Maxtor Corporation Complaint - Hard Drive Failure: Maxtor DiamondMax 160GB Hard Drive

Review by allen21 on 2006-11-23
Two years ago, I purchased a brand-new Maxtor DiamondMax 160-gigabyte hard disk drive. Today, the hard drive has failed. Maxtor is under no
obligation to do anything about it, since the product had only a one-year warranty. This is the classic case of a product breaking down as soon as the warranty expires. The problem is particularly annoying, since the failed product is a hard drive, which has my important data on it, which I can no longer access.

Is two years the industry standard for the life of a hard drive? I think not. I have another, admittedly much smaller, hard drive, which I have used almost daily since 1998, and which has not failed. My experience with computers leads me to believe that hard drives generally can be expected to last much longer than two years.

I contacted Maxtor regarding my frustration. Predictably, they said sorry, there's nothing we can do, unless of course you shell out more money. Their only suggestions were: (1) their hard drive exchange and upgrade program, and (2) the Seagate data recovery service. Of course I want to recover my data. But I imagine the Seagate service will cost me more than I paid for
the drive to begin with. There are several do-it-yourself software packages available which can recover data off a failing hard drive. These software packages are reasonably priced, and I believe any of them could recover my data.

The most desirable outcome in this case would be for Maxtor to provide me with data recovery service, free of charge. Alternatively, they could provide me with do-it-yourself data recovery software, free of charge, on an
as-is basis. Either way, this would compensate me for the substandard performance of their product, and enable me to recover my lost data. I have no illusions that Maxtor will do either of these things, so I will probably end up purchasing the do-it-yourself data recovery software. The only other thing I can do is warn others about my dismal experience with Maxtor.

My point is this: I bought a Maxtor hard drive, the hard drive broke, and I got burned. Beware.

Christopher Allen

Product Details:

Maxtor DiamondMax internal hard drive (retail version)
Model: 6Y160P0
Capacity: 160 gigabytes
Price: About $80
Date of Purchase: October 2004
Date of Failure: October 2006

The drive has four partitions on it. Three of the partitions are still readable; only one of them is inaccessible. I downloaded and ran Maxtor's diagnostic utility, PowerMax 4.23, which returned a diagnostic code of de6bab79 and urged me to recover my data (if possible) and replace the drive.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-12-11
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-23:
Allan21 I really do understand your frustration with the hard drive but I don’t see where Maxtor did anything wrong, One year warranty and you had it two years! You say it had 4 partitions on it and because you used Maxtor’s diagnostic utility it told you could still read 3 partitions, was the utility free? You paid $80.00 for the hard drive you used for two years. Hard drives are like anything else you buy now a day, they are made in bulk sometimes you get one that doesn’t last 100 years. Sorry I don’t think you got burned, cheated or anything else.
Posted by allen21 on 2006-11-23:
Clearly, Maxtor has held up its end of the warranty contract, and legally I have no complaint. I am only saying that I was surprised and disappointed by the short lifespan of this hard drive. I bought the drive to upgrade a six-year-old computer. It worked fine for two years, and then suddenly the computer won't boot any more. I thought the motherboard was going bad, but no! -- it was the hard drive, which I freshly remember buying brand new. The outside of the retail box claims: "Every Maxtor product is backed by more than 20 years of experience and innovation. Featuring reliable performance and world-class customer support, Maxtor's award-winning drives are the choice of the world's leading PC manufacturers." I strongly believe that Maxtor and its product have miserably failed to live up to these superlative claims. I guess the lesson learned is that anybody with a computer needs to have access to data recovery software, for that inevitable day in the near future when their hard drive melts down.
Posted by allen21 on 2006-11-23:
Maxtor's own diagnostic software, called PowerMax 4.23, examined the hard drive in question, and informed me in no uncertain terms that the hard drive is defective and must be replaced -- hence the "diagnostic code". PowerMax tests the drive for defects, but it does not recover lost data. If I want my data recovered, I have to pay for that. Lidman and JayD think I am a fool to expect my hard drives to last longer that two years -- does anyone agree with me? Or is two years the industry standard? You guys say Maxtor did nothing wrong; I say they did nothing illegal -- there is a difference. All I am suggesting is that Maxtor, which produced this substandard product, could extend me a little courtesy, by helping me to recover my lost data. I am perfectly capable of buying the data recovery software, running it, and recovering missing files; in fact, I successfully recovered three files using a free trial version of a program called VirtualLab. I have no expectation whatsoever that Maxtor will actually extend me the courtesy I seek -- this is simply my three cents!
Posted by David on 2006-11-24:
As cheap as hard drives are, buy two along with a RAID card or motherboard that supports RAID. Configure the drives as RAID 1 (mirrored) and you will never lose data as a result of a single hard drive failure. For less than $200, you can have this data security. How important is your data? How valuable is your time? How long will it take to install a new hard drive, reinstall the operating system and all software, and get your computer back into a productive state? Hard drives fail. You can count on it. It is simply a matter of when. In addition, you should always back up data that cannot be replaced, like digital photos. I also agree with JayD. If you can read 3 of 4 partitions, it is likely data corruption that can be corrected. There may be a section of the hard drive that is no longer reliable, but you may be able to get it working long enough to recover your data.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-24:
David: Good advice and I also agree with JayD.. Allen I think we have all tried to give some good advice here but I want you to know I was not calling and/or was not thinking you are a "fool", Just trying to help. You have some good points I just think there is a better way to get the results you want. Good luck
Posted by allen21 on 2006-11-24:
David, thanks for your suggestion regarding RAID technology. I think I will take your advice. Nonetheless, I am still hot and bothered about Maxtor selling me a lemon. Ranting continues: For you guys who think Maxtor did nothing wrong -- what if, hypothetically, you bought a hard drive that broke after only two months? The company would replace it under the warranty. And what if the replacement also broke a month later? Would you still think the company did nothing wrong? Is there no standard for product reliability? What Maxtor did wrong is, they produced an inferior product. That's all. //

This is what actually happened. My daughter came to me and said, "Dad, my computer doesn't work." I was actually quite concerned and sympathetic. Here's what I should have said to her: "Quit your whining. You had the thing for two years, what do you expect? It's probably the *hard drive* -- those are always the first things to break."
Posted by Fredo777 on 2006-12-10:
I agree with the author, completely.

While it might be "expected" for a hard drive to fail @ some point, there is something to be said for product reliability. If I purchase a product from a well-established, 'reliable' company in an industry, I expect that product to be of a certain quality. 2 yr. product life for something like a hard drive (that could cost up to 100 bucks) is merely unacceptable. Allen certainly does not need to "grow up", as was earlier suggested, b/c of this particular opinion. Warranties should only be a cushion to protect consumers when "flukes" occur within a short period, but a minimal 1 yr. warranty period should not be 50% of the product's expected life.
Posted by allen21 on 2006-12-11:

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