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500 GB Maxtor Hard Drive for $99, But My Experiences are Not So Good

This article was written by in Consumer. 9 comments.


I saw what I thought was a great price for a hard drive: a 500 GB disk, 7,200 RPM and a 3 year warranty for $99 at Fry’s. Then I realized I was looking at a Maxtor brand drive. In the last several years, I’ve found Maxtor drives to always be available for less money than their competitors’ drives, usually including a manufacturer’s rebate. I’ve realized since then why these drives are less expensive: they fail a lot more often.

In my desktop computer at this very moment, which houses a Maxtor 200 GB drive and a Maxtor 250 GB drive, the boot disk failed first, and then it seems the second drive died from loneliness and depression. By the time this happened, I had already acquired my new notebook computer and made it my primary machine, transferring all my important documents and data.

A few years ago, Seagate, a competitor, acquired Maxtor. I don’t believe I’ve purchased a Maxtor drive since then, so I’m wondering if the quality of the drives has improved. Based only on price, it looks like they’re still the low-cost option, and I’m willing to bet they’re still the low-quality option as well.

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Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published June 8, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar kurt

I bought an external Maxtor drive (500 gigs as well, likely the same 3.5″ unit inside) and it failed on me with a horrible grinding sound. I replaced it with a WD (http://www.dealhack.com/archives/2007/06/wd_mybook_500gb_usb_external_d_1.html) which strikes me as a better device. Much quieter, cooler, etc.

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avatar Tyler

I’m in IT and I see thousands of machines. The HDs we have most problems with are Western Digitals and Maxtors. Alot of the Dell HD’s are made my these manufacturers as well. Like you said, I have not experienced the Maxtor’s since it was bought out by Seagate (a quality comp) but I know that this would be a great option for someone who wants to “mirror” their data to this drive. That way, even if one fails, you’ll be OK. As long as they don’t fail at the same time!

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avatar kurt

Tyler, which brands would you recommend? I have a pair of Samsung spinpoint (or something) in my desktop, using the WD as an external backup.

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avatar Kevin

A little over a year ago the hard drive in my trusty PowerBook died. I replaced it with a Maxtor drive — it developed errors 3 months later and died within 6.

Side note on dead hard drives:
My Maxtor drive was still well under warranty. However, my FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS are on that drive. There’s no way I’m sending that off for replacement. Think about what’s on your drive before you send it off.

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avatar Jeremy

I think with anything that has a lot of moving parts and a potential for errors it is more or less a crapshoot. In my case I have always had the worst luck with WD drives, yet all of my maxtor drives work flawlessly.

I’m currently running maxtors in a RAID 0 array on my primary desktop and they have been humming along for about 4 years without a problem. Even have two servers in the house running old maxtor drives, one is from 1998 and it is still working fine as well.

On the other hand I built computers in college and went through a nasty spell where I wound up with quite a few dead WD drives.

So I think it has quite a bit to do with luck of the draw. I bet a large part of the reason why you read about and people see more WD and maxtor drives going bad is because they are cheaper to purchase so many more people buy them compared to some of the other brands.

As a side note my latest drive I purchased is a Seagate. I’m not real picky and more or less go for good deals at this point.

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avatar r

My workplace has bought significant numbers of large drives. Initially, we both both maxtor and seagate; nearly every maxtor drive failed before expected and not a single seagate did so. I know others who’ve had similar experiences.

That said, if seagate has bought maxtor….

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avatar A Tentative Personal Finance Blog

I’ll never buy a Maxtor drive again. I’ve had 3 break down on me in the last 5 years. I’m all Western Digital now. Hail the RAPTORS.

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avatar Archetypical

All of the drives I’ve bought since the mid 90′s have been Maxtor and are still in heavy use without failure.

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avatar Rob

I’ve had several Maxtor’s with capacities of 80 GB, 160 GB, 200 GB and 250 GB and I’ve had problems with almost all of them (reallocated sectors, random disconnects, poor performance, etc). I’ve switched to WD which have all been performing flawlessly. Several years ago I had problems with a few WD’s, but these days they seem to be very reliable (knock on wood). If you have a Maxtor, I suggest that you have it checked right away (SMART is great). An excellent (and free) app that’ll show you the SMART attributes and what they mean is SpeedFan.

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