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Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive

In my experience with rotating through a couple dozen LaCie Rugged drives over the past decade, I've found them to be very reliable. Of course, all drives will eventually fail, but the ports often go out on these particular drives first. More than once, I've been able to salvage data by removing the drive from the housing and plugging it into a drive dock. Here's how to take it all apart... Before you begin, be sure to unplug all cables going to the hard drive and to discharge all potential static built up on you/your clothing by touching a grounded, metal object that is not the hard drive. It seems like simple stuff, but it's really important.

This set of instructions applies to any of the older LaCie Rugged series drives (USB 2.0/3.0/Firewire).

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive - photo by KilmerMedia

Remove the rubber bumper.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive bumper removal - photo by KilmerMedia

With care, pry the overlapping aluminum tabs on the side of the drive up to about a 45 degree angle. These tabs are fragile – four of them broke off in this disassembly process – so only pry them up far enough to clear the underlying tab. Warning! Warning! Warning! Breaking the sticker will void your warranty (if you still have one).

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive tabs removal - photo by KilmerMedia

Again, the tabs need not be pried as far apart as shown.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive disassembly - photo by KilmerMedia

At this point, the top and bottom of the case will come right off.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive interior - photo by KilmerMedia

The plastic around the drive is very flexible, so pull the sides far enough apart and the drive will swing out.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive housing removal - photo by KilmerMedia

The small, black rubber bumpers that act as a shock mount for the drive may fall right off. If that happens, no big deal, as they slide right back on if you need to reassemble the drive in the case.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive removal - photo by KilmerMedia

This particular drive uses an IDE connection:

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive pins closeup - photo by KilmerMedia

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive ribbon connector - photo by KilmerMedia

Below, you can see the tabs broken off from prying them further than needed… If the same happens to you during disassembly, bend the remaining tabs back into place when ready, and the outer bumper should hold everything in place just fine.

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive with broken tabs - photo by KilmerMedia


Written by Justin Kilmer

All images and media on this site are © by Justin Kilmer, unless otherwise noted.

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