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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Don’t ever buy La Cie again!

  • Don’t ever buy La Cie again!

  • Francois Stark

    June 21, 2006 at 11:34 am

    Warning – This is a Rant.

    I bought a La Cie Big Disk 1TB FW800 drive array about two years ago. It worked fine for about 15 months, of which it was not used for about 8 months. Then it died.

    Fine.

    It’s a Raid 0 four drive array – I knew the risks involved – if one drives fails I lose all my data. Luckily it failed in between projects.

    I took it back to my reseller for repairs. He did a preliminary test and said it was not under warantee anymore, he’d have to send it back to the local distributors to have it repaired.

    Fine.

    He even got me a detailed quote – it would take two weeks to fix, they would have to replace the controller board and the one hard disk. It would cost about $400 to fix, which I was prepared to pay. I’m still trying to find out where and how he got this quote.

    Three weeks later I called the reseller. He called the distributor and was told they would not fix it.

    The drive was out of warantee and the local distributors will not fix it. If I want it fixed, it would have to be sent to France. From South Africa, on my cost… Ridiculous.

    I called the distributor in South Africa, Maxtec, and had a very enlightening conversation with them. They told me that their contract with La Cie prohibits them from opening a drive array once it is out of warantee.

    Any other consumer-oriented electronics company would ensure that the local distributor would be able to do board-level repairs to the equipment long after the warantee has lapsed.

    Let me say that again: La Cie prohibits the South African distributor of drive arrays from doing any repairs on drive arrays once the warantee has lapsed. Any drive array would have to be shipped to France to be repaired. Courier cost from South Africa to France and back will make the repair cost at least three times more expensive – in my opinion it is just a way to force the end user to throw aray the drive array in order to sell more new ones to them.

    So here it is: I can not believe any organisation that sells products worldwide can give such nonexistant support – a product that is two years old can not be fixed locally – not even board level! I have not heard of such bad support in my 10 years in the business.

    I will not buy La Cie ever again. I will tell everybody that cares to ask not to buy La Cie. I would advise you all to do the same.

    How would you feel if you have to tell somebody who bought a drive array two years ago that they can trash it because it can not be fixed? Would you still promote the manufacturer?

    Regards
    Francois Stark
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

  • walter biscardi

    June 21, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Francois, I’ve passed along your message to LaCie for a response on this as it does sound rather ridiculous that your drive cannot be repaired locally. Did you contact LaCie directly and explain your situation? Did you request that LaCie pay the shipping cost to send the drive to / from France? Did you ask LaCie for any alternatives?

    However, I have and will continue to recommend LaCie to users as they have been nothing short of great for me here in the U.S. We run about 6 or 8 of their units with some four years old. Quite frankly, I expect my drive units to run for two years, after that I start looking to replace them as primary drive units and slide the older ones to a backup role.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    https://www.biscardicreative.com

    Director, “The Rough Cut”
    https://www.theroughcutmovie.com

    Now Posting “Good Eats” in HD for the Food Network

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” – Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  • jack fox

    June 21, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    When it “died” do you mean no lights no sound as if it didn’t have power? Lacie has had some power supply problems, which has caused all sorts of quirky symptoms. It is not that the power supply fails, but that they are under powered, which makes them look good on a volt meter but often not able to supply what the amperage a drive requires. This was especially prevalent with the 500s. If you have a 1T try a power supply (assuming the voltage is the same) for a 2T. This of course assumes that the problem is that your current supply has suffered heat damage and no longer can supply the required amperage.

    jmf

  • walter biscardi

    June 21, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    [Francois Stark] “I called the distributor in South Africa, Maxtec, and had a very enlightening conversation with them. They told me that their contract with La Cie prohibits them from opening a drive array once it is out of warantee.

    Any other consumer-oriented electronics company would ensure that the local distributor would be able to do board-level repairs to the equipment long after the warantee has lapsed.”

    Mat Gasguy at LaCie just wrote me back and he’s contacting the local distributor to discuss the situation. Just one thing to note. Once the drive is out of warranty, anybody, including you or the distributor, can open the drive array so that’s a bit puzzling in your statement. I’m sure they will not get re-imbursed by LaCie for any work out of warranty, but to say they can’t open the drive period is a bit puzzling. Mat will probably respond directly in this forum once he’s had a chance to chase down exactly what’s going on.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    https://www.biscardicreative.com

    Director, “The Rough Cut”
    https://www.theroughcutmovie.com

    Now Posting “Good Eats” in HD for the Food Network

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” – Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  • Mat @ LaCie

    June 21, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Francois,
    I hope that you are doing well. Could you email me your serial number? My email is mgasquy@lacie.com. South Africa is handled by our France office so I will check with them. They confirmed that Maxtec is an excellent distributor so they were surprised to hear about your situation.

    Thanks.
    Mat @ LaCie

  • Francois Stark

    June 21, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Mat

    I spoke to my account manager at the distributor, Maxtec, this morning and they would not commit to repairing the array locally. She claimed that they are not allowed by La Cie to open any array once it is out of warantee.

    However, it seems my reseller is now ordering the spares direct from La Cie USA, bypassing Maxtec, and will implement the repairs themselves. I hope it works out.

    I find this whole situation deplorable. The array’s serial number is 905 404 050866.

    Regards
    Francois

  • Francois Stark

    June 21, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    The array did spin up the drives, but would not mount on the desktop of any mac – more likely the control card. It could have been the power supply supplying a low voltage, but I have no spares to swop out – I’m not the distributor!

    Thanks for the tip.

    Francois

  • walter biscardi

    June 21, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    [Francois Stark] “The array did spin up the drives, but would not mount on the desktop of any mac – more likely the control card.”

    I’ve seen this happen on FW 400, FW 800 and even SCSI drives when the shutdown procedure did not properly eject the drives before the machine shut down. It’s rare, but it can happen. What I’ve found to work in this situation is to simply leave my Mac and the Drive running overnight or at least for 2 hours. Just let them sit there or you can also launch Disk Utility which will spin forever as it tries to see all the drives. After a few hours or overnight, the drive usually shows up mounted.

    One way to ensure no problems during shutdown is to manually eject your drives before shutting down. I don’t do that all the time myself, but it’s not a bad habit to get into.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    https://www.biscardicreative.com

    Director, “The Rough Cut”
    https://www.theroughcutmovie.com

    Now Posting “Good Eats” in HD for the Food Network

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” – Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  • Francois Stark

    June 21, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Wally

    The drive is not in my hands anymore. The reseller tested it and found the control card faulty.

    What I’ve found to work in this situation is to simply leave my Mac and the Drive running overnight or at least for 2 hours. Just let them sit there or you can also launch Disk Utility which will spin forever as it tries to see all the drives. After a few hours or overnight, the drive usually shows up mounted.

    Wow, Wally – how often does this happen to you? I hope it is with your older drives – the ones you use for backup…

    I’m running with journalling and this has saved many drives from corruption. When I boot in verbose mode after a dirty shutdown, I can see the drive replaying or undoing the last journal entries, and that’s that. Solved.

    Now Posting:
    Generations – South Africa’s largest daily 26 min soapy (in viewership) for the past 8 years – continously;
    Binnelanders – one hour per week mixed single cam/multicam hospital drama series; The first 54 episode 1 hour drama series single contract in SA, now in it’s second series (we switched to 4 half hours per week – doubling the pace);
    Two of South Africa’s large four banks edit some of their weekly internal communication with us.
    And lot’s of smaller stuff in between.

    All of this on two avids, four FCP’s and four Pro Tools suites.

    F

  • walter biscardi

    June 21, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    [Francois Stark] “Wow, Wally – how often does this happen to you? I hope it is with your older drives – the ones you use for backup…”

    In four years of using FCP, maybe 5 or 6 times, especially early on with my older SCSI systems. It actually just happened with one of my BDE’s but that was my fault because it was accidentally disconnected from the G5 while it was copying material. I left it connected to my Mac Mini overnight and it repaired itself.

    Walter Biscardi, Jr.
    https://www.biscardicreative.com

    Director, “The Rough Cut”
    https://www.theroughcutmovie.com

    Now Posting “Good Eats” in HD for the Food Network

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” – Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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