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Maxtor Horror Story


Ryan FB
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Well, I've now gone through three Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 hard drives. I had one die a few weeks ago, with all sorts of bad sector errors on it. Thankfully I was able to purchase a new 300GB Seagate (with a 5 year warranty) and copy most of the data over. After hassling around with Maxtor's warranty process (the drive was only 6 months old), I opted to have an advanced replacement unit sent to me (they ship you a new refurbed drive, you use the packaging to ship your old and busted drive back). Well, being short on time I didn't have much chance to pull my machine apart and put in the replacement drive I received, but I sent my old drive back today. Then this evening I plugged in the replacement...and not only did it not work, it took out the other DiamondMax Plus 9 drive on it's chain. 250GB of data, and there's no way I'll be able to get it off...examining the board shows that the drive motor controller chipset (Smooth L7250E) on both drives is literally smoked. Here's the fantastic part, I can't even use their normal online RMA system to send it back, 1) because it's currently not working and 2) because you have to use their PowerMax utility to generate a valid error code...somewhat difficult when no PC will recognize the drive. So I get to go through their slow, regular tech support which probably means at least a week of nothing happening since they'll insist on asking me a slew of unrelated questions. Hooray.

 

Sorry, I had to vent. :mad: :bh

 

Sidenote: I had a 30GB out of warranty drive die on me around 8 months ago. Guess what brand it was? Guess what brand I'll never be purchasing again?

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Don't know if this will help, but I've heard from numerous people that if you seal a bad drive in an anti-static bag, then put it in your freezer for a couple of hours, there's a good chance you'll be able to get some info off the drive. I know it sounds silly, but I know a few people who've tried it, and it's worked for them.

 

I suppose it's dependant on the actual issue with the drive, but it can't hurt to try it.

 

As another option, perhaps you can try SpinRite 6, available at http://www.grc.com - I've heard of peoples successes using that program as well.

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Thanks for all the posts.

That story really has me thinking about the 600 GB of music I have and how it could all just disappear any minute. I really need to come up with a backup plan.

Yeah backing up is a tricky situation...especially since the cheapest current method for large amounts of data appears to be to buy more drives and back up to them. :P

Don't know if this will help, but I've heard from numerous people that if you seal a bad drive in an anti-static bag, then put it in your freezer for a couple of hours, there's a good chance you'll be able to get some info off the drive. I know it sounds silly, but I know a few people who've tried it, and it's worked for them.

That usually only works for a "head crash" (where the read head crashes into the spinning platter)...the cold causes the metals to contract, allowing the head to move over the platter again.

 

Since the PCB's on mine appear to be the source of the problem, the only method I know of for recovering the data is to purchase another drive of the same model, and swap the board onto the dead hard drive. Which is difficult, expensive, and isn't guaranteed to work.

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