, , , ,

Some years ago I bought a Lacie 2Big Network external HDD with two 500 Gig drives. After losing lots of files due to crashing harddrives in my PC it looked like a good system. In Safe Mode it acts as a Raid drive which means that the drives are mirrored so when one fails all data are on the other one. After replacing the crashed HD the system functions as before with no files lost.

Lacie 2bigSo far so good. I felt pretty safe until last week. None of the drives ever failed in those years but last week the enclosure had some problems. I could not access either one of the drives, so having them mirrored did not help very much.

I tried all the solutions I found on the internet: New power supply, tried factory reset but that did not work. Downloaded newest Lacie Network Assistant to try the recover function and put a new OS in it. Nothing worked.

Since it was pretty old, and after reading the great help people got from LaCie I decided not to bother, only wanted to recover my files from that drive. Feeling save with the raid system I did not make much backup.

Read a lot on forums but most of them gave up after a lot of long posts without finding a solution. In the end it was very simple although it took me three days to figure it out.

Here we go. I do not accept any responsibility if things go wrong, it worked for me.

Remove one of the drives from the LaCie, since they are both OK it doesn’t matter which one. If one crashed take the good one.

You will have to attach it to a PC with a SATA HDD port. I assume you are on Windows like I was. You need a PC that can boot from USB stick, so check your BIOS.

Download Ubuntu from the Ubuntu website I took the 32 bit version.There is also a version for Mac.

Get the USB installer from Pendrivelinux.com and follow the instructions.

Shut down the PC, attach the LaCie disk to the Sata port. I only had one so I removed the Windows drive. Insert the Ubuntu boot USB stick and boot the PC. Make sure u changed to boot from USB in your BIOS. When asked choose “try Ubuntu”, you don’t want to install it. This way the whole system will stay on the stick.

Now all you have to do is find the LaCie and mount it so you can access the files.

Open a terminal window (Ctrl-Alt+T) and type:

sudo su


fdisk -l (this is a small cap L not a number 1)

You should see the drive, in my situation it was listed as sda.


sudo mount -t xfs /dev/sda /media

(This was what took me so long. LaCie uses the xfs file system instead of the ext3).

ls /media

Change to the media directory ( cd /media ) and you should see you files, mostly in the share directory.

From there you can drag them to another drive, a USB stick or as I did to another computer in the network.

Well it worked for me. I am not a linux expert so if you have problems try the Ubuntu forum or search the internet. There is a lot of help there but you have to search a lot. Personally I don’t understand why forum mods don’t remove the long discussions that don’t lead to a solution. But that is my opinion.