How to: LaCie Safe Manager on 64bit Mac Lion (with LaCie Rugged Safe drive)

I’m totally in love with my new LaCie Rugged Safe 1TB drive. It’s a rugged external drive, Firewire 800 / USB 2, which is encrypted using your fingerprint. Sounds fancy, right? It kinda is – and it works wonders.

The AES 128-bit encryption is plenty for me. I’m not storing secrets on it, but I’m using it to store mostly my Aperture 3 masters (RAW files) which I wouldn’t want some stranger to browse around in, or steal, if my drive should ever be stolen. If you’ve never had a computer or hard drive stolen you’ll probably think this sounds nuts, but I have tried that – both, actually – and now I have peace of mind that if/when it happens again, my data continues to be mine.

Anyway. The problem with the LaCie Rugged Safe drive is that you need the software “LaCie Safe Manager” to setup the drive to store fingerprints and LaCie only has a 32 bit version out, which doesn’t run on Mac OS X Lion (and perhaps Snow Leopard as well?) if you’re running a 64 bit kernel.

You have two options:

1) Wait for LaCie to update the software – check this link for LaCie updates. As of September 7th 2011, the last update on that link was September 2010, so no luck yet…

2) Boot Mac OS X in 32 bit kernel mode, install LaCie Safe Manager, setup your drive (register fingerprints) – then reboot back into 64 bit mode and that’s it. Click here to learn from Apple how to boot in 32 bit mode.

Once the drive is setup, you really don’t need LaCie Safe Manager anymore – and if you do, just go back into 32 bit mode.

All you need to unlock your LaCie Safe drive, is a registered fingerprint, which I’m guessing is one of your own fingers. No additional software requires installing, which I think is pretty neat.

The drive is somewhat expensive for a mobile 1TB external drive, but the encryption and fingerprint unlocking/locking works great – I think it only missed my finger once or twice, because I swiped too fast. This also uses hardware encryption, so no need for a software-based encryption which also takes up your computer’s CPU resources. Plus, I’ve had great experiences with LaCie external mobile drives these past 5 years, never had a problem. Highly recommended!

9 thoughts on “How to: LaCie Safe Manager on 64bit Mac Lion (with LaCie Rugged Safe drive)”

  1. Encrypted with finger prints ? That’s awesome 😀 I guess just make sure you have no injury or whatsoever during the registration

    • You can register up to 10 fingerprints, so you can register one from each hand, and maybe the one of your wife or something. Otherwise it’s of course also possible to unlock the drive using a secure password and the software. But for everyday use, and without installing any software, fingerprints are fast and easy. And it works like 95% of the time, if not more. When it doesn’t work, you swipe again a little slower.

  2. Excellent-this sounds just what I need. For security this is perfect for storage and would mean that when I download my event photography commissions to the drive it would be safe and secure and having it allow other fingerprints will let my other photographers access without the fuss of passwords. Sorry missed the dofollow

  3. I ahve always been a fan of lacie . They make fantastic products especially their hard drives. I just purchased this hardrive the other day. Can’t wait to test it out. Thanks for allowing dofollow links on your site

  4. Incredible. Sounds like a good storage with high standard of security. However, this only runs on mac right? How about using it with different Operating system. Will this still work? Thanks

  5. Comment puis-je faire réinitialiser ou du moins pouvoir ajouter un autre utilisateur, étant donné que j’ai égaré (oublié) mon mot de passe, je déverrouille le disque à partir de mon empreinte uniquement ?

    • I think you have to reset it some how, and all your data will be gone. Try to look in the manual or on LaCie’s website, or contact LaCie support to ask for assistance, as I can’t remember exactly how it is done (never did it, but I think I remember reading about it when I first got the drive a long time ago).


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