Lacie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt

Please be warned the following solution is highly not recommended! Lacie power supply fails and with SSD's it goes out to lunch but doesn't with the OEM disks… The little fan is crazy loud!

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Lacie is one of 2 storage options with Thunderbolt technology at this time. The 240GB SSD option is just starting to be available but I found a deal on a 2TB unit at a few $ less than the low price on what I saw 1TB LBD's going for. Re-use plan for the 1TB 2.5 disks after I swap them for SSD's. 6G OWC SSD's were ordered as soon as I knew the Lacie disk deal was real and on its way. I ran a speed test on the out-of-box configuration while I waited for delivery of the SSD's. Grand total was near Lacie's SSD price but twice the storage and 2TB portable storage from repurposing.

Once the SSD's arrived I swapped them into the Lacie housing and removed that crazy loud fan! I'm sure that increases my failure risk but oh well… After assembly the disks showed up individually in DiskUtility and I configured a raid 0 set for a total of 479GB of SSD storage. 

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Opening the LBD is easy

  1. Lift off the 4 stickers covering the screws/bolts
  2. Remove the 4 screws, front and rear plates will fall off
  3. Remove 2 screws on the side
  4. Remove 2 screws on the fan 
  5. Do not push on the back panel. Instead, give a gentile push on the components through the panel. Then the guts should slide out with a slight shake.
  6. Remove the 2 side screws on the top disk and slide the disk from the connector
  7. Pull the connector off the mainboard and remaining disk
  8. The bottom disk has 6 screws to remove
  9. Mount the 1st SSD and Connect the bus board
  10. Slide the 2nd SSD into the Buss board connector and secure with the 2 side screws
  11. Slide the whole thing back into the housing and secure it in reverse of disassembly 
  12. Put the little stickers back over the screw heads
  13. Plug in the TB Cable before plugging in power

Note: Power without a TB cable causes sparks in the TB connectors (freaky). Instructions state plug in power after TB cable.

The green circuit board is the bus connectors

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 Side screws

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Pull the fan connector (I won't be re-using that noise maker). Not in the following picture how the rear plate is pushed in. Well you don't need to push on that plate at all (leave it be). Not a big deal if it moves… just push it back into place with the screwdriver you used to take things apart.

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Here's one of the internal OEM 1TB 2.5" Samsung 5400rpm disks

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Here's the mounting plates with disks removed and the OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD ready to go in.

Once the 1st disk is mounted it is the right time to put the buss connector back on (trust me).

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Slide the 2nd SSD into the connector and secure with the 2 side screws

All put back together, including the screw cover stickies.

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The iMac is negotiating SATA 2 vs SATA 3 speeds of the SSD. From reading the results of others this seems to be a dissapointingly common result of others that have tried this swap. It is however the 2nd fastest connection you can buy or put together at any cost right now. The Promise Pegasus R4 (4 bays) is currently well over double the cost of what I put into this tiny device and would give only slight improvement in performance that I'll never see or use.

NOTE: with or without the internal fan this chassis got hot, so I set up a 120mm fan to blow air over the unit from the rear and temperature went from hot to touch to just a bit warm. It really was hot from simply being powered up with the HDs or SSDs, so I'm guessing the controller board is generating heat and that little fan made more noise than move air. 


The 1TB disks were then put into this OWC 2 bay RAID enclosure. It has Firewire 800, eSATA and USB interfaces. The firewire port powers the disk just fine. 

The raid 0 set was ready in a very short time after turned on. Disk Utility partition created and disk was ready to receive data. 

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My Disk Performance test results

Also… I like the ease of these OWC raid cases and the multi ports for portability. So, I got 2 more for other 2.5" disks I have sitting unused. This one is 2TB (2x1TB raid0), the next one 1TB (2x500MB) and the last is 640GB (2x320GB). That pretty much means complete overkill for my portable storage needs (16GB SD usually works just fine).

Current storage talley is over 18TB:

  • 1TB iMac internal
  • 8TB Synology NAS (4x2TB)
  • 2TB Airport NAS
  • 2TB Quad Portable Raid (2x1TB)
  • 1TB Quad Portable Raid (2x500GB)
  • 640GB Quad Portable Raid (2x320GB)
  • 480GB Lacie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt with OWC 6G SSD's (2x240GB)
  • 4TB Sans Digital eSata/USB (4x1TB)