Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


Before you begin, be sure to unplug all cables going to the hard drive and to discharge all potential static built up on you/your clothing by touching a grounded, metal object that is not the hard drive…. seems like simple stuff, but it’s really important.

The drive – this set of instructions applies to any of the LaCie Rugged series drive:

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


Remove the rubber bumper.

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


With care, pry the overlapping aluminum tabs on the side of the drive up to about a 45 degree angle. These tabs are fragile – four of them broke off in this disassembly process – so only pry them up far enough to clear the underlying tab. Warning! Warning! Warning! Breaking the sticker will void your warranty (if you still have one).

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


Again, the tabs need not be pried as far apart as shown.


At this point, the top and bottom of the case will come right off.

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


The plastic around the drive is very flexible, so pull the sides far enough apart and the drive will swing out.

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive


The small, black rubber bumpers that act as a shock mount for the drive may come off… if so, no big deal, as they slide right back on when you are ready to reassemble the drive in the case.

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive

This drive uses an IDE connection:

Lacie Rugged Hard Drive Teardown


Lacie Hard Drive Repair


The tabs broken off from prying them further than needed… If the same happens to you during disassembly, bend the rest of the tabs back into place when ready, and the outer bumper should hold everything in place just fine.

Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive

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Also, see my LaCie Porsche External Hard Drive Disassembly post here.

16 Responses to “Disassembly of a LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive”

  1. […] see my LaCie Rugged Hard Drive Disassembly post here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted by leavingcelestia […]

  2. Eric Shupps said

    Awesome post. Very helpful. Thanks for the info.

  3. Anonymous said

    Awesome. Thanks!

  4. one said

    Is it possible to change the original disk to a new one… maybe a ssd? I’m planing to do this with a new rugged thunderbolt. Do you think its possible?

    • That sounds awesome! I would certainly image you could do that since two of the three hard drive options LaCie offers for the rugged Thunderbolt drives are SSDs. As long as the replacement/upgrade drive is physically the same size and has the same standard connection, I can’t see it being a problem.

  5. Devious D the Hard Drive technician ;-) said

    Thanks for the post – Ive been thinking about replacing the drives over for SSD at some point – but heres the question whats the interface – the ribbon looks big & fat – is this the older type IDE & not a Serial ATA?

    I also have some studio drives and for some reason they use older type IDE drives – I cant find them anywhere at a decent price but they seem to be used alot in external firewire drives – but are difficult to pick up for the general public – do they deliverately use them to make it hard to repair & force you to get a completely new external drive rathe than just place a new HD in – or is there another reason ? On that point I dont suppose you can easily upgrade from IDE to SATA inside an encloser – here’s hoping!

    Thanks again for the post – would be good to hear your thoughts,

    • Hey there, Devious D. I’ve been out of town but saw this post have had it on my mind…. I think I am going to have to open that Lacie Rugged case back up again and take some more photos. It’s been so long since I’ve looked at it that I don’t really remember the details. Stay tuned, and I will see if I can find out more info for you.

      • Devious D the Hard Drive technician ;-) said

        Look forward to it, there’s a chance you might have a photo of the hard drive itself lying around in iphoto which will indicate the bus so it might be worth having a quick look to save opening her up – I had another look at the photo in the blog but i cant read from the angle of the photo. I appreciate your time & thanks again for the post, Best

        • Hey there… I didn’t have any extra photos, so I pulled the drive apart. It wasn’t too bad of a task, considering the broken tabs. Anyhow, it does appear that the drive connection is IDE. It might be a slower connection by today’s standards, but it still works great for the sound recording I do (knock on wood).

          That’s a great question about changing the connection inside the case. I don’t have an answer for that… As an alternative, I’ve seen some IDE solid state drives on Amazon. But it you’re limited by the speed of your connection between the drive and the circuit board, simply using that kind of drive might not be such an upgrade.

          SO… I’ll work on getting a couple of those photos posted that show the connection.

  6. Anonymous said

    when you take it apart, are the connection options attached to it, or can I take it out and put into another rugged with other options like 400 or 800? The problem is my 3.0 hardware connection is messed up and the only other slot on it is a round one that goes to a usb, but doesn’t make it mount onto my computer, it just sounds like it’s running. Using the USB 3.0 (thin flat connector) doesn’t work and I can see damage to it. I’ve tried 3 other 3.0 cable, but that doesn’t change the situation because it’s the hardware on the rugged.

  7. Casey said

    I have two Rugged drives, and I have been looking for a different color rubber case to distinguish the two. Why is yours gray? Is there a third party seller?

    • Hi, Casey. I can’t say for sure if there’s a third party seller of the different colored bumpers… my office used to buy packs of three that included black, purple, and gray, but a media supplier told me probably a couple years ago now that LaCie was no longer making them. Those were for the FW800/FW400/USB 2.0 drives. If you happen to be able to find one, they MIGHT fit on the FW800/USB 3 drives but certainly not the bigger LaCie ruggeds like the 4 or 5TB drives. Since I couldn’t get new colors, I nicely wrapped some colorful electrical tape around the bumper edges in a few spots and can easily pick out the drive I need as a result. Hopefully that’s a bit of help for you.

  8. Actually, there is no need to bend the tabs. Start at one of the corners and lift the tab slightly until it unlocks, while you pull gently.
    Notice that the center tabs (under the warranty seal) open to the opposite side.
    Work your way along the first side, then repeat on the other.
    To close the box, simply place the cover over the base, carefully adjusting the tabs into the correct postition. Push gently to make the tabs lock again.

    • Thanks for your input. There is some bending involved, though it’s actually much, much less than I originally did, hence the comment saying “The tabs broken off from prying them further than needed…” As you know, the top and bottom covers interlock, and the (slight) bend frees them up. That point is probably worth reiterating, and it’s an interesting approach you’ve discovered, with the corners freeing up the center connectors.

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