Not too long ago – not even a month ago, in fact – I was raving about the new LaCie “Big Disk” Ethernet network drive I’d gotten, which added a desperately-needed terabyte of storage to my network. After copying most of my media (including my whole directory of Evan photos) to the new drive and making sure it was performing as promised, I started to gradually delete the stuff off the local hard drives on Zen and Orac.

At about the ten day mark, it started getting weird. In short, Queeg started living up to its namesake, trying to elbow out other machines for the *.*.1.1 slot on my router – very weird behavior. LaCie tech support thought that was odd, but couldn’t really offer any solutions, and any attempt to force Queeg to settle down at a specific address rather than a dynamically-assigned one brought about even weirder weirdness.

Then I couldn’t get files from it anymore. BIG problem – kinda defeats the whole point of having a freakin’ outboard mass storage device, no? LaCie tech support sent me two patches, neither of which fixed the problem, and in fact made the thing start acting weirder – I couldn’t modify any settings because the system firmware insisted that the drive was completely out of space and couldn’t handle any more. Then last night, it lost its “shares” – its directories full of stuff that I had moved there from the other two machines. I thought it had lost the data. LaCie’s answer to this was to send a return authorization number to ship the drive back to them, but they said that there was no way they’d get their fingers into the pie on recovering the 600 gigs of data I’d offloaded to the drive.

I know that every hard drive in the world, in every computer in the world, will someday fail. It’s moving parts and motors, which wear out. I accept that. That’s why you’re probably never going to go out of business making hard drives (at least until they’re phased out in favor of stable mass-storage-grade flash drives). But you know, three weeks? That’s a new land speed record. I’ve pretty much made the decision that I’m not going to take LaCie up on their offer – I’m going to return the drive to Amazon and get my money back instead, and get a 1TB internal drive for a different manufacturer. Zen’s overdue for getting the dust blown out of it anyway – it needs to be opened up as it is, might as well stick a drive in there while I’m at it.

So, the grade for LaCie’s 1TB “Big Disk” Ethernet Drive is an epic fail – it might be a great product when it works, but when it doesn’t you’re going to be saddled with some of the most inept tech support you’ve ever seen. I’m used to outsourced-to-India call center flunkies not being able to cope when your tech support call diverges from their script. I’m not sure what the excuse is for these jokers.

Also, in the future, I think I need to stop naming my network nodes after cranky-ass sci-fi supercomputers. Apparently the deck’s stacked against me on the hardware manufacturer end anyway, so I need to do myself a favor and stop tempting fate.

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Earl Green ()

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2 Responses to “Stop shirkin’ and start workin’: the fall of Queeg.”

  1. Ugh! Sorry to hear about the super suck external drive issues! What a pain in the butt! I think I would be mortified if all of my data had been moved onto the new drive and that happened to me. I just got a new external 500 gig and am tackling my backup project this weekend. Knock on wood, I won’t fall victim to the same thing. I also plan on backing most of that data up to new DVDs as well, though, since I’ve got a ton of crap on old burned CDs whose life expectancy is sure to run out soon. (I’m fairly obsessive and like to have multiple backups even though it’s a pain and time consuming.) Good luck on the 1TB internal drive! May it live long and prosper!

  2. A little update: Amazon’s having UPS come by to pick it up tomorrow or Tuesday, and I’m trying to recover what data from it that I can in that time, without a huge amount of success. I’ll be getting my money back on this one.

    I’d also like to point out that the reason I went with a LaCie drive is because the RIAA has manufacturers like Western Digital installing crippleware in their mass storage drives, because, you know, anyone who needs mass storage is automatically a thief. Never mind that my music directory consisted of a couple thousand CDs that I own and spent a great deal of time ripping so I could listen at my own convenience. Seriously: to hell with the RIAA. If ever there was a trade organization that needed to fall and fall hard, the RIAA is it. The consumers and the artists will be better off for it. The day is coming, RIAA, and it cannot come nearly soon enough.

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