Physical Inspection – All necessary cables included, gets power over USB, Quick Install Guide printed in a booklet that got me up and running in minutes. Software utilities and setup are on included CD-ROM. The drive itself is a strong statement, or maybe not the drive itself but the case. It’s basically a solid metal enclosure with a fingerprint reader on top and a black silicone wrapper around the edges. It’s pretty cool looking, but a little bulky compared to other portable hard drives. I have doubts over its ruggedness. I think it is plenty rugged for the average laptop user on the go but it is not going to take the beating that I dished out to the rugged USB keys earlier this year. I’m pretty sure if I threw this off the roof or drove over it or smashed it between 2 dumbells it would die.
Installation – On my Microsoft Windows Vista 64 workstation I followed the quick start guide and connected it physically. it via IEEE 1394 Firewire 400. Windows found it and offered to format it for me. I realized it wanted to format the drive with the LaCie install apps so I canceled. I dug around on the install apps directory to find the LaCie Safe Manager referenced in the Quick Start guide. I then had to restart.