I just bought a Lacie external drive for my Mac backups.
If you have or are going to get a Lacie external drive, or even something similar, this article might be of use to you. I will go through some of the precautions, tips, and steps to easily set up your (Lacie) external drive for performing automatic Mac Backups with the inbuilt (with your Mac) Apple Time Machine.
What System and Devices I am Using?
To be sure that this article is relevant to you, I am using Mac Book Pro, OS X (ver 10.9.3 as at today 6 July, 2014).
My external hard drive is LaCie 1TB Porsche Design P’9223 USB 3.0 Mobile Hard Drive, just purchased from Apple online store.
Important Preliminary Information
Get a hard drive that is at least as big as the storage on your Mac. Preferably bigger. This ensures there is more than enough space to do effective backups.
Do not throw away the packaging! Apparently you will need this if you ever need to return the device in the event of faults or bugs. And you don’t get to find this out till you actually use the device and read the User Guide (which is pre-loaded on the device/external hard drive itself.)
The LaCie 1TB Prosche Drive comes with:
- the hard drive
- USB 3.0 cable (which is backward compatible to USB 2.0 and 1.1)
Detailed Steps for setting up LaCie Hard Drive for Mac Backup
- to use the LaCie drive for my Mac backup, automated by Mac’s inbuilt Time Machine software.
- to have part of the LaCie drive to be compatible with Windows so I can exchange files between the two operating systems, should the need arise.
Using the USB 3.0 cable (that comes in the box), connect Mac to Lacie drive.
As this is the first time you are connecting this device to your Mac, Time Machine will automatically launch a message box. It will ask you if you want to use this new drive as a backup disk.
For now, select “Decide Later” (which we will do later). This is because before using the new drive as a Backup Disk, we need to:
- get to and read the User Guide/Manual
- run the LaCie Setup Assistant that is included in your new LaCie drive
“LaCie” is where Time Machine will automatically put your Mac Backup files.
“LACIE SHARE” folder is where you can place FAT32 files etc. It is also where you will find the needed LaCie Setup Assistant app and User Manual.
User Manual (in a number of different languages) will be found in:
Have a quick read of the User Manual before proceeding.
The LaCie Setup Assistant app will be found in:
Double clidk the “Lacie Setup app” to launch the application which will walk you through the required steps.
Note: The LaCie Setup app can be opened and run again later if you need to make changes, etc. But you can only do the format and partitioning of the drive once, via the LaCie Setup Assistant.
Note: you may be required to enter our Mac password to allow Lacie Setup app to run.
Running the LaCie Setup Assistant app
And then you just have to wait till the setup app is ready to go.
Once the app is open, you will see there are 5 steps (represented by the tabs). Follow on-screen instructions.
LaCie Setup Assistant, 1st Tab: Welcome
In the first tab, accept the agreement.
2nd Tab: Format
Click Next to continue to the next step: Format. (This step only appears the first time you run the Setup Assistant).
Here you can decide if you want the whole LaCie disk to be dedicated to for use with Mac (“LaCie” portion) or if you want a part of the disk to be usable by other systems (“Lacie Share” portion). Drag the slider left or right to determine how much, if any, to allocate to either portion. When you click “Next”, the disk will be formatted accordingly.
When you see a dialog window informing you that the formatting will erase all data (on the Lacie disk), just select Yes to continue.
3rd Tab: Register
Serial Number: The serial number can be a bother to find. And be warned: it is pretty small.
For the Lacie 1TB Porsche, the serial number can be found in 2 locations:
- on the device and
- on the back of the packaging box (preceded by “S/N”)
4th Tab: Software
The Lacie Setup can help you install a number of software. One has already been pre-installed by default (so is grayed out).
I originally selected all and tried to install all of them. According to the user manual, once installed,
“Software will be installed on the product’s storage, not on your computer. It will be located on the volume entitled “Compatible” or “LaCie Share” if it exists, otherwise on “LaCie”.”
But that was not the case. It did not appear in the “Lacie Share” (except for “Lacie Private Public”) but was found in my computer’s Applications. So you have to look for them manually, by name.
It does not seem to have any instructions or guide as to what they do or how to use them. I guess you could spend a few hours Googling if you had the time and paitence.
In particular, I wanted the Wuala software. I had read (in Apple’s online store user review section) that the Wuala offered free online cloud storage with security. However, I later found out that this is no longer the case. They now only provide PAID services. So duh!
Later to uninstall the now unwanted software, I had to identify each software, locate them in the Applications folder, and if they had no uninstall app, I had to Trash them manually.
5th Tab: Summary
This is where you get to see a summary of the software you have (supposedly) installed. The following image shows where all the software has been installed.
Select your LaCie Drive as your Mac Backup Disk
Since we opted to “Decide Later” when Time Machine popped up its message to ask us earlier, we now need to select the LaCie portion of the disk (not the “Lacie Share” portion) as our backup disk.
Open Time Machine by going to Apple >> Setup Preferences .. >> Time Machine
Make sure that the Time Machine is set to On.
Click “Select Disk..” and select LaCie (or the name of your external disk for backup). Close and Done.
Henceforth, Apple Time Machine will automatically backup your entire Mac, regularly to your (connected) external backup disk.
LaCie 1TB Hard Drive Review
As I have only just acquired the LaCie drive, I cannot do a long-term review. However one of the most pleasing aspect of the hard drive is it is USB connected and so very easy to connect and setup.
The first backup took over 4 hours but a lengthy first backup was expected. It is not inconvenient as you can continue using the computer even as the backup is being done.
Regisration of the product was not doable. Server error via the LaCie Setup Assistant app (as documented above). Online registration at LaCie site also failed (page not available). So that is definitely a thumbs down. Apparently you need to register your product to activate your warranty and also to get “FREE fast support responses”. So Thumbs down here.
The software that came with the product – well, as you read above, I was not very happy with them: installation errors and lack of explanation/documentation. However I didn’t buy the LaCie external drive for these miscellaneous software. As long as the drive works easily, fast, properly, and long – it gets the thumbs up from me.
In summary, if you want an easy to use, easy to connect, fast external drive for your Mac Backup, then Lacie is a good choice. As long as you don’t mind not being able to register (and activate your product 2-year warranty)!
- support.apple.com – Mac Basics: Time Machine backs up your Mac