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My LaCIe external hard drive will not open - I get a message saying that the disc is not ready and there may be a drawer open as though it is a DVD ROM - I have tried it on 3 diff computers and the message is the same

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I am not really sure where to start here because I am a little confused about your setup here. It seems you made a great choice to keep Windows and your data on separate drives. Your primary hard drive is a really fast SATA Raptor drive, which is great, but I would never use an external hard drive for general everyday data storage. Many will probably disagree with what I have to say, but external hard drives should really be used only for temporary backup. I would never suggest using an external hard drive as your only copy of your data or for regular everyday use. There are several reasons for this:
1. External Hard drives are generally slower than Internal Drives.
2. Many of them come preformatted with Fat32, so you are limited to files no larger then 4gig.
3. They are more likely to fail because they are normally subjected to a greater likelihood of accidental bumping or dropping.
4. Many external drive enclosures are not properly cooled for continuous usage and thus lead to premature failure.
5. You often have no idea what brand of hard drive is actually inside the enclosure.

Don’t get me wrong, external hard drives are wonderful and I use them all the time. I have three LaCie 160 gig drives myself that I use all the time for temporary backup, but I rotate them so that I have 3 consecutive backups and would never use them (not just Lacie but any external drive) as my only backup or as a primary data drive. And yes, I have had to replace a few of them due to failure.

So to address your specific questions:

What went wrong?
1. Bad Cable - Well it is probably unlikely, but I would first try another USB cable just to make sure the cable is not damaged.
2. Power Supply - Try another power supply if you have or can borrow one.
3. Controller Failed – The Controller inside the Lacie has failed.
4. Drive Failure – The Hard Disk inside the Lacie has failed. Drives typically have an average 5 year lifespan, some last longer and some can fail much sooner. Unfortunately, you rarely have any warning, thus the need for backups.

Posted on Nov 05, 2008

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