Maxtor Hard Disk Drives

Maxtor have been manufacturing hard disk drives for the PC and server market, with one of the best reputations for reliability, since 1990. The DiamondMax series is still regarded among the best quality ATA drives around; reason enough to understand why Maxtor was the world’s third largest manufacturer of computer hard disks right up to it’s acquisition by Seagate in May 2006.

Maxtor have been active in the external hard disk market (e.g. the Maxtor One-Touch II personal hard drive). Surprisingly though Seagate have ordered a halt to the manufacture of portable 2.5″ format drives. Consequently, we expect to see less and less Maxtor drives appearing in notebook computers in the future.

Maxtor drives are generally reliable, but, like any drive, will fail for a number of reasons. There are however, problems that are specific to certain Maxtor models. This can actually prove a positive characteristic for us at Data Detect, as file problems are more likely to be diagnosed and repaired quickly once we have identified the fault.

Some of the most common issues we have experienced with Maxtor drives are:

Firmware corruption – probably the most common issue identified by our engineers on Maxtor drives. This is normally diagnosed when the BIOS identifies the drive incorrectly. If you see the Maxtor model name listed incorrectly in the BIOS it more than likely means that it has been substituted for another, though incompatible model.

We’ve seen this problem with many Maxtor drives, most commonly the DiamondMax series with the incorrect description being shown as:

“MAXTOR N40P” on the DiamondMax Plus 8
“MAXTOR CALYPSO” III on the DiamondMax Plus 9
“MAXTOR FALCON” on the DiamondMax 10

Read / write head problems or service track corruption. When the cooling function becomes faulty the drive can reach a temperature beyond the recommended maximum level. Consequently, the head or service issues can cause the drive to make a clicking noise, or display the wrong drive size at POST.

Electronic: An electronic fault develops on the controller board, normally caused by failure of the spindle motor. When this occurs, the drive will appear to have failed completely and not be shown in the BIOS at all.

Incorrect sector boundaries – in this case, the drive is shown correctly in the BIOS but can display an error message such as: “RAW” in Windows or “The disk is not readable by this system” in Mac OS X. Recovery software will fail to recover files and interrogation of the hard disk drive will show incorrect sector boundaries as well as sometimes generating AMNF (Address Mark Not Found) error messages. This is caused by data corruption in the hard drive’s service area. Fixing this corruption normally enables access to the lost data.

If your Maxtor drive wont mount, has crashed, or seems about to, we recommend you shut the unit down and contact us straight away for evaluation and diagnosis.

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