If you lost data on your LaCie external hard drive, you can still get it back. But you have to act fast, and there are certain preparations you have to take before proceeding with the recovery. Remember that your data is at risk, so we suggest that you follow this guide closely.

Want to skip the theory part and jump straight to the recovery guide? Click here.

Is It Possible to Recover Data From a Lacie Hard Drive?

Conditionally, yes! The success of LaCie drive recovery depends on the type of drive you own, as well as the settings you have on your computer. Read on.

LaCie External Hard Drives

Yes! LaCie external hard drive data recovery is possible. When a file gets deleted on such a drive, its data still remains in the file system. It’s not really “erased”, but it’s marked to be overwritten by new files saved by the user.

There are special tools that you can then use to extract the file’s data and metadata and rebuild it to a usable state. We’ll show you how to do this in the data recovery section of this article.

LaCie SSDs

LaCie SSDs (solid-state drives) are a little more complicated. When it comes to file deletion, SSDs follow the same behavior as hard drives for the most part. A file that gets deleted doesn’t get “erased” until it gets overwritten with a new file.

But SSDs also have a feature called “TRIM.” If your operating system is compatible with TRIM and has it enabled, it automatically overwrites deleted files with zeroes. This makes SSDs a lot faster than hard drives, but also makes it very difficult (if not impossible) for a user to recover data without professional help.

The only way to do it yourself is to make sure you cut the power to your SSD immediately after deleting the file and proceed with this article.

You can easily check if TRIM is enabled on your drive by connecting it to your computer and executing the following command in Command Prompt:

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

TRIM query in Command Prompt

If the query returns a “0”, that means TRIM is enabled. If it returns a “1”, that means TRIM is disabled. To enable TRIM, type the following command and hit enter:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

Swap out 0 for 1 to disable TRIM.

If you deleted data while TRIM is enabled, data recovery is only possible if you cut the power to the SSD immediately after deletion. Otherwise, you’ll need to send your drive to a professional data recovery service (see this section for more details).

Before We Start…

There are 3 major things we can do and keep in mind to help increase our chances of a successful LaCie hard drive data recovery. If your data matters to you, read this section before proceeding.

  • 🛑 Stop using your device. If your files disappeared from your external hard drive, the first thing you should do is to stop using it. We want to prevent even the tiniest background process from overwriting any files. And if your drive is corrupted, using it more will only make the problem worse.
  • 🙅‍♂️ Do not format/reformat the drive. Formatting/reformatting a drive instantly wipes any existing data on the disk. And since you need to connect your drive to your computer to format it, you risk overwriting the formatted data and losing it completely.
  • 🗃️ Create a byte-to-byte backup. Finally, we want to create an “image-based backup” of your drive. As opposed to a “file-based backup” where a user or program copies files to another location, an “image-based backup” creates an exact clone of the entire drive. We’ll use this clone as the target of data recovery so we can preserve your drive as much as possible.

You can use any image backup software you want, but we suggest using Disk Drill. Its Byte-to-byte backup feature is completely free, and we’ll be using this app for data recovery as well. This is a good method to recover an external hard drive without formatting.

We’ll show you exactly how to do this in the next section. Read on.

How to Recover Data From a LaCie External Hard drive

Once you’re ready with your image backup file, we prepared step-by-step guides for 2 different LaCie data recovery software below. Data recovery software is a powerful tool that can pull data from the file system and rebuild it into working files.

Option A: Disk Drill for Windows

Disk Drill is a powerful and easy-to-use data recovery software that we’ve used loads before here at Handy Recovery to demonstrate data recovery for different types of devices. Its image backup feature is also 100% free, which makes it perfect for this task.

To make it easier for you to follow along, we’ll show you how to use Disk Drill to create an image backup and how to use that image backup for data recovery.

If you want to learn more about Disk Drill and our experience using it, read our full Disk Drill review.
  1. Make sure your drive is securely connected to your computer, then download and install Disk Drill. Launch it.
  2. On the left sidebar, select “Drive Backup.” Then, select your drive from the middle pane and click “Byte-to-Byte Backup” in the top-right corner of the screen.
    Disk Drill byte-to-byte backup drive selection screen
  3. Select a name for your backup, choose a destination folder on your computer, then click “OK.”
    Disk Drill byte-to-byte backup file save dialogue
  4. Wait for the process to complete. Click the magnifier button to open the path folder, then double-click the backup file to mount it. Return to Disk Drill and click “Done.”
    Disk Drill byte-to-byte backup completion screen
  5. In the left sidebar, click “Data Recovery.” Then, select your image backup from the middle pane and click “Search for lost data.”
    Image backup select in Disk Drill
  6. Wait for Disk Drill to complete its scan, then click “Review found items.”
    Disk Drill scanning screen
  7. You can use the left sidebar and the search bar in the top-right corner of the screen to quickly find the files you need.
    Disk Drill search bar and filter sidebar
  8. You can also preview files by hovering your mouse to the right of any file and clicking the eye button that appears.
    Disk Drill preview of an image file in a LaCie hard drive
  9. Use the checkboxes in the left-most column to mark the files you want to recover. Then, click “Recover.”
    Disk Drill file selection column
  10. Use the folder button to select a location on your computer where Disk Drill will save the restored files. Then, click “OK.”
    Disk Drill save file dialogue box

Option B: Windows File Recovery Tool

The Windows File Recovery Tool is 100% free software from the Microsoft Store. If you have Windows 10 and above, you can use it to recover data from external hard drives. But unlike Disk Drill, it doesn’t have a GUI (graphical user interface) so you’ll have to use the command line to recover data from your LaCie external hard drive.

If you want to learn more about our experience using this tool for data recovery, read our full Windows File Recovery review.
  1. Mount your image backup and take note of its drive letter.
  2. Download the Windows File Recovery Tool from the Microsoft Store and open it.
    Windows File Recovery in the Microsoft Store
  3. Type the following command and hit enter:
    winfr E: C:\RecoveredFiles /extensive

    Replace “E:” with your LaCie drive’s assigned letter and replace “C:\RecoveredFiles” with the location on your computer where you want the tool to save the recovered files. Press Y when prompted to continue.
    Windows File Recovery initial screen

  4. Wait for Windows File Recovery Tool to complete its scan, then hit Y when prompted to view the recovered files. They’ll be organized by file type into folders that will be located in the destination you specified.
    Windows File Recovery recovery completion screen

Options to Fix a Malfunctional/Unreadable LaCie Drive

Disk Drill (and most other data recovery software) will work even if your drive is logically damaged and doesn’t show up in File Explorer. Disk Drill specifically can even recover data from a hard drive that won’t boot. It does have one condition: you have to be able to see your drive in Windows Device Manager. If it doesn’t appear in Device Manager, your computer does not recognize the connection and the software won’t detect it.

Here are some possible ways to fix an external hard drive not showing up on your computer (expand the tabs for more info):

Method #1: Check ports and connectors.

Dust and other small debris can get in the way of your device’s connectors and the computer’s ports. If any of these components are malfunctioning, this can also prevent the connection from going through. Try cleaning them with a dry microfiber cloth or test your device on another computer.

Method #2: Update your drivers.

If you haven’t updated Windows in a while, your drives may be outdated, preventing your machine from recognizing your LaCie drive. Right-click the Start button > Device Manager and update everything in the “Disk drives” toggle.

Method #3: Assign/Change its drive letter.

Your computer should automatically assign a drive letter to your LaCie drive so both devices can properly communicate. A bug or lack of resources can interrupt this process, but we can do it manually. Right-click the Start button > Disk Management. Right-click your drive and click “Change Drive Letter and Paths…” and go through the wizard.

Method #4: Use Windows Troubleshooter.

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can scan for and repair drive issues. Launch Command Prompt as Admin, then type the following command and hit enter:

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

Tick the box beside “Apply repairs automatically” and follow the wizard.

You can also attempt to fix a corrupted hard drive, but you need to recover and secure your data first.

Is It Possible to Recover Data From a Dead/Physically Damaged LaCie Hard Drive?

In the case of a dead and physically damaged LaCie hard drive, trying to recover data on your own may make the problem worse and result in permanent data loss. If your data really matters to you, the best move is to send it to a professional data recovery center. Here’s why:

  • They have a Class 100 Clean Room, which is a super sterile lab where air particles are closely monitored. This ensures that it’s absolutely safe to take apart a storage device in this environment.
  • They have trained data recovery specialists.
  • They only charge you if they are able to recover any data (at least the good ones do).

There are still scenarios where you can recover data from a dead hard drive on your own, but this is the safest course of action if you absolutely need your data back.

FAQ

Conclusion

Before attempting data recovery, make sure to create an image backup first. In fact, we suggest using Disk Drill to regularly back up your drive if you regularly use it for important data. It also has a S.M.A.R.T. feature that you can use to monitor your drive health. Drive failure is inevitable and unpredictable, so preparation is key. If you found this guide useful, leave a comment below!