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How to Connect a Mac to a LaCie Desktop Hard Disk External Drive

by Julius Vandersteen

If your Mac's hard drive is low on space, you might prefer to get a second external drive to store new files, such as a LaCie Desktop hard disk external drive. You can also use an external drive to transfer large files from one computer to another. When you have an external desktop hard drive, you can automatically back up the contents of your Mac's internal hard drive, as insurance against data loss. Current models of LaCie external desktop hard drives range in capacity from 1 to 3 terabytes of storage, as of February 2011. Get an external drive equal in size to your Mac's internal drive if you only want to back up your data; buy a larger drive if you want to store new files as well.

Step 1

Plug one end of the LaCie hard disk external drive's power supply cable into an AC power outlet, and the other end into the hard drive's power jack.

Step 2

Plug one end of a USB or FireWire cable into its port on the Mac, and the other end into its port on the LaCie external drive. A LaCie desktop hard drive may connect to your Mac using USB, FireWire or both, depending on the model. USB 3 transmits data at up to 5GB per second, while USB 2 transfers data at up to 480MB per second. LaCie's USB 3 interface is compatible with a Mac that only has USB 2. FireWire 800 transmits data at up to 800 MB per second, and FireWire 400 transmits data at up to 400MB per second.

Press the "Power" switch on the LaCie drive to turn it on. It will mount on your Mac's desktop. Depending on the model, there may be a status light on the LaCie, which will stay on in a steady state to indicate the drive is on; flicker to indicate data access; stay on for one second and remain off for 30 seconds in a continuous cycle to show that it is in a power-saving economy mode; and off when the drive is turned off.

Tip

  • If you are using a desktop external hard drive to back up data from your computer's internal drive, you can set up Apple's native Time Machine utility to perform automatic backups on a regular basis. Plug in the external drive, start up Time Machine, and it will keep track of files on your computer, backing them up every hour. If you accidentally delete a file, you can use Time Machine to recover it from the LaCie external drive. Some LaCie drives come with a utility, LaCie Backup Assistant, which you can also use to back up your data.

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