Maxtor 300 gig external drive question

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by All Things Mopar, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. A second question in the same day, I'm on a roll here! <grin>

    While my new PC will have a 16X DVD burner, I thought it was
    about time I bought an external HD so I could backup my new PC
    and my old one that will be revamped and given to my wife to
    replace her slow archaic Win 98 box. Part of the reason for
    wanting an external HD is that is is small enough to store off-
    site, perhaps at a P.O. box or bank safety deposit box.

    I looked around for quite a while but failed to get any
    meaninful comparisions of the most common manufacturers,
    including Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital, and a number of "off
    brands" I never heard of.

    I was trying to find out obvious comparison data points such as
    theoretical and average transfer rates, MTBF, etc. I didn't post
    anything here, but I did ask some friends that have externals.
    They /all/ recommended staying away from WD and had no strong
    feelings pro and con about any of the other brands I've looked

    So, I bought a 300 gig Maxtor today on sale for $249 at CompUSA.
    As I always do when I buy /anything/ at a retail store, I
    verified their return policy, which is 21 days.

    So, before I spend time formatting/preparing/whatever this
    thingy, does anyone have strong negative feelings about Maxtor?
    Conversely, would anyone recommend better externals, where
    "better" means cost effective per gig, reliability, and speed?

    Again, thanks in advance for the advice. Oh, yes, I /did/ Google
    and looked at a number of web sites but it is pretty hard to get
    objective comparisions from manufacturer web sites and the like.
    All Things Mopar, Aug 5, 2005
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  2. All Things Mopar

    Pennywise Guest

    |>So, before I spend time formatting/preparing/whatever this
    |>thingy, does anyone have strong negative feelings about Maxtor?
    |>Conversely, would anyone recommend better externals, where
    |>"better" means cost effective per gig, reliability, and speed?

    Maxtor's been getting a bad rap today :)

    I have a Maxtor 20GB in a now secondary computer, that has work'd
    flawlessly for over 7 years now; and I kept that computer on almost
    Pennywise, Aug 5, 2005
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  3. On this date, extended this wisdom for the consideration of
    other readers...
    Yes, that's what prompted my query. I've been ambivalent (sp?)
    about Seagate for years and never like Western Digital, as my
    experience (years ago) was never ending bad sectors, slow
    transfer rate, and a noise when reading/writing that sounded
    like marbles in a jar.
    My new 'puter will have a 250 gig Maxtor internal, which I also
    investigated with about the same success, but went with it
    because it seemed like the best compromise for size, cost, and

    Thanks for the insights.
    All Things Mopar, Aug 5, 2005
  4. All Things Mopar

    pcbutts1 Guest

    Don't do it. I use to use Maxtor HD's in all my DVR's but then they started
    coming back to me bad. Maxtor honored the warranty but I lost money on
    labor. 2 years ago I switched to Western Digital and to this day not one has
    been returned. Spend the extra money and get the best.


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    pcbutts1, Aug 6, 2005
  5. All Things Mopar

    PC Guest


    Over the years just about all HD manufacturers have had received bad reports
    about their drives.
    Ask 20 tech's and you will get 20 different recommendations.

    The 'Vital' safety factor is not to trust your data to one repository
    This generally means backing up to multiple devices eg DVD, Portable HD, USB
    Stick, whatever device satisfies your cost / performance needs.

    The advice I would offer is having decided what and where to backup, do make
    sure you use a common format e.g. .zip, or plain files for that matter.

    I had another example Friday of someone backing up with different programs
    at different times and not remembering what it was they used to create the
    backups. The backup was eventually found to have been made with NTI Backup
    (after some time) which is one of the less common burner programs. The
    client had to go and get their Laptop from home, being the only machine we
    could locate with it on.

    The sting in the tail for the client was when opened their archive up it
    only contained the shortcuts to his data not the data itself. The
    crestfallen client left without any comment from us knowing they faced a
    whole weekend of data entry in order to catch up from their previous backup
    (using the programs official backup routine).

    PC, Aug 6, 2005
  6. All Things Mopar

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Thanks for the excellent post, Paul! It's exactly right. Over the past 20
    years, I've used hundreds of drives, not always the "big three" (Seagage,
    Western Digital, Maxtor/Quantum) and I've had warranty failures on all of
    them, not any being obviously worse than the other.

    I had to chuckle a bit about the bad backup. I too have had that happen. A
    guy bought Backup MyPC, but never learned how to make it write to CD. So his
    backups went to his hard drive. Guess what failed. Guess who had to teach
    him how to use his backup software <g>
    Toolman Tim, Aug 6, 2005
  7. All Things Mopar

    PC Guest


    Hard Drives, some die after 2 weeks, somewhere here I'm sure I'll have a
    Segate 225 that still runs 100% after 20 years.
    Yep failures with all brands. The worst of course was the Fujitsu 20GB ones,
    cost me a lot of time they did

    Must admit I'm not to keen on Samsungs at the moment, I've had a few go
    'soft' and fill up the defect map causing file corruptions during the change
    over of the dead sector to the mapped replacement.
    I've resorted to using Samsungs utilities to look at the defect map growth
    vs time in order to find why some PC's become 'bitchy' i.e. unexplained
    settings change, can't compact OE folders, read only files, logon screen
    suddenly appearing etc.
    The one's that give trouble (some don't and are working just fine) all show
    defects being mapped out regularly.
    Like I said before as if the media was 'soft'

    Using software / following instructions.
    Yes, I don't know how many times if muttered under my breath "RTFM"
    And as for using the 'Help' facility on the menu bar..... "whats the menu
    bar?" sheeeeeeeeeeech.

    For backups, most of my commercial clients are running up to 3 way backups
    1 Scheduled backup to CDRW overnight
    2 Cross backup usually at night from the 'data' machine to one of the work
    stations. (Thank god for 40GB+ drives)
    3 And if applicable a USB hard drive for the Receptionist / office manger.

    Might seem overkill but by making them mostly automatic minimises the 'I
    was to busy' factor.

    I use a freeware program called 'BackItUp' for creating the .zip's. It has
    given me problems with corruption when incrementally updating zips at one
    site. But I got round that by 'moving' the backup zip to it's destination
    via a 'backup' folder on the hard drive.
    It's main asset is it's great at producing batch files.
    Then it is so easy to shedule them or to shortcut them to the desktop and
    tell the receptionist: Plug drive in here, Double click this Icon, Remove
    when the black window goes away.

    PC, Aug 6, 2005
  8. On this date, pcbutts1 extended this wisdom for the
    consideration of other readers...
    Interesting observation. Sometimes, these debates are like who's
    cars are best. Everyone seems to have either tales of delight or
    tales of woe on the very same vehicles.

    I've got another 20 days on CompUSA's return pledge to research
    this and decide. But, if the recent spate of anti-Maxtor posts
    is at all indicative of growing poor quality, I'll be twice as
    screwed as my internal will be a Maxtor as well.

    My experience with WD goes back more than 10 years, and that's
    several lifetimes in this industry. How do you find noise/lack
    of noise as your WD is reading/writing? And, assuming you've got
    a 7200 rpm drive, a fast CPU, high quality mobo and lots of RAM,
    does your WD meet your performance expectations?

    Back to externals for a moment. Which model(s) of WD would you
    recommend? I prefer 300 gig but might go as low as 250, but not
    down to 200. I'd love 500+ but the price point seems to be at or
    near 300 gig and it is almost as cheap to buy two of them than
    one 500 and risk a visit from Murphy.
    All Things Mopar, Aug 6, 2005
  9. On this date, PC extended this wisdom for the consideration
    of other readers...
    Hi, Paul. Thanks for an in-depth answer to my question.

    I've mildly investigated backup software, including what comes
    with Win XP and what comes with most/all externals, as well as
    utilities like Ghost. I think, though, that I'll take the
    simple method and just do straight file copies.

    Doing copies won't help my O/S partition at bit, obviously,
    but it's my data I'm more concerned about. Windoze can be re-
    installed and apps re-installed, it just takes some time and
    effort. But, my scans and digitals are irreplaceable.

    And, like you suggest, I'll not rely on an external, but will
    continue making CD-Rs and start making DVD-Rs. The issue with
    those, though, is the physical amount of space they take up,
    making it more difficult - read, "expensive" to find off-site
    storage other than a friends basement.
    All Things Mopar, Aug 6, 2005
  10. On this date, PC extended this wisdom for the consideration
    of other readers...
    This problem is what soured me on Western Digitals, although
    that was at least 10 years ago. It was bad enough when I had
    an app crash, much worse when Windoze or DOS behaved
    strangely, but catastrophic when I lost data that I couldn't
    replace nor had the intelligence to have backed up.

    I've resorted to using Samsungs
    All Things Mopar, Aug 6, 2005
  11. All Things Mopar

    FML Guest

    I've been using a Ximeta Netdisk for about a year now with very good
    results. I have the 120Gb model but they go all the way up to 250Gb.
    Prices are similar to Maxtor OneTouch. I would buy it again.

    FML, Aug 6, 2005
  12. I am Using a GenDisk 80Gig which is Ximeta Drive I bought
    them (2 of them) from office max 149.00 I have one here at home and one at

    I really like it! It is Ethernet or USB. I VPN to the one at work for
    offsite backup. (we both have the same DSL Provider) I offsite work stuff
    here and home stuff there.
    Spanky Robbins, Aug 6, 2005
  13. On this date, Spanky Robbins extended this wisdom for the
    consideration of other readers...
    It is interesting that you and FML are both using the Ximeta
    drive. I don't recall getting any "hits" on that brand and I
    don't recall seeing one in the 6+ local computer stores I've
    looked at. From the sound of both your successes, I guess I
    should have Googled more!

    Thanks for your input.
    All Things Mopar, Aug 6, 2005
  14. All Things Mopar

    FML Guest

    The main reason I went with Ximeta is that I wanted somehting I could
    just add to my network via ethernet. At the time they had a proven
    solution with that capability.

    I was looking around at the Ximeta web site and noticed they have a new
    product that may be a better way to go. It is an enclosure with
    Ethernet/USB connectivity and looks like you can drop whatever hard
    drive you want in there.

    FML, Aug 7, 2005
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