Don’t buy Lacie

I’ve bought lots of external storage over the last few years. Some of it meant for long-term storage, but most of the time it serves a relatively cheap way to get data from one place to another: buy a 100GB disk, throw some files on it, post it, forget about it. Much of the time I’ve bought Lacie drives because they are readily available, and fairly inexpensive.

However, I came to rely on them for something important recently. As usual, I made two copies of the data on two new disks, and hand-carried them to where they needed to go. Much to my disappointment, both disks failed. One (a 250GB firewire model) failed completely, the second (a USB 500GB one) just wouldn’t mount. Okay, so these things happen from time to time. Right now, I have seven lacie disks in front of me, 3 of which don’t work, but I’ve had the others for a long time, including a small one I’ve kept with my laptop for several years and has (so far) never let me down.

Reliable disks are an oxymoron, and I’d never want to depend on an external drive not to fail. No, the real problem with Lacie seems to be that when things go wrong with their equipment, they don’t want to know. The retailer I bought them from has a return to manufacturer policy- if you bought the disks 3 months ago, you’ve got to contact Lacie directly. Lacie’s UK website boasts a fax number, a sales email address, and (if you can navigate the confusing web page hierarchy) a web contact form to their support team. And apparently no-one who responds to any of them.

So the moral of this story is, I won’t be buying from Lacie any more, and I urge people to do the same. As for alternatives, I hear good things about G-Tech… drives (and their tech support), but for real peace of mind, buy a regular hard disk and a separate enclosure. At least that way, your data is accessible.

Posted: November 16th, 2006
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