shinoSetsuna

Failed Lacie "Big Disk" 500GB, what raid chipset..

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hi all... first post here, hopefully someone can clear up some confusion here... i have a *very* important client here, who just dropped off a seemingly dead Lacie "Big Disk" 500GB drive. he has 300GB of *extremely important* data on the drive, most of it irreplaceable video footage. he is in hysterics.

now, the Lacie unit seems literally dead, no power going into the unit whatsoever... the power brock does have its green LED lit, but when plugged in the unit doesn't even attempt to spin up, seems utterly dead and powerless... my client is really going nuts. what i am wondering is, if the drives themselves are indeed ok and this is solely a power issue, can i take those drives out and attach them to a RAID card in a PC to rebuild his stripe and recover his data?

the main question seems to be, what kind of RAID chipset is Lacie using? Highpoint, Promise? any suggestions for what kind of PCI card i would need to pick up to get the stripe to show up w/in Windows so we can recover the precious video?

i have already dissassembled the unit, he isn't worried about the warranty. neither drive has any scorching on its circuit board, so i'm assuming the problem really lies w/in the Lacies power transformer.

any advice would be *greatly* appreciated, i'm going to try calling Lacie tech but i don't know how willing they will be to help w/ this...

thx in advance for any information friends..!

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ok, just got off the phone w/ Lacie, the tech was surprisingly helpful... he supplied me w/ the fact that the RAID chipset is based upon the "Oxford 912" chipset, but said that the "Oxford 925" chipset would work as well.

he had no idea where i could source a PCI-based controller based upon these chipsets sadly... anyone suggest somewhere to look?

also, since this is just a standard RAID0 stripe, is it totally impossible that plugging these into another type of RAID controller (Promise, Highpoint?) would be able to rebuild the stripe successfully, or is that just not going to happen?

any advice or clarification would be great, thx all..!

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Bad news only I am afraid.

Firstly, as far as I know, half a stripe is almost impossible to recover, which is why Sriped arrays are never ever recommended for anyone serious about their data.

Secondly, if you have a voltmeter then check the polarity of the wiring on the base of the power brick, and test it. If you dont have a voltmeter you might want to get one, a basic one will do, and wont cost the earth.

If that does not work, speak to a data recovery firm, it's not the kind of thing that I would consider touching myself, but a data recovery firm might.

I hope that I have helped more than I have scared you

Andy

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Bad news only I am afraid.

Firstly, as far as I know, half a stripe is almost impossible to recover, which is why Sriped arrays are never ever recommended for anyone serious about their data.

Secondly, if you have a voltmeter then check the polarity of the wiring on the base of the power brick, and test it.  If you dont have a voltmeter you might want to get one, a basic one will do, and wont cost the earth.

If that does not work, speak to a data recovery firm, it's not the kind of thing that I would consider touching myself, but a data recovery firm might.

I hope that I have helped more than I have scared you

Andy

197594[/snapback]

hi Andy, thx to you for your swift reply! yes, i realize that if one disk has gone bad, there is no chance of recovering the stripe... operating on the assumption that both disks are indeed fine though, would it be possible to rebuild/access the stripe w/ both drives plugged into a conventional PCI raid controller?

and if so, what controller would be appropriate..?

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Lexwalker,

Whether or not many of your last few posts have consituted spam is debateable, but now you're crossing the line. This board is not an advertising site for your pet project, and you definitely shouldn't be soliciting customers on it!

I'm sure this forum is ranked pretty high in google's page rank algorithm for indexes like "data recovery" and "storage,", and it's pretty obvious to me want you're doing. I think the mods should stop it. Not to mention the fact that I think they should delete your links as well --every last one.

ShinoSetsuma,

Attempting the data recovery yourself, on behalf of your client is very well-intentioned, but if he truly values that data, no offence intended, it should be sent off to the pros. The attempts you make to recover it could very likely worsen the situation.

I would send the disks to a reputable data recovery company. By reputable I mean one that doesn't spam fora like SR to attract customers and inflate their page-rank. Under no circumstances should you send your disks to this lexwalker spammer.

Edited by Gilbo

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Lexwalker,

Whether or not many of your last few posts have consituted spam is debateable, but now you're crossing the line.  This board is not an advertising site for your pet project, and you definitely shouldn't be soliciting customers on it!

I'm sure this forum is ranked pretty high in google's page rank algorithm for indexes like "data recovery" and "storage,", and it's pretty obvious to me want you're doing.  I think the mods should stop it.  Not to mention the fact that I think they should delete your links as well --every last one.

ShinoSetsuma,

Attempting the data recovery yourself, on behalf of your client is very well-intentioned, but if he truly values that data, no offence intended, it should be sent off to the pros.  The attempts you make to recover it could very likely worsen the situation.

I would send the disks to a reputable data recovery company.  By reputable I mean one that doesn't spam fora like SR to attract customers and inflate their page-rank.  Under no circumstances should you send your disks to this lexwalker spammer.

197597[/snapback]

thx Gilbo... unfortunately, my client is in a bad spot here w/ this happening. the video footage he is trying to get back from this unit is needed really fast, or he is just going to have to scrap the entire contract... really fast as in this weekend. if there is any chance that his data is sitting on the drives fine and this is only a power issue, he really wants to pursue any avenue to recover it. as i said, the unit doesn't power up whatsoever, there aren't any of the ominous clicks and grinds i usually associate w/ dying maxtors (which i loathe, btw)... thx for your input friend..!

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thx Gilbo... unfortunately, my client is in a bad spot here w/ this happening. the video footage he is trying to get back from this unit is needed really fast, or he is just going to have to scrap the entire contract... really fast as in this weekend. if there is any chance that his data is sitting on the drives fine and this is only a power issue, he really wants to pursue any avenue to recover it. as i said, the unit doesn't power up whatsoever, there aren't any of the ominous clicks and grinds i usually associate w/ dying maxtors (which i loathe, btw)... thx for your input friend..!

197598[/snapback]

Considering the value of the data, I would have sent the external drive for professional recovery yesterday. I'm sure there are places you can send for fast turnaround. Places the HDD firms recommend on their websites are a good starting point. Here's the one from WD's site, for example. I doubt rebuilding a RAID 0 array on another controller is a trivial matter and it's certainly not something I'd want to try when the data is that valuable.

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thx Gilbo... unfortunately, my client is in a bad spot here w/ this happening. the video footage he is trying to get back from this unit is needed really fast, or he is just going to have to scrap the entire contract... really fast as in this weekend. if there is any chance that his data is sitting on the drives fine and this is only a power issue, he really wants to pursue any avenue to recover it. as i said, the unit doesn't power up whatsoever, there aren't any of the ominous clicks and grinds i usually associate w/ dying maxtors (which i loathe, btw)... thx for your input friend..!

197598[/snapback]

Considering the value of the data, I would have sent the external drive for professional recovery yesterday. I'm sure there are places you can send for fast turnaround. Places the HDD firms recommend on their websites are a good starting point. Here's the one from WD's site, for example. I doubt rebuilding a RAID 0 array on another controller is a trivial matter and it's certainly not something I'd want to try when the data is that valuable.

197601[/snapback]

yes, the disaster happened this morning unfortunately... we haven't had any luck finding RAID controllers based upon the Oxford chipset online either, i am thinking it is probably an embedded product mostly... maybe on some motherboards as well..

:(

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thx Gilbo... unfortunately, my client is in a bad spot here w/ this happening. the video footage he is trying to get back from this unit is needed really fast, or he is just going to have to scrap the entire contract... really fast as in this weekend. if there is any chance that his data is sitting on the drives fine and this is only a power issue, he really wants to pursue any avenue to recover it. as i said, the unit doesn't power up whatsoever, there aren't any of the ominous clicks and grinds i usually associate w/ dying maxtors (which i loathe, btw)... thx for your input friend..!

197598[/snapback]

Considering the value of the data, I would have sent the external drive for professional recovery yesterday. I'm sure there are places you can send for fast turnaround. Places the HDD firms recommend on their websites are a good starting point. Here's the one from WD's site, for example. I doubt rebuilding a RAID 0 array on another controller is a trivial matter and it's certainly not something I'd want to try when the data is that valuable.

197601[/snapback]

yes, the disaster happened this morning unfortunately... we haven't had any luck finding RAID controllers based upon the Oxford chipset online either, i am thinking it is probably an embedded product mostly... maybe on some motherboards as well..

:(

197602[/snapback]

For quick turnaround you may well be forced to buy another Lacie unit from a local vendor then void the warranty by installing the drives from the failed unit into the new unit. This will also give you the best chance in the event Lacie has proprietary hard drive firmware on the drives in its units.

Free

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The Oxford chip is a 1394-IDE bridge, not a RAID chip. Its ARM processor does RAID.

There may be RAID data recovery software that works without any RAID controller. Likely expensive.

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Lexwalker,

Whether or not many of your last few posts have consituted spam is debateable, but now you're crossing the line.  This board is not an advertising site for your pet project, and you definitely shouldn't be soliciting customers on it!

I'm sure this forum is ranked pretty high in google's page rank algorithm for indexes like "data recovery" and "storage,", and it's pretty obvious to me want you're doing.  I think the mods should stop it.  Not to mention the fact that I think they should delete your links as well --every last one.

ShinoSetsuma,

Attempting the data recovery yourself, on behalf of your client is very well-intentioned, but if he truly values that data, no offence intended, it should be sent off to the pros.  The attempts you make to recover it could very likely worsen the situation.

I would send the disks to a reputable data recovery company.  By reputable I mean one that doesn't spam fora like SR to attract customers and inflate their page-rank.  Under no circumstances should you send your disks to this lexwalker spammer.

197597[/snapback]

I resent that...I am not a spammer! :angry: Did you read the information on that site? Guess you haven't! Try reading the page and see... They don't hide any information and reveal why these Lacie and Maxtor drives can fail.

Failure Symptoms:

    * Specific files & / or directories become inaccessible and disappear

    * In more severe cases, the entire drive becomes inaccessible and disappears

Further potential problems:

    * Possible overheating - The drive enclosure contains no fan to cool the disks and therefore, especially in hot conditions, the failure rates of these devices will be higher.

    * Disk geometry and operating conditions cause failure due to bad sectors

    * LaCie Big Disks use Maxtor hard drives - Read more on specific failures of Maxtor hard disks

Data recovery: All the LaCie Big Disk units we've had sent to us for data recovery have failed in the same way - you will find that the device becomes inaccessible. Fortunately, the data is recoverable.

Attempting such delicate data recovery itself from a dead hard drive requires professional help. Read the detailed info on how Maxtor drives can fail! And if there's another party to blame also, it has to be Lacie themselves for the shoddy casing. :angry:

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In some cases plugging the drive straight into any standard IDE controller and running a software-based RAID reconstruction program may work. It would take a lot of experimenting with the parameters, not to mention 500GB of space to rebuild it onto.

Best to send it off to a [reputable] recovery company/agency. Or, as previously suggested, buying another "Big Disk" enclosure and sticking the existing drives into it (thus voiding both warranties and wasting a lot of money). All depends on the value of the data involved.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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Btw, If you type [lacie 500GB drive failure] at Google! you can straight away see this website

XXX in the search results... Doesn't take much of detective work! I Google! a lot... When you asked about a data recovery company that can handle external Lacie drives, that's where I pointed at. You can try to find a local data recovery company near your place (which I donno where anyway..). I suggest Gilbo try to define the word "spam"! :angry:

Edited by Future Shock

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On the topic of spam, I will respond with what one judge said when asked to if he had a definition for pornography:

"I don't have to define it, but I know it when I see it..."

Future Shock

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Well, there are of course (2) 250GB drives in there. You have to somehow send both drives to a recovery firm. Try Drive Savers

They have a great reputation and they have emergency service where once they receieve the disks, they won't stop working on them until all the data they can get off the drive is recovered. Best of luck. :)

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I resent that...I am not a spammer! :angry:  Did you read the information on that site? Guess you haven't! Try reading the page and see... They don't hide any information and reveal why these Lacie and Maxtor drives can fail.

Lexwalker, if you don't want to be treated like a spammer you have to stop acting like one. Although I did feel irriateted by your former post against maxtor and feel that it is understandable. When you keep trashing one company in every single thread with blanket rant and suggesting everyone to read one data recovery company's website as a reference, it makes the experience here intolerable. So please, if you don't want to be called a spammer, stop acting like one.

Also, you will find that many storage review visitors to be in the storage industry insider, from QA to engineers to OEM buyers to IT professionals that deals with between hundreds and millions drives a quarter on a regular basis. You will also find people that have worked in many company through out their life in different rival companys (i.e. jumping between WDC, Seagate, IBM, Quantum, and Maxtor) and between different part of the harddrive food chain (from Dell, EMC, Veritas, Hitachi, ST, Marvell, Agere, ReadRite, TDK, Nidec, etc). Once you stay long enough you will be amazed, on topics like how one vendor's chipset has a bug, how another vendor's RAID is done in software instead of hardware, or how one wierd symptom is fixable by which firmware version. There are many things to learn here.

Back to that particular data recovery company. I am making an assumption that you have no affiliation with them, so I am going to speak from my mind about why many of us would rather throw the drive away than wasting $ on them

1. Making a blanket statement about why one brand is always going to fail is like saying every one who eat bread will die one day. This is pointless.

2. Making a blanket statement about all drive in a particular model is recoverable is asking for some. This shows how innocent/ignorant this recovery firm is in the industry and how much you can trust them.

3. The way they "fix" a DM9 by soldering a 5V line to one phase of the circuit is lucky at best and dangerous at worst. If they are not at least replacing the PCB while trying to recover the data, I won't be confident with them.

4. No offsense, but having someone hardsell it in every single thread is the biggest turn off for serious customer.

Edited by pandabear

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If it's only a power issue, it might work to connect the lacie unit to a computer via usb/firewire and use molex/sata-power connectors from another computer to power up the drives. If the lacia unit only uses external power to run the drives (and not the ARM processor and such), I think you should be able to at least save the data... I'm not sure, though, as I have no idea whatsoever how the lacie drives are constructed. Good luck :-)

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For quick turnaround you may well be forced to buy another Lacie unit from a local vendor then void the warranty by installing the drives from the failed unit into the new unit. This will also give you the best chance in the event Lacie has proprietary hard drive firmware on the drives in its units.

Free

197603[/snapback]

yes, this is the route we are going... after removing both 250GB drives from the chassis and connecting them to a regular PC's molex connectors they both spin up and sound totally normal, so i am pretty confident that the failure is in the Lacie circuitry itself.

we found an identical model locally that is going to be picked up in the morning, i figure a straight transplant is going to be the most hopeful/painless solution here...

thx to all for the very helpful advice here in this thread today, everyones input has been *most* appreciated! i will post tomorrow the results of the transplant, my client could care less about voiding the warranty on the new unit to regain his precious video footage... and we're going to have a nice long talk about *mirroring*..!

jollygood.gif

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If it's only a power issue, it might work to connect the lacie unit to a computer via usb/firewire and use molex/sata-power connectors from another computer to power up the drives. If the lacia unit only uses external power to run the drives (and not the ARM processor and such), I think you should be able to at least save the data... I'm not sure, though, as I have no idea whatsoever how the lacie drives are constructed. Good luck :-)

197618[/snapback]

hmmm... very interesting idea, and never would have occured to me, thx! if it weren't so late i'd be tempted to try it out..!

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If it's only a power issue, it might work to connect the lacie unit to a computer via usb/firewire and use molex/sata-power connectors from another computer to power up the drives. If the lacia unit only uses external power to run the drives (and not the ARM processor and such), I think you should be able to at least save the data... I'm not sure, though, as I have no idea whatsoever how the lacie drives are constructed. Good luck :-)

197618[/snapback]

That might work. I remember working on a USB project and it seemed to me that a lot of the USB-IDE bridges are bus-powered. It may be the case for FW-IDE bridges too.

yes, this is the route we are going... after removing both 250GB drives from the chassis and connecting them to a regular PC's molex connectors they both spin up and sound totally normal, so i am pretty confident that the failure is in the Lacie circuitry itself.

197622[/snapback]

curious to hear what ended up happening.

on a sidenote: I doubt that the drives in the LaCie unit are RAID0-ed. It wouldn't really make sense, since I am sure that each of the 250 GB drives can easily saturate the FW/ USB bus by itself, so RAID0-ing the drives doesn't seem to make much sense. They might just be JBOD-ed, which may make data recovery easier.

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Even if they are striped, there are programs availible (too lazy look it up) to "stitch" them together if they work separatly in a machine as indicated.

(not too hard acually, I've made a <10-line kornshell-script which does it in AIX)

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