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All hard drives will eventually fail, and sometimes the ports are the first point of failure. I've dealt with dozens of LaCie drives in my TV post production job and, most often, units that seem dead still work in a drive dock. If a problematic drive is what brought you here, this is how to get that LaCie "Design by F.A. Porsche" hard drive enclosure opened, so you can test that drive elsewhere...
Tools needed: -thin flat-head screwdriver or butter knife -standard Phillips screwdriver
Before you begin, be sure to unplug any cables plugged into the hard drive case 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 is really important.
Steps: 1) Turn the hard drive over. Gently wedge the flat-head screwdriver or butter knife between the hard drive enclosure’s base plate and the main body of the enclosure. Begin to slowly pry so that the side of the enclosure begins to bow outward. Continue until the base plate pops out. Keep the popped out side close to seam (so the still-attached side of the base plate doesn’t get bent). Perform the same pry technique on the other side of the base to fully remove the plate.
2) Now that the hard drive is exposed, you will notice three, small aluminum brackets on both sides of the drive. Bend those upward – this can be done by hand.
3) Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the four screws binding the hard drive to the enclosure. Once removed, bend these four aluminum brackets upward.
4) With the exception of the power and data cables, the drive is free at this point. Carefully turn the enclosure over so that the drive slips out of the case. Gently pull the slack out the cables that are still plugged into the drive and begin wiggling the power cable out (the transparent connector with four wires).
5) Once the power connector is unplugged, do the same for the ribbon/data cable. Do not be forceful with this cable. Through trial and error, I have pulled the connectors apart on these, and they aren’t fun to try to fix. Additionally, you don’t want to end up with bent pins on the hard drive itself. If the ribbon connector doesn’t come off easily, unplug the other end from the board attached to the enclosure. Since the drive will then be free, you will have plenty of leverage to remove the cable from the drive.
At this point, the drive is completely free from the enclosure. Congratulations! You can test the drive by plugging it into a drive dock. I'm partial to StarTech units and often use the dual bay dock shown below. With extended use in these, the drives do get very hot, since these units don't have a built-in fan. I have a USB fan running at my workstation whenever the computer is on, and that seems to draw away some of the heat when a hard drive is in the dock.
These hard drive docks can be purchased from the manufacturer's website or via many electronics retailers (Amazon, Newegg, Walmart, B&H, Office Depot, etc.) Here are all the available options:
For a LaCie Rugged hard drives disassembly how-to, check out this post.
"Tech How-to: Disassembly of a LaCie Porsche External Hard Drive"
Written by: Justin J. Kilmer
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This post was last updated, with additional and larger photos, in Aug. 2023.