Data recovery from a LaCie D2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt 2 external disk which was not showing up on Mac

LaCie external hard disks have always been extremely popular with Apple Mac users in Ireland. Most of their models of external disk tend to be high capacity and come equipped with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 ports. Their “Rugged” range of external disks (such as Rugged Mini, Rugged Thunderbolt and Rugged Triple) uses Thunderbolt or USB-C ports. Disks in the “Rugged” range are swaddled in a distinctive orange rubberised overcoat to protect against shock damage

LaCie also offers a range of DAS RAID devices such as their 2Big, 2Big Quarda, 2Big Dock Thunderbolt 3, 4Big, 5Big and 8Big devices which offer high capacity local storage without having to use USB or LAN connections.

And LaCie is perhaps the only hard disk manufacturer to have introduced a range of “designer” external hard disks allegedly based on designs by the Porsche design studio in Germany.

While most users have a trouble-free experience. Unfortunately, some LaCie owners can experience data inaccessibility problems with their disks. These include:

  • Accidental deletion of HFS+, APFS formatted LaCie disk
  • Accidental deletion of HFS+, APFS or NTFS partition
  • Accidental shock damage (e.g. dropping your LaCie disk)
  • Power surge damage to your LaCie disk
  • LaCie disk with corrupted firmware

Such issues can manifest themselves in various ways, such as:

  • Your LaCie disk is not recognised by macOS when connected to your iMac or MacBook.
  • Your LaCie disk no longer spins ups.
  • Your LaCie disk is making a beeping, ticking or a clicking noise.
Data recovery from a LaCie D2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt 2 external disk which was not showing up on Mac Data Recovery Ireland
Data Recovery from a LaCie D2 Thunderbolt drive

Such a case happened only last week to a user in Mayo. They used a D2 Thunderbolt disk in their media production business for many years without incident. However, recently they connected the disk to the Mac computer and it was not recognised. Their local IT support company ran data recovery software which could not even recognise the disk let alone find any data. They sent the disk to us. We opened up the case and found a 4TB S-ATA Seagate IronWolf disk. (This was not really surprising as Seagate now owns the LaCie brand). Our diagnostics revealed 2 weak disk-heads. This explained why the disk was not being recognised. One of these heads was needed to read the Master Boot Record of the disk but couldn’t. In our class-100 cleanroom, we removed the old Head Disk Assembly (HDA) using a customised “head-comb” for Seagate Ironwolf disks. We replaced it with a new HDA. Due to the architecture of IronWolf disks, inter-head alignment (getting all disk heads aligned with each other) was time-consuming (but very important in order to minimise NRRO – non-repeatable run out errors). We then slowly imaged the disk overnight. (Trying to operate a disk which has undergone a “head transplant” at full speed can lead to the new disk-heads getting rejected) The following morning, we were able to initialise the disk but, to our dismay, still no HFS+ volume was showing. Further diagnostics, revealed that the file system just needed some repairing (this can happen occasionally after an HDA swap). After repairs to the file system had completed, we finally got the volume to mount successfully. All files were appeared intact and the volume even retained its “LACIE” name – always a good sign after recovery!     

Adobe Lightroom, MPEG, AVI files, and FCPX (Apple Final Cut Pro) files were all successfully recovered, saving our customer hours and hours of redoing work. He was now able to get on with his workflow with minimal disruption as if nothing had happened.

Drive Rescue offer a full data recovery service for LaCie D2 disks, LaCie Rugged, LaCie Big (RAID) and LaCie Porsche Design USB disks in Dublin, Ireland. LaCie Data Recovery in Ireland Call us on 1890 571 571