New Hard Drive

May 4, 2005
Hi everyone,
My hard drive is very nearly full and I need to add a second drive.
I saw at Staples they have a Maxtor 120gig. drive for ~$60.00 after rebate.

I was wondering if anyone has this drive and could comment on it's reliability or know of a good drive.



I have had other Maxtor hard drives and not had any problems.
May 5, 2005
Rexburg, ID
I have to differ with the others on Maxtors. I had 2 of the 120's and one litterly burst into flames (yes, I had smoke come out of my computer!). The drive that shorted out took out the other drive as well plus the power supply & motherboard.

I've had Hitachi 2.5 drives fail as well as a 200 gig external Maxtor drive. Going forward, I'll be a Segate, Western Digital, or IBM guy.

Any and all drives can and will fail. The best advice I can offer is to be religous with backups.


General rules - the bigger the drive the more data you loose. Faster drives usually run hotter. All brands are pretty darn good.

Finally, don't put all you data on the new drive until you let it run for a few days to make sure it has no flaws.

Another trick, buy two of the exact same drives. If you have a electric problem with one of the drives you can pull the board, very easy, about 6 screws, and put in on the other drive to pull the data off. Then switch back and send the drive in for warranty work. This will not work if the drive has a head problem. This has saved me three times.
Apr 21, 2005
Houston, TX
I've had good luck with Western Digital hd's and also the Seagate Baracuda ATA's. I have one Maxtor drive and it seems to be slower than the specs would indicate; it's also my noisiest drive.

Stay away from the IBM/Hitachi drives.
Apr 30, 2005
Gilroy, California
I am surprised to hear of drive failures, to be honest.

I beat the living tar out of mine, have quite a few of them, and have not had a drive fail since, oh, 1993?

I currently have in regular use 2 300s, 1 250, a 200, 5 80s, 1 60 and 2 40s. And a closet shelf lined with old ones that work but are not used.

And they are made by IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, and Maxtor. The latest Maxtors (Diamon Max 10s) are well regarded by the engineers that designed them (I know one of the firmware engineers) and that actually means something. They are a surly bunch. I get a feeling keeping the latest really fast drives such as these Maxtors and the Seagate 7200.8s cool is important. I use heat sinks on my larger drives.
May 1, 2005
San Antonio TX
I installed a Maxtor 300 gig last month.

Uneventfull except that the newer SATA drives don't accept the familiar 4 pin power hookup. I had to get an adapter from altex for about $4.

you'll fill up 120 eventualy. They cost so little.
My .02 buy bigger.
May 14, 2005
New Jersey
I personally buy the hdd with the longest warranty. I probably have worked with more harddisks than the other respondents so far.

All active today, I work intimately with

4 80GB maxtors at a colo facility (raid 10 now raid 5 replaced all disks to 120GB)
2 120GB maxtors at another colo facility (raid 1)
4 80GB maxtors at my raid server (well 2 replaced now to 160GB seagates since the maxtors started to fail, raid10 now raid1 and jbod)
2 40GB maxtors on my workstation (raid 1 one started to flake after 4 years)
1 20GB maxtor in my other server
1 10GB? maxtor on a desktop
1 27.9 GB maxtor on another desktop (started to fail after 4 years?)
1 40GB maxtor on another workstation
1 200GB maxtor on a removeable system (it failed within a year)

All of them are IDE, at least 3 out of list are active 24/7.

(notice a trend on the RAID). :)

And of course throughout my lifespan of computers, you can throw in another dozen or so harddisks including some SCSI disks.

I also started to proactively use a Smartmon tool to replace disks before they completely fail.

A lot of harddisks will keep on going and do a 'slow' failure over time. Some just have motor failures sooner, oh it's a fun can of worms.

The result? The short answer, as one poster already mentioned, all harddisks die. Backup your data often.

Is there a chance your harddisk will die really fast once you get it? Yup. I've had one Western Digital die within 5 minutes on me (yeah for warranty!). I've had SCSI disks fail on me before 5 years was up. One batch of the maxtors failed right past the first year when their warranty was only one year. Sometimes you get a good "batch" of generation of harddisks that tends to be more stable up front. For instance I had some bad IBM scsi disks that all failed fairly fast (< 5 years). I've had Western digital die fast. Is that going to stop me from buying WD or SCSI in the future? Not really because all harddisks fail, you are going to run into a lemon one day.

You are going to hear some people talk about "never buy this brand it failed on me so fast". Yeah sure. I hear people say that about Maxtor all the time (although Seagate has a 5 year warranty so I am buying them for replacements).

If you had to base it on some kind of estimate, you never want the bleeding edge generation harddisks. You want a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation kind of drive. Less platters, but bigger ones are better. Of course, this is never a hard rule especially when dealing with moving parts.

I would aim for one with a long warranty and backup verry often. If there was a "super reliable" harddisk in the world, every corporation would have used it as their standard instead of relying on RAID + Backups.

Final answer, get it and backup often. No interface type or brand name is going to save you from a harddisk failure. A backup will save you from crying all over your keyboard though if your harddisk fails and it had the only copy of your once in a lifetime pictures. :)

My oldest existing, working harddisk is a 120MB Seagate. :)
Mar 11, 2005
I've used HDs at home or at work from all brands. The only ones who have had some problems are the Maxtors. This is particularly true for their external HD USB2 or firewire drives: about 1 out of 4 have died in the first 2 years of use.

We routinely generate GB's of data at work. We store them on RAID servers, 10's of disks in each server. No problem at all. Some of the oldest disks are been running 24/24 for several years w/o any issue.

And yet we would never think of not backing up the data.


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