Just had a drive failure on my LaCie Biggest F800 1TB (Disk 3), and I left an email message for their tech support regarding a warranty replacement (I bought it in 4/2005, and I think it has a two year warranty).

I’ll track progress of their service delivery here.

Needless to say, I’m very happy I’ve got RAID, and didn’t lose any data due to drive failure, but just in case I’m making another backup of the files on the RAID controller before I do any hotswapping and rebuilding of the array.

Update 1: Called their tech support line, and lo and behold, they already had processed my email request, and sent me instructions on how to ship the broken drive to them. Looks like I pay to send it to them, but they pay for the way back. They claim to have a 2 day turnaround time.

Update 2: Sent out the drive by UPS on 10/20 – should be there by next wednesday. Only cost me about 10 bucks to ship.

Update 3: They received the box on 10/24 (Tuesday). Haven’t heard from them yet on when to expect the replacement.

Update 4: Got an email at 10:47 pm 10/26 (Thursday), indicating it has been shipped to me. Estimated delivery date is 10/31. Looks like they held to that 2 day turnaround time!

Update 5: Received the replacement drive on the morning of 10/30, a day early. Popped the drive in, and it rebuilt the array…the drive didn’t work properly until I unmounted it and remounted it for some reason, but everything seems fine now. Very pleased with the turnaround, but I think I could probably have just replaced the drive myself with the same results – the caddy they sent back was the same one I sent them, and the drive they put in looked like just a refurbished drive. Once the whole thing is out of warranty, I’ll replace any failing drives with bigger ones – hopefully there isn’t anything hard-coded in the array that limits drive sizes.

Update 6: Disk 3 failed again, after maybe 10 hours up. It exhibited some clicking thirty minutes before failure…I’m going to call LaCie tomorrow and ask them to send a new replacement out, and pick up the cost of shipping both ways. This time I’m writing down the serial # of the drive in the caddy – I’ve got a suspicion that they may not have replaced the drive at all.

Update 7 (4/2007): Prompted by a comment on this post, I thought I’d come clean and admit that I just rebuilt Disk 3 again, and it’s been working ever since.  I was too lazy to call LaCie since it hasn’t failed once since the last rebuild (and it’s been about 6 months).  The drive still occasionally clicks, and that makes me nervous, but I’ve got a 400GB drive still in the plastic wrap waiting for the old 250GB to fail, and be replaced.  If Disk 3 goes down again, I’ll blog about replacing it while out of warranty, since this month is the end of my original 2 year warranty on the array.

2 Thoughts on “RAID in action

  1. Peter Couvares on 4/22/2007 at 1:52 pm said:

    I’m curious what ended up happening with this, as I’m considering buying an F800 (two years late, I know, but the price is right). Did Lacie ultimately do you right? Are you still using the array? Any updates would be greatly appreciated — thanks!

  2. Surprisingly, despite the occasional clicking, things seem to be working fine. I did a rebuild on the drive, and it’s been working ever since. I never managed to call LaCie again, since it didn’t fail again, and its been months now.

    Would I suggest the F800? For what it’s worth, yes – at this point I’m going to respond to hard drive failures by replacing them with new drives myself (especially since I’ll be out of warranty soon), and I expect it to perform well under those conditions. Now that I’ve got an iMac, and it’s a hell of a lot quieter than my old PC, the noise of the F800 is noticeable – if I were looking for another RAID array, I’d probably want to find something that was a bit quieter (although Apple sets the bar very high by having really quiet boxes).

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