get the blue screen again.

I will report on Lacie's attitude regarding replacement of the drive or a refund.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 04:25 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Marcia Janine Galles : What would I need the heat sink/plate for btw? -->>>

A heatsink is a device that will draw heat away from the object to which it is attached. This keeps the object (your hard drive in this case) cooler.

Ideally, the heatsink would be made of copper or aluminum that is a flat plate with fins, kinda like this:
Code:
   ======================
   |  hard drive        |
   ======================
===============================
|    HEATSINK                 |
-------------------------------
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
Then you need a fan to blow air across the entire setup to dissipate the heat into the air. Normally you would place the heatsink on top of the object. In this case I'm not sure I would do that unless you are comfortable that the heatsink will be stable and do no damage to your drive. Also, it's best for the surface of the drive touching the heatsink to be metal. Probably your hard drive has a plastic housing. Hopefully the bottom is metal. If it has any of those rubber footings, remove them.

Check at your local computer hardware store or home supply store (Lowes, Home Depot) to find a heatsink or the materials to make it.

But I would return the Lacie HDs if possible. The fact that they are overheating means the design is bad. If you have a local computer hardware store go have a talk with them. I would check out Western Digital and Maxtor drives.

HTH.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 07:57 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dennis Markum : (edit)
I have 650 GB of files which constitutes several days of capturing and transferring files and 8 hours of editing. I have talked to two Lacie technicians. The first one (male) was calm and helpful and walked me through a check disc utility (which ran for 2 days to repair the files) which finally got me to the point where I could see the files associated with the drive letter. It worked for a short time and the same message appeared.>>>

These Lacie drives are really cheap, and because they are cheap, we are all taking
chances with them. After my first two LaCie drives had issues, I bought
another as a backup. Using carbon copy cloner I now back up after each
day's work. The Murphy principle is, if you buy the insurance policy chances
are that you'll never need it. To go unprotected is like waving a red flag
in front of Mr. Murphy, and he'll charge at the worst possible time.

Weibtech makes better stuff (so I'm told), but the price point is at least 1/3rd higher.
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