MacInTouch Reader Reports

Hard Drives: Maxtor

Feb. 27, 2009
Feb. 28, 2009
Jul. 15, 2009
Jul. 16, 2009
Jul. 17, 2009
Aug. 7, 2009
Aug. 8, 2009
Sep. 8, 2009
Feb. 27, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

Just got a Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo 2gig FW800/400/USB2.. so far so good (cross my fingers) except would love to know:

How can I disable the blinking sleep light?

The computer is in my guest room and the drive's light is too bright for sleeping guests.. but I prefer not to do a hard power-off because the drive holds my iTunes library and I want it to be available when I wake up my iMac. (Sooo glad Apple got rid of those pulsing white sleep lights on front of the previous-gen iMacs.)

Feb. 28, 2009


Grandy Pollo

Re the blinking lights (which were a similar topic on the Mac Discussions forums when the Macbook Pros came out).

Cover with black tape or use nail polish of a suitably dark shade. Or a tea cozy.


Davide Guarisco

"How can I disable the blinking sleep light?"

Mmhh.... piece of black tape?


Michael Hejjas

The original submitter may want to take the same low-tech approach I did. Simply cover over the too-bright hard drive activity light with a piece of masking (available in different colors) or electrical tape whenever there are guests actually occupying the guest room [where the hard drive is situated]. The tape can be easily removed once they are gone...


Gary Kellogg

Cover it. A piece of electrical tape would obviously work but looks awful. What I have done for a few of these situations is to use an X-acto knife and cut a custom shaped, nice looking cover out of card stock. You can substitute other lighter materials for the card stock if you just want to mute the light. You'll need to experiment.

Then I use either double sided scotch tape or adhesive foam to secure it. This works great for recessed lights. For lights that stick out a little, then cutting a hole in the foam and making more than one foam layer helps. Finally, well, I am sort of compulsive: I have been known to take a black Sharpie and use it to darken the edges of the card stock and the foam adhesive as a final touch.


Randall Voth

Every visible LED on my computer desk is covered with black electrical tape ;-)


Michael Mckee

MacInTouch Reader asked:

Just got a Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo 2gig FW800/400/USB2.. so far so good (cross my fingers) except would love to know: How can I disable the blinking sleep light?

The answer to all of life's persistent questions: duct tape.

Jul. 15, 2009


Eric Taylor

I just bumped the RAM in all the G5's here at work and discovered something annoying while in the process of running Apple Hardware Test on the new RAM.

The last two remaining Maxtor HD's in service were in the process of failing. Mind you, there were only two because three others have already failed in the last couple of years, which makes for a fabulous 100% failure rate for 160gb Maxtor drives at our location. Luckily, I caught these last two before they were completely dead and so was able to move all important data successfully. (BTW, ASR verified AHT wasn't lying by failing mid-copy; had to use rsync and ignore errors to get everything off.)

At any rate, moral of the story is that if you have a G5 and a 160gb Maxtor HD, I'd watch that thing *really* closely or just replace it now if it's still running.

Jul. 16, 2009


Stephen Clark

For Eric Taylor (and interested others):

So how old were those Maxtors?

I have several G5's (early production 2x2 Ghz DP's) here where I work. Those machines are nearly 6 years old now. None have the original hard drives -they've all been upgraded at least once (some twice, given their usage) in that time... well before the OEM drives showed signs of impending failure.

It's just good business practice to spend a couple hundred bucks every couple of years to replace hard drives on an ongoing basis, even with reliable & regular back-ups. If in just one instance you save a day's recovery or reinstallation (let alone a significant file that slipped thru the cracks in your back-up routine) $200 will seem cheap.


David Barto

I've just had a Maxtor 1TB drive fail on me. Had it sitting aside as a 'hot spare' if anything ever needed it. I had a need for more space and got an external box to put it in.

Would spin up, then after a few minutes, spin down and dismount.

Nothing on it, never been used, just sitting aside. Thankfully it is in warranty (3 year warranty, 8 month old drive) and has been RMA'd for a replacement.

Still, this isn't good.


Joseph Martines

I just had a 250 GB Maxtor USB portable drive crap out with no warning. Not heavily used and certainly not abused. Just kept and extra set of images on it and it stayed in one place. I haven't been able to recover any data yet and I certainly will not buy another Maxtor drive.

Just my experience and am passing it on. For a drive that was only used to copy files to, on occasion, I should have had better results then what happened to me.

Jul. 17, 2009


Eric Taylor

Thanks to all for the feedback.

We still use a policy that anything of company value is copied back to the server at the end of each business day so even if it had failed completely, it wouldn't have hurt us very badly. Even email automatically syncs back to the file server daily. Naturally, it is much simpler to be able to clone a working machine than reconstitute one from backups though!

At any rate, the Maxtor drives are the only ones in recent history that have been any sort of problem for us, regardless of age. These were all out of rev1 G5's and I forgot to mention that the Maxtors in question were all the model DiamondMax Plus 9, FWIW.

Aug. 7, 2009


Harvey Lexton

I have now had 2 Maxtor Basics Family HDD's external 1.5TB model number STM315005EHD301

Both have failed, and I have lost the data on them.

The problem is that the PC won't recognise them because even without the USB connected they make a really weird pulsing noise.

My friend has had two as well and hers have failed; avoid Maxtor [...]

Aug. 8, 2009


Randall Voth

Harvey Lexton: Your hard drive would appear to be a Seagate 1.5 TB. Have you considered removing the drive from its case and putting it in a PC to update the firmware? This will likely revive your drive without any data loss. Unfortunately, I had to use my brother-in-law's Dell to update my 2 Seagate drives, but they have worked reliably ever since. You may also try calling Seagate to get some advice. Who knows? they may give you an RMA.

Sep. 8, 2009


Colleen Thompson

I work at a newspaper with nine June 2004 Power Mac G5 1.8 dual towers, bought in 2005. In the last 3 months or so, 4 of the stock 80gb Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 drives have failed with bad blocks. These things are incredibly consistent in their manufacture--as I was proactively replacing the drives in the remaining towers, one of them went belly-up during the copy. That sidetracked me; I still have three or four to go, and now I'm getting nervous about whether they'll survive till then! These are mostly just workstations with data saved on a server, so there's no backup, but still it's a pain to rebuild a system with all the font tweaks etc. I'm replacing them with mirror RAIDs.

Might be a heads-up for anyone else with a similar vintage G5.

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