110: Can you break into a LaCie Mobile Drive? Yes you can! HDD Disassembly Guide

Hey there do-it-yourself technicians. Today we’re going to look at getting inside this Lacie USB portable mobile hard drive.

The Lacie mobile portable drive is a very tough drive. This USB-C model comes in, I think, one, two, and four terabyte versions.

This isn’t really a review though. This is about getting inside.

This was brought to me because it didn’t work anymore. You could kind of get it to work, if you pushed really hard on the USB-C connector, but it wouldn’t actually spin up the drive or get access to the data. And the user wanted the data, so, this is actually an empty shell.

The other side is this, which actually has five clips down each side, three across the back and two across the front that clip in all the way around, with the hard drive sitting snugly in there.

I’m not going to put it back together because it was that hard to get apart, that I don’t want to ever have to do that again. Normally, physical violence isn’t my thing, but there is no known way to get these open. I have actually seen people with previous versions of these drives attack it with a circular saw.

I wasn’t going that far. Maybe I was prepared to, but I didn’t want to have to. In the end, what I did do is get a chisel and put it down in between the barely visible gap and hit it with a hammer. Yes, I hit technology with a hammer and eventually was able to get an edge in and be able to pry up all of those things to pop the drive out.

Thankfully at that point, the drive itself is a normal SATA hard drive with a teeny tiny little adapter that adapts the SATA to the USB-C connector. This drive actually still works happily.

I was able to put it in an external dock which you’ve seen before and copy the data off. Unfortunately, because it’s two terabytes of data that takes a long time and is painful. In this case, I had to do it from a Mac, so it was running on wi-fi and took forever, but the user got their data, and everybody was happy.

The reason I’m sharing this is because people have asked, “Is it possible to get into these drives?” and I want to say Yes.

It’s ugly, it’s dangerous, but it can be done. If you never have to take one of these drives apart that’s great, but if you ever do, at least you know now that:
A) it’s possible and
B) you’ve got an idea of how to go about it.

Let me know in the comments down below what’s the toughest piece of equipment you’ve ever had to get into.

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