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Maxtor Drives


Metrogirl
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I have a lot of HDDs, probably way more than most people because of the work that I do. They are all types, ATA, SATA, Laptop, and come from all the major manufacturers - Maxtor, WD, Seagate, Hitachi, Toshiba and Fujitsu. Mainly they're running Windows.

 

Yesterday a 3-month old Maxtor 300GB SATAII drive packed up on me. It's part of a mirrored pair, so nothing is lost, but I got thinking about this. I've lost several drives to mystery failures in the last couple of years, and they've nearly all been Maxtor.

 

Now it could be that I simply have more Maxtor drives than any other brand, because they've often been cheaper. But it could also be that they're less reliable.

 

Looking at the drives in my systems over the last couple of years -

 

Hitachi/IBM - no failures (I have quite a few of these, some quite old, all work perfectly)

Toshiba laptop - no failures

Fujitsu laptop - no failures

Seagate - no failures

 

Western Digital - one failure after a few hours, replaced under warranty.

Maxtor - five failures, two under warranty.

 

One of the Maxtors responded to the freezer trick - freeze for 24 hours and it might work long enough to get vital data off - but the others were dead. No obvious mechanical issues, just inability to read data, scrambled MFT, or huge bad sector reports.

 

I'm not buying any more Maxtor drives, and I'll probably avoid Seagate now they've merged with Maxtor. But I wondered if my experience was typical, or if I've just been unlucky. What's the forum consensus on drives?

 

PS this topic might be better in a hardware sub-forum, but I'm starting it in the Windows section because it has a lot of readers and Windows users are typically more likely to mess with their drive configuration than OSX users.

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I feel your pain. I bought a Seagate 200 Gb about a year ago, and after exactly 3 months of use, it stopped working. Sounds like something's loose inside, so I know its kaput. I would never buy a Maxtor though, they're famous for being noisy and terrible.

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I have bought many drives over the years and have bought many for my customers and all but 2 are still working. Those 2 drives that failed were Maxtor drives, thankfully they were my drives not my customers. I will never buy Maxtor again.

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I sort of liked Seagates, but since they merged with Maxtor I suspect that some of them come from Maxtor fabs now ... would explain why they can be dodgy. Hitachi has a good reputation but they can be noisy. My Maxtors have always seemed to run pretty hot compared to other drives.

 

Yes, I think big drives are less reliable. I read that on an IBM tech forum somewhere. For Windows I try to use a smallish boot drive which I keep as clean as possible, a second drive for the swapfile (though it tends to get filled with assorted garbage too), and then a couple of big drives mirrored for all the data. I don't tend to run any of my Windows systems without mirrored drives now, some things are just too precious. Since newer motherboards come with RAID support, it's worth the extra $100 or so to me. I run PerfectDisk weekly to keep the drives defragged and I heard that defragging improves data longevity because the disk is always being re-written so nothing gets 'weak' - but I don't know if that's just someone's theory or a fact.

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I bought a Maxtor 80GB drive several years ago, first time I'd ever purchased one brand new in the box with the Maxtor factory seal still on it, unbroken.

 

About 7 days after putting it into use, it started making the dreaded "tick tick tick" sound, and it went downhill from there really fast - within two days of noticing that first ticking, the bearings went out and the drive locked up tighter than a small block 350 with Locktite in the gas tank. :)

 

Since I constantly install and reinstall software and operating systems of all kinds (thank some higher power for Acronis True Image), it's not like I was afraid of losing data at the time, but even so, you'd think a brand new product would do better than a week of usage.

 

Had a friend years ago buy a Western Digital Raptor as soon as they hit the market. First one died in a week, sent it back - the replacement died in less than 2 - sent it back - the second replacement died in just under 3 weeks - sent it back - the third replacement didn't last 5 weeks.

 

So talk about a run of bad luck.

 

I also owned the infamous IBM "DeathStar" drive, the 60GXP years ago. Started making the whining/ticking noises, so I hit it with SpinRite - my most loved piece of software in my entire utility arsenal next to True Image - and let it do a level 5 check on the drive.

 

Miraculously, SpinRite gave it a thumbs up so I returned the drive to normal use and the whining/ticking disappeared for 6 months. It returned after that period of time, and SpinRite saved/restored it to operational status once again. I got about 8 more months of usage out of it before selling the system it was inside; the owner ended up replacing it about a year later, so... SpinRite ftw!!!

 

I will say this however: in 3 decades of working with computers and hard drive media (which just celebrated it's 50th birthday!) Seagate is the only drive/manufacturer that I have never had fail on me - so far. It's the only one I choose for my own hardware except for the 80GB Hitachi 7200 rpm laptop drive I have in this Dell presently.

 

I hope to get a decent price on a 7200 rpm SATA Seagate laptop drive to put in the MacBook I'm planning to buy next week, so we'll see what happens.

 

:2cents:

 

bb

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Well given that over a long enough time all hard drives will fail. Depending on use you can speed this process up or slow it down. I too have had a number of drives in the past few years: IBM Deskstar, Seagates, Western digitals, and Maxtors. Seagate has earned it's place on the top of my list and though I don't care for them as much Western Digitals in my experience have outlasted many other drives I have used.

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I definitely agree, I go through a lot of hard drives but Maxtor has been by far the least reliable of the brands.

 

I've had a ton of Maxtor RMAs and the real problem is that they always replace your RMA with a refurbished drive; the refurb replacements _always_ fail.

 

Apparently I don't learn, I still have maxtors in my HTPC but I backup a lot more these days.

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I definitely agree, I go through a lot of hard drives but Maxtor has been by far the least reliable of the brands.

 

I've had a ton of Maxtor RMAs and the real problem is that they always replace your RMA with a refurbished drive; the refurb replacements _always_ fail.

 

Apparently I don't learn, I still have maxtors in my HTPC but I backup a lot more these days.

 

That's interesting, I actually bought a refurbished Maxtor from either NewEgg or ZipZoomFly, can't remember which one now, but it was sold as 'factory refurbished' and a very good price. It lasted two months before it started ticking. Maxtor replaced it with another refurb. unit which I sold to a friend. No idea if it still works but he's still speaking to me...

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I had a 200GB Maxtor drive for about 6 months and then it started making clicking noises and whenever it would click it would stop working for a few seconds for example if I was listening to a song it would skip for like 2 seconds. It was under warranty and they replaced it with a 250GB drive which was a better drive so I was pretty happy until it died the next day. Maxtor drives must really blow. I certainly won't buy one again.

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  • 3 months later...

I've used Quantum Fireballs, Seagates, Samsungs and Western Digitals in PC's amnd Mac's until now and my WD Caviar SATA drive just died a few days ago. I never experienced any other failures with my other drives. I still have the Quantum Fireball and it's still working (It was bought in 1998).

 

I think I'll just buy a Samsung drive, I guess it's the best Hard Disk brand I've used.

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I have 2 Maxtors from Dec-2002 that works very reliable, 2 more Sata Maxtors from Last year, an old Quantum Drive from 1999 that kicks yet, it sounds a lot but works well. A very old Quantum Fireball SCSI disk on my Macintosh IISi. and 2 new WesternDigital SATAII.

 

Here I have a HD from my sister-in-law's Dell from 2001 that chashed last week, a 60GB IBM Deskstar.

 

Last year I replaced my PowerBook's Hitachi HD.

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Last week I hauled the final Maxtor out of my desktop 'main' PC and replaced it with a WD 500GB unit. Windows kept 'losing' the Maxtor - I'd get a 'delayed write failed' message and it was suddenly not there though it was still shown in Device Manager, ruling out cable/power problems. A full power-down reboot would 'find' it again, apparently intact. Dr Spinrite tells me that the Maxtor was in big trouble. The WD is unbelievably quiet and cool-running. No more Maxtors for me, regardless of their low price.

 

Current drive config in that machine - 2x small Seagate SATA (striped - boot volume), 2x Hitachi SATA (mirrored), 2x WD SATA including the new one. Mobo - AW8-Max with Intel and SIL SATA controllers. The Seagates and Hitachis have been running a year with no problems.

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Funny thread...

 

I've had problems with my hard drives those famous days with the "old" IBM drives with IDE, 7200rpm (30, 40, 60, 80 GB).

I guess there were more damaged out there than working ones :rolleyes:

 

For now I always change my drives after 1.5-2 years....i.e. I sell 2 drives with 160GB and get 1 x 320GB and buy another one with 320....so I spend some money but have not too old drives in my computer.

 

Now there are 2 x 320 GB Seagate 16MB, 7200, Sata2 (Raid 0.....love the speed !) and for data 2 x 500 GB WD also 16mb, 7200, Sata2.

I guess in Nov, Dec I'm going to change again....hopefully then there will be HD DVDs or Blue Ray discs more common and they need space.

 

On my notebook I changed the Hitachi 100GB with another Hitachi 160GB / 5400 / 8MB....for Win2K and Mac OSX on it - so far nothing to complain.

 

You know with all the torrents out there the drives get more "used" these days.... :thumbsup_anim:

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My Maxtor rating: :P

 

I've had two maxtors die on me. One died after a year or two. The other died within one week. I generally stick with Seagate as I have 3 Seagate drives that have yet to fail on me. I think Seagate bought Maxtor, so hopefully the drive reliability improves. There are still some bad Maxtor drives in retail shops tho, since one of the ones that died on me was one I bought last month.

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Just noticed.. Shouldn't this be in hardware?

 

Technically it should. I started this thread here because I judged that Windows users were more likely to be swapping drives in and out over long periods of time than genuine Mac users or osx86 users with a stable build - which is a moot point anyway. I'm thinking about moving it. If I do, I'll leave it linked in the Windows discussion.

 

-s-

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