Tag Archives: lacie

The LaCie is Dead. Long “Bugger Off” The LaCie.

Recently, the 1TB LaCie Network Space drive, as ridiculed previously, vanished off the network.  The router wasn`t showing the port connected, and nmap-ping the LAN shows the device had vanished.  I did the usual routine of swapping Ethernet cables, trying another port in the router, etc. but no go.  Even after connecting the drive to the laptop over Ethernet, the beast had vanished.

I ripped the pathetic piece of pain out of its NAS enclosure and chucked it in a USB to see what Linux made of the situation.  The drive, and every one of the ext3/xfs partitions is healthy, yet the device is plopped.  Looks like the Ethernet port just gave up.  No offence, but that realllly shouldn`t happen with a silly little drive that just sits beside the router all day long.  Turns out the drive itself was a little Samsung 4200rpm model.  Which might explain why it was always shit slow.  I`d always assumed it was 7200rpm.  Hey ho.

LaCie – that`s the first and last time I`ll buy any of your products.  Awful.  2/10.  You lost another point thanks to Neil Poulton, whoever he is and your philosophy of design over reliability.  Perhaps his name is an anagram of “overpriced, underperforming, zero reliability”.

Back to the rsync scripts again – I`ve nuked the drive as NTFS and mounted it as the same drive letter on Windows, so the rsync scripts just work.  Probably the first time ever on Windows anything has ever “just worked”.

Lacie NetworkSpace Backup is a Waste of Space

Around September 2008 I purchased a Lacie NetworkSpace 1TB hard disk, a nice little number with built in Ethernet so it could be tucked away where the sun don`t shine and keep all my files nice and safe whilst I flung the laptop into my bag for the day-to-day.  Since then, I`ve been filling the drive up will all manner of crap.  Having become more interested in photography, there`s now several GB of photos, RAW files, etc. and lots of my CDs on there.

A "successful" backup...

A "successful" backup...

The drive itself was “designed by Neil Poulton”, and if it`s anything to go by, Neil Poulton is something of a manic depressive, unimaginative lazybones.  The casing is shiny black, rectangular, and features a very bright, blue LED – flavour of the month.  So, it`s essentially a black, shiny brick.  The little ventilation holes look OK – little squares – and the device can run pretty hot.  Round the back we have the power, a switch (handy – and the drive waits until it shuts down before fully powering off), and the ethernet port.  At the front is the LED, and a USB connector.  And here lies the problem…

Being a middle-aged worrying sort, I didn`t want to risk losing all that stuff – absolute shite to most people, but a lot of stuff I`ve made, taken photos of, etc. and bought a 1TB USB external drive to use as a backup for the Lacie.  Through the Lacie`s web interface, I saw it was possible to set up one drive as the source (Lacie) and one as the destination (new Toshiba drive) and thought “easy peasy – link them over USB, click the buttons, and off it goes”.  And off nothing went.

After around 2 hours, the only backups I have apparently made have been 8 empty directories on the Toshiba, from a total of several thousand files.  Not a great ratio.  I thought I must have cocked something up in the plethora of 4 or 5 options, so tried again, with the same result.  Then I took a look at the logs from the Lacie.

The Lacie uses some form of embedded Linux – a few blogs mention it may be Yellow Dog – and does its biz using BusyBox, so I figured there would be some useful, sensible, really nice logging.  Here`s what I saw:

Apr 26 00:37:40  httpd:                     pam_unix(httpd:session): session closed for user admin
Apr 26 00:37:59  httpd:                     pam_unix(httpd:session): session opened for user admin by (uid=0)
Apr 26 00:37:59  httpd:                     pam_unix(httpd:session): session closed for user admin
Apr 26 00:38:13  httpd:                     pam_unix(httpd:session): session opened for user admin by (uid=0)

Now, pardon my French, but what the fuck use is that to anyone? No mention of backup starting, backup finishing, backup failing, backup progress. Not a sausage. There`s only one thing worse than no logging, it`s useless logging. And here we see a combination of both, almost bugger all logging, and what`s there is completely useless. I know I was logged into the web interface – I just want to check my supposed backup!
So it`s likely to be a case of the Toshiba drive becoming a work drive, and having to run rsync to backup to the Lacie as it`s just a little too slow to use as a primary drive over Ethernet. Very disappointed. The drive has been great for a number of months – not spectacularly fast over the home network (wireless G / 100Mb Ethernet – it has Gb Ethernet I believe), so I can`t do the device itself down. But come on guys – what`s the point in using a completely shite backup function as a selling point?  There also doesn`t seem too be a way of upgrading the firmware or operating system short of unofficial hacks, ruling out fixing this awful functionality.  It may work – somehow – under Windows, but if it`s a case of linking two drives and pressing a few buttons, using the advertised method, it`s surprising this simple operation can`t be carried out.  If there had been anything in the logs to suggest too-long filenames, extra-long paths – whatever – I could have done something to rectify.  But zilch.

So it`s off to rsync I go… farting in the general direction of Lacie.  Several times.  Poo poo to you.