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You MAY POSSIBLY be able to take the raw hard drive out of the case and connect it directly inside a desktop computer; it may be a standard ATA or SATA drive. If you can do that, transfer all the data to another hard drive (internal or external or network) directly.
If you or a friend have another computer, please try plugging the drive into another computer. If it shows and works correctly then there are 2 other things I would try. You may have done this already but try a different usb port. If you are using a front port, try using one of the rear ports. I find that the front ports are not as reliable as the rear since it adds another short portion of cable and an additional connection at the mainboard. You may have received an update that made the USB act differently. The second thing I would try is plugging in the drive and then before trying to access the drive, run a hard drive diagnostic like Western Digitals diagnostic for Windows or Maxblast. You may find that the drive has failed. Its also possible that the enclosure has failed. If all else fails, try taking the drive out of the enclosure and puting it directly into a computer. You may be able to transfer data to another drive if you can see the information on the drive you have removed from the failed enclosure. Hope this helps... Dale
Don't know about the MAC part, but an I/O error implies that the either the source file cannot be read or the destination drive will not write. This is usually an indicator of a bad HDD. To check, I would attempt to connect the external drive to another computer. If it still gives the same indication, contact the drive manufacturer about data recovery recommendations
Some LaCie drives ship out formatted FAT32 so they will be ready to use on either a Mac or a PC. If you are getting error -50 when copying to a LaCie drive, or any drive formatted for PC, it is because of the following:
Certain characters that can be used in a Mac OS X filename are not allowed in MS-DOS filenames. This can prevent the file from being copied, and can occur when a filename contains non-printing ASCII characters, or any of these characters: ? / \ < > " | > *.
Either copy the data off of the drive and use Apple's Disk Utility to erase the drive in Mac OS Extended format, or change the filenames of the documents that cannot be copied.
Hope that helps
I also noticed there are some patches for LaCie drives. You may check out the patches before the format.
Let me know what happens.