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Setting Up - Windows

The LaCie 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2 is shipped with the following installation components:

  • Rack rail kit for a standard 19-inch rack
    • Inner rack rails (A1, A2)
    • Outer rack rails (B1, B2)
  • Screws and washers for the rack rails
    • Inner rack rail M4x4 screws (8)
    • Outer rack rail M5x10 screws (8)
    • Washers (8)
  • Cable management arm kit
  • Power supply cables (certain models are shipped with one power supply cable)
  • Thunderbolt cable (2m)
  • Hard drives (the amount of hard drives can vary by model)
  • LaCie 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2 enclosure

An additional plastic bag with screws has been provided to fasten hard drives to the hard drive drawers. If you must secure hard drives to the hard drive trays, make certain to use the included screws.

The instructions below are also available on the Quick Start Guide included with the LaCie 8big.

Before installation: Choose compatible hard drives

If your LaCie 8big shipped with eight hard drives, you can skip this section and move to Step 1. If your LaCie 8big shipped with empty hard drive slots, consider the following:

  • When adding new hard drives to empty slots, LaCie highly recommends using hard drives that have been tested and approved for the LaCie 8big. For a list of compatible hard drives, visit LaCie 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2 hard drives.
  • LaCie cannot guarantee performance or functionality when using hard drives that do not appear on the list of compatible hard drives.

Step 1 - Rack rails

  1. Attach the inner rack rails to the LaCie 8big using four screws on each side.

  2. Attach the outer rack rails to the rack. If necessary, unlock the rear screws on the outer rack rails to extend the sliding brackets.

  3. Slide the LaCie 8big into the rack. To unlock the rails, pull the rail fasteners on each side toward you. An audible click indicates that the LaCie 8big is securely fastened to the rack.


Step 2 - Cable management arm

Attach the cable management arm to the back of the rack rails.

  1. Snap the right outer connection into the outside rail.

  2. Snap the left connection into the outside rail.

  3. Guide the right inner connection into the inner rack rail.


Step 3 - Cables


  • Thunderbolt cable
  • Power cables

Note regarding a Thunderbolt daisy chain: You can also connect a second Thunderbolt cable to daisy chain compatible devices to the LaCie 8big. A Thunderbolt daisy chain supports up to seven devices, including the computer. See Daisy Chain for further information.

Notes on power supplies: Certain LaCie 8big models are shipped with one power supply, which is sufficient for normal operation. LaCie 8big models shipped with two power supplies offer redundancy in case one should fail. When inserting two power supplies into the LaCie 8big, make certain to plug them both into active power supplies. The enclosure will sound the alarm if it senses two power supplies but only one is connected to an active power supply.



  1. Open the panels on the cable management arm and thread the cables. Allow slack for external connections and sliding the LaCie 8big on its rails.

  2. Close the panels.


Step 4 - Hard drives

Remove the cover

  1. Slide the LaCie 8big toward you until it locks into position.

  2. Release the cover by simultaneously pushing both front latches toward you.

  3. Lift the cover.


Insert the hard drives

Important info: Make certain that you are properly grounded before touching the hard drives.

  1. Push the hard drive’s lock button to open the latch.

  2. Place the hard drive on the LaCie 8big’s hard drive guides. Confirm that the hard drive is correctly aligned on the guides by gently pushing it away from the SATA connection.

  3. Slide the hard drive into the SATA connection.

  4. Close the hard drive’s latch.

  5. Repeat the steps for each hard drive.
  6. Close the cover and slide the LaCie 8big into the rack. To unlock the rails, pull the rail fasteners on each side toward you. Secure the LaCie 8big to the rack using the two front screws.

Step 5 - PC and power connections

  1. Connect the power cables to active outlets.
  2. Connect the Thunderbolt cable to your PC.

Step 6 - Start the hard drives

  1. Apply a short push to the power button. See Operation for details on how to use the power button.

Step 7 - Download the Thunderbolt Windows Driver

Perform the steps below on the PC that will use the 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2.

  1. Download the driver at the following link: Thunderbolt for Windows.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file and note where it is located. For example, you can unzip the file on your PC’s desktop.

Step 8 - Install the Thunderbolt Windows Driver

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Device Manager.
  2. Note that an item named RAID Controller appears in Other devices.

  3. Right click RAID Controller and choose Update Driver Software.

  4. Choose Browse my computer for driver software and navigate to the driver downloaded in Step 7.

  5. Choose the folder that applies to your version of Windows and then choose OK:

    • 64-bit: Choose amd64.
    • 32-bit: Choose i386.
  6. Choose Next to confirm the update.
  7. Device Manager shows that the new driver has been installed.


Step 9 - Clean the hard drives

Since the hard drives are formatted for Mac (HFS+), all partitions must be erased, including the EFI partition. Windows Disk Management cannot erase the EFI partition so you must run Diskpart, a separate Windows utility. For additional information on Diskpart, see the web site.

Clean the hard drives

Important info: Diskpart deletes data from any hard drive that you select. Therefore, to avoid deleting data on other devices, disconnect all external hard drives from your PC except the LaCie 8big. Diskpart cannot delete the System disk.

Additionally, if your LaCie 8big has data, make certain to copy all files before performing the steps below. LaCie is not responsible for lost data.

  1. Search for and launch Diskpart.

  2. If you are prompted to authorize Diskpart, choose Yes or equivalent.
  3. In the Diskpart prompt, type list disk.

  4. Locate the disk number for your LaCie device then type select disk n. n is the number for the LaCie hard drive enclosure (1 in the screenshot below). If you are uncertain of the disk number for the LaCie product, launch Disk Management. You should see the number assigned to the LaCie product.

  5. Diskpart confirms that the disk has been selected.

  6. To delete all partitions on the enclosure’s hard drives, type clean.

Diskpart confirms that your hard drive is clean, meaning that the partitions have been deleted. The LaCie product is ready to be formatted for your operating system. See Step 7 - Format the hard drives for instructions.

Step 10 - Format the hard drives


You can customize the storage device by reformatting it with separate file system formats. Review the formats below.

exFAT: exFAT is an update of FAT32, allowing for compatibility with Windows and Mac. While FAT32 is limited in regard to volume and file sizes, exFAT allows for volumes up to 128PB and files up to 16EB. Similar to FAT32, exFAT is not optimized for performance with Windows devices.

NTFS: This acronym stands for New Technology File System, and it is the native file system for Windows 7 and Windows 8. NTFS offers several features that are not available with exFAT: file compression, encryption, permissions, auditing, and mirroring drives. The minimum supported volume size for NTFS is 10MB with a maximum of 2TB when initialized in the MBR format. For greater flexibility, use the GPT format with NTFS to remove limits on file and partition sizes. Volumes created in NTFS are native read and write for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Mac OS X 10.5 or higher can read and write to the NTFS partitions with the help of third-party drivers.

See the table below for a comparison of NTFS and exFAT.

Windows file system formats
Use NTFS if:
…you will be using the storage device only with Windows 7 and Windows 8. NTFS performance is significantly better than exFAT. This file system is also compatible in read-only mode with Mac OS 10.3 and higher.
Use exFAT if:
…you will be using your storage device with both Windows and Mac computers. Performance is not optimized for Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2.


Formatting Instructions

The steps listed below help you to format the storage device.

Caution: Formatting will erase everything on the storage device. LaCie highly recommends that you back up all data on your storage device before performing the steps below. LaCie is not responsible for any data lost due to formatting, partitioning, or using a LaCie storage device.

Note: Refer to your operating system's documentation for more information on formatting your storage device.

  1. Make sure the storage device is connected to and mounted on the computer.
  2. Right click on Computer and choose Manage. From the Manage window select Disk Management.
  3. From the list of storage devices in the middle of the Disk Management window, locate your LaCie device.
  4. Right click on the volume and select New Simple Volume. Follow the on-screen instructions when the New Simple Volume Wizard appears.

Step 11 - Download and install LaCie RAID Manager

LaCie RAID Manager is the software utility that manages the LaCie 8big’s storage.

  1. Download the installer at
  2. Launch the installer on the computer that will connect to the LaCie 8big.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

For instructions, see the LaCie RAID Manager user manual.

© LaCie 2023 Last modified : Nov 17, 2015