Friday, 7 January 2011

When Lacie Hard drive Caddies go bad

We purchased 3 of these USB Lacie Hard drives on for a customer who needed a NAS:

LaCie 500GB USB2 7200rpm 8MB, Designed by F.A Porsche - LaCie has teamed up with the renowned design agency Porsche Design to create this family of hard drives. With these drives...

After problems with the NSLU2 and these drives, I eventually gave up and rebuilt a NAS based on an Atom processor and Ubuntu server edition. I then re-used the drives as an off-site backup for the NAS and an extra copy of the data just in case.

All worked fine, the drives were formatted HFS+ which allowed the Mac clients to read them in the event of NAS failure. Until day 310 of 2010 of the calendar arrived (I can tell this from the backup logs). 6-November-2010.

I turned up on 6-Jan-2011 and found this in the logs when I tried to connect any of the drives. /var/log/syslog from Ubuntu 9.04 server.


Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.151456] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1d.7: port 2 reset error -110
Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.400029] usb 1-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.551063] usb 1-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.551524] scsi6 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.551689] usb-storage: device found at 16
Jan 6 09:39:19 datastore kernel: [3106011.551696] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
Jan 6 09:39:24 datastore kernel: [3106016.550309] usb-storage: device scan complete
Jan 6 09:39:30 datastore kernel: [3106023.030036] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:41 datastore kernel: [3106033.300036] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:46 datastore kernel: [3106038.570034] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:46 datastore kernel: [3106038.710056] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:46 datastore kernel: [3106038.940031] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:47 datastore kernel: [3106039.170030] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:47 datastore kernel: [3106039.300030] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:47 datastore kernel: [3106039.540031] usb 1-2: device descriptor read/64, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:47 datastore kernel: [3106039.770041] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:48 datastore kernel: [3106040.190025] usb 1-2: device not accepting address 16, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:48 datastore kernel: [3106040.310029] usb 1-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 16
Jan 6 09:39:48 datastore kernel: [3106040.730028] usb 1-2: device not accepting address 16, error -71
Jan 6 09:39:48 datastore kernel: [3106040.730086] scsi 6:0:0:0: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery


I got this for all 3 drives. One drive had been in storage for 15 months and not been anywhere near a computer of any description. I tried it under Ubuntu 9.04 server, 9.10 desktop and it was not showing up at all in Disk Utility on two Mac OS X clients. Sigh. The Lacie disks were for all intents and purposes beggered. I read on the forums that it could be a cable problem. No. I read on the forums it could be a power supply problem. No. I read on the forums it could be a caddy problem.

I opened one up to see if any data could be recovered. The disks inside the Lacie enclosures are Seagate Barracudas. I placed it into a caddy and it was AOK. Disk 2 also AOK. Disk 3 AOK. All 3 caddies had failed, but the disks were all fine. 3 failed caddies within 2 months. There must be something wrong with the Controllers inside Lacie drive caddies which causes this problem. The caddies are now landfill fodder and the disks are happily being used in an pluggable caddy. I will never again buy a Lacie drive.

3 comments:

Pierre said...

I am experiencing the same error on y 1TGb LaCie usb HD. It was working fine. I unplugged it from on PC to plugged to another and it stopped working, even on the previous PC, with the same error message: "device descriptor read/64, error -71".

Same conclusion: LaCie on the black list...

tng said...

Thanks for that Pierre. It's not just me and my three Lacie drives.

Remember that the disk is good and can be used in another non-Lacie caddie. All my disks are still working even though all three USB->SATA adaptors are shot.

Pierre said...

Hi,

I confirm the diagnostic of tng: I swapped the drive with another one and it is indeed the LaCie caddie that was faulty...

Thanks tng for this useful information!

BR
Pierre