simonv

Maxtor Diamondmaxplus9 Failing Heavily

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Hi, I have severe problems with the quality of Maxtor DiamondMaxPlus9 120GB disks (6Y120P0), I will have my third replacement drive in 10 months. The last drive worked for 10 days and failed with errorcode Y3KS57 in the PowerMax diagnostics (failed after suddenly making a strange noise and getting very hot, looked a head crash or some electrical shortcut in the controller). I do NOT suspect the power or cooling: I have a 20 GB Seagate and a new Samsung 160 GB SpinPoint P80 running without troubles and Samsung disktemp is 31C in single drive mounting and 37C if two drives are mounted back-to-back in the drive bays.

What do you think about the disks temperatures?

What is the experience with the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 series? (do I have bad luck ...)

I filed a complaint with the supplier of the PC and Maxtor

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Sometimes I wonder if I'm really the only one with luck with Maxtors... I haven't used them since the 20GB models, but I bought 2 80GB D740X's... Those still run today after 2 years, but the lubrication probably wore of or something and it does give a high pitch noise while running and the smart says Performance is 64%... However, no failures just yet.

I have also since bought several DiamondMax Plus 9's when they came out... I currently have 3 6Y120L0's from 2002, 2 6Y120P0 from 2003 (which have run 24/7 since), and a recently bought 6Y200P0... I run two of those DiamondMax Plus 9's 24/7, and the rest are used about 12-14 hours daily... I haven't had any performance problems yet and all of those still report 100% SMART status... They're honestly the most reliable HDDs I've used following the 75GXP/60GXP's from IBMs (I had 2 45GB's and 3 60GBs; replaced the GXPs with Maxtors and I'm glad I did).. Seagate's drives give nonstop clicks 24/7, and I kinda dislike how there are so many 'designs' for their drives.... W.D. my friend bought 2x 200GB 8MB cache drives; both failed within a month, so I don't really trust those either.

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According to the SR database, the DM+9 drives run relatively cool compared to other modern drives, but not quite as cool as the Samsung P80.

But from my experience, the DM+9 does not need dedicated forced-air cooling. As long as there's just a little air movement inside your case and you don't cram them tight, you should be fine.

Statistically, the DM+9 is not a particularly unreliable drive. There is no design defect inherent in all of these drives - a fundamental problem like that would have been known by now. Whenever you get multiple drive failures in a row with a drive that's normally considered reliable, you should start looking for a cause other than the drives...

Where did you get the drives? Are they all from the same source? If so, it's possible that they all suffered handling-related damage.

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Tim: first drive build into my PC, second drive new unit ordered by fieldservice company, third drive straight RMA from Maxtor (lasted for 10 days ...)

Because my old Seagate BarracudaII run for a number of months site on site with the Maxtor DM+9 and my system temp is average 22-24C (I have a proper case fan installed, etc.) I do not suspect a temperature problem, my Samsung 120GB SpinPoint P80 has no problems either <_<

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I have now... 4 DM+9s... two 80GB and two 160GB models... I noticed one of the 80GB models has a few (<10) realocated sectors while the others have none... I have not noticed a problem with these disks..

I'm keeping an eye on the realocated sector counts of the one drive to make sure the problem does not worsen. I suspect it was just born with the defects or they occurred during initial transit.

THe DM+9s do seem to run warmer than my other disks (from IBM, WD, Seagate), but your temperatures sound really cool.

If your new replacement fails then I think the problem could very likely be something on your end and not with the drive... are you taking proper ESD precautions? handling the drives gently? Using ribbon cables vs rounded?

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I havn't had any drives with maxtor as I stick with western digitals but lately I have been hearing a lot about problems with their drives. It's either they have some issues, or it is just an extremely popular drive. Extremely popular drives will of course will seem to have the most failures. I for one am not sure but it's either one or the other.

I stick with western digital because I had a 1.2gb drive that held up for 6 years, an 8gb and 20gb. I got samsung for my current 80gb but am kinda dissapointed with it so will most likely get a western digital again. The best thing to do is just get what you've been happy with and move on if you have a bad experience with another brand.

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I have now... 4 DM+9s... two 80GB and two 160GB models... I noticed one of the 80GB models has a few (<10) realocated sectors while the others have none... I have not noticed a problem with these disks..

I'm keeping an eye on the realocated sector counts of the one drive to make sure the problem does not worsen. I suspect it was just born with the defects or they occurred during initial transit.

blakerwry. I manage computers in an office building and have experience with drives and bad sectors can either be a bad sign or a normal thing. If the sectors slowly slowy get bad than that is usually ok. However drives which repeatedly get bad sectors will fail soon. Definately keep an eye on that because usually drives that fail will have a sudden increase in bad sectors. For example the drive will boot up and then there will be 5 more sectors all of the sudden.

Also, keep in mind all drive manufacturs leave a portion of the disk (About 10mb or so) that is used to remap sectors. After the drive is manufactured there are usually numerous bad sectors from the slightest inperfections. However, when the 10mb of space gets filled and there is no room to "secretly" remap sectors SMART will start to report bad sectors. So pretty much all drives get a few bad sectors once in a while but you don't notice it since the 10mb buffer makes up for it.

If it gets worse I'd definately RMA the drive.

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Let's say that the probability of an HDD failure is 5% (a rediculously high number, I might add. Nearly 10x the actual probability for current generation HDD designs). The probability of a user experiencing two failures in a row is 5%*5% or 0.25%. The probability of 3 failures in a row is 5%*5%*5%, or 0.0125%.

This particular user has seen 3 of the same drive type fail in rapid succession. Even though each drive came from a different source (eliminating supplier handling and/or Lot-dependent factors from consideration), his probability of failure remains stubbornly stuck at 100%.

If the product quality was truly represented by this user's experience, the majority of other users buying the same product from the same varied sources would be experiencing the same kinds of failure rates. Maxtor has shipped millions of DM+9s. If the failure rate was even 10%, never mind 100%, there'd be 100Ks of pissed off customers out there. I can assure you that there aren't.

This user's experience is unique. That means the failure rate is very likely related to something unique. The obvious factors are handling during shipment, handling during installation, and/or operating environment (heat, power, vibration, etc.).

It's impossible to say why he's having such bad luck, but unless SimonV is just plain unlucky (*very* *very* unlucky, at that!), his abnormal failure rate has nothing to do with the product quality. There's some factor in the path followed by the drives after they leave Maxtor's factory, up until they're installed in the user's PC enclosure, that accounts for the failures.

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I have now... 4 DM+9s... two 80GB and two 160GB models... I noticed one of the 80GB models has a few (<10) realocated sectors while the others have none... I have not noticed a problem with these disks..

And you shouldn't notice a problem with these disks.

a 80GB drive has roughly 160 million data blocks. 10 reallocated sectors are 1/1.6e7 of the total number of blcoks. That's a defect rate that's close enough to zero that it effectively *is* zero.

Drives grow bad blocks for any number of reasons, only some of which represent to underlying quality problems. The total number of replaced blocks in fact has very little to do with the probability of failure (BTW, most drives only allow for something on the order of just a few 1000 spares. 10MB would be about 20K spares). It's really the rate at which those blocks are replaced that matters (and even then, environmental factors like high levels of mechanical shock or vibration can contribute to on-going bad block replacements, that have nothing to do with product quality).

Most SMART implementation will detect the underlying change in error rate associated with increasing Bad Block growth rate and alert you to a failure long before the drive actually fails. In addition, most SMART implementations know how much space they have for spares and will generate a SMART trip when the available space remaining for new spares is down to it's last 10% or so.

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This particular user has seen 3 of the same drive type fail in rapid succession.

He's passed the second failed one.

It's not totally unlike having a HDD failure

in 10 days. I would say it's more probable

than later.

Hope the third will survive a couple of yrs : )

/casa

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He's passed the second failed one.

It's not totally unlike having a HDD failure

in 10 days. I would say it's more probable

than later.

Hope the third will survive a couple of yrs : )

/casa

In our building the computers are hp business desktops with 40gb western digitals. What casa wrote holds true. Many drives either fail in the early period (first 3 months). If they last that long it is usually the case that they will be in commission for another 3 years+. Very few fail within a few years. They either die from a defect which shows early or they fail from wear and tear toward the end. To the topic starter, I would start investigating. 3 hard drive failures in a row with one pc in that short time is extremely unlikely but it happends. I would look into your power supply. Also, the supplier may not be handling drives well.

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All of my DiamondMax Plus 9's run at 35 degrees C if they don't have a 3cm fan blowing air out of the case, and 30 degrees C if they do... Which I'm happy 'cuz it's a lot lower than what I had with the 60GXP deskstars. They seemed to make a little more noise than Seagates in my experience but applying a washer with each screw really silents the drive. Do you guys have Accoustic management disabled or something? But then again, they're still relatively silent compared to worn-down IBM Deskstars after hte lubrication goes.

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I, too would agree with blakerwry. You must have something going on electrically or mechanically. It is extremely unlikely that repeated early failures have anything to do with drive quality, but rather a problem with handling and/or the power supply, even though the original poster doesn't suspect the power supply. My DM+9 runs at 26C with a fan blowing right over it, and it's fast and silent. And I've owned well over a dozen Maxtor drives with no failures, most of which are still in use.

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I go with blakerwry, it sounds somewhat like a cabling or even controller issue. Is this by any chance a SIS chipset and possibly a removable HDD rack?

LoL, you must hate those SiS chipsets... The last 2 motherboards I've bought were based off SiS chipsets and I'm really happy with the chipsets and the motherboards in general. Excellent I/O performance, great features.

btw, nice to see you posting here still.

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Blakerwry: I am using ribbon cables (80-wire), no rounded IDE cables, however CPU, case and system temps measured thru Motherboard Monitor are OK (CPU 42C, case 23C and HDD 32C, latest without HDD cooling and single drive).

I took ESD pre-cautions when mounting the last drive from the RMA, drive crashed suddenly with a strange noise (head crash?), could be handling by the shipper (UPS). I recently replaced the 250W PS with a low-noise 300W quality PS, which worked for over 2 yrs in another PC, so I do not suspect the PS. For some reliability statistics and trends, plse see at the reported failures rates published by a local PC component shop:

Samsung: 200 drives delivered, 1 failure (0.5%)

Maxtor: 150 drives delivered, 20 failures (13%)

Western Digital: 150 drives delivered, 5 failures (3%)

Hitachi: 250 drives delivered, 25 failures (10%).

Eg. the SR Reliability Index show 17% for Maxtor DM+9, 89% for Seagate Cuda V, 51% for Hitachi/IBM 180GXP, WD1200JB 80%

Looks to me the DM+9 series is not in the top-ranking wrt reliability ...

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I go with blakerwry, it sounds somewhat like a cabling or even controller issue. Is this by any chance a SIS chipset and possibly a removable HDD rack?

LoL, you must hate those SiS chipsets... The last 2 motherboards I've bought were based off SiS chipsets and I'm really happy with the chipsets and the motherboards in general. Excellent I/O performance, great features.

btw, nice to see you posting here still.

i should also mention stability. great great great.

simonv, I dont have an answer for you. I have not noticed a problem with maxtor drives, but I am pretty new to them. The 1st maxtor drive I've ever purchased was the DM+9. I have been impressed by the product for several reasons.

However reliability is not something that I can acurately judge or assess across a brand or even a model of HDD.

The retail store CAN judge for themselves what drives/manufs. work best for them. But this is affected by a number of factors, and does not necesarily reflect the reliability of the drives/manufs. as a whole.

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BTW: my system is based on a A-Open AX45-533 mobo which has is SIS645DX chipset and a P4 2.67 GHz CPU, nothing wrong with it imho :rolleyes: , is rock solid and performance is good.

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Drives grow bad blocks for any number of reasons, only some of which represent to underlying quality problems.  The total number of replaced blocks in fact has very little to do with the probability of failure (BTW, most drives only allow for something on the order of just a few 1000 spares.  10MB would be about 20K spares).  It's really the rate at which those blocks are replaced that matters (and even then, environmental factors like high levels of mechanical shock or vibration can contribute to on-going bad block replacements, that have nothing to do with product quality).

So you're basically saying that one of my drives which is almost three years old and has 19 reallocated sectors should give me nothing to worry about? They occurred one at a time over the life of the drive rather than all at once, and my power supply, which was flaky and was replaced, was likely responsible for a few of those reallocations.

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I've heard that a bad sector can occur if the disk is writing and then loses power... I dont know if this is a file system thing or a disk thing... can someone confirm?

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Something that was being written and then the power cut would be a crosslinked file or just a damaged corrupt file. Bad sectors are when part of the data surface cannot be read. Usually from slight imperfections in the platter.

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So you're basically saying that one of my drives which is almost three years old and has 19 reallocated sectors should give me nothing to worry about?  They occurred one at a time over the life of the drive rather than all at once, and my power supply, which was flaky and was replaced, was likely responsible for a few of those reallocations.

That's exactly what I'm saying. I'd have no reservations about using a drive that's only shown 19 grown BBs in 3 years of operation. Those are excellent results.

Power failures can cause bad blocks. If the drive is writing data when power is removed, the write in progress will be aborted. Depending on the design of the drive, if that aborted write occurs partway through a data block, the written contents will be corrupted. The front part of the block will be the new data, the end part of the block will have old data (and an ECC field that doesn't correspond to the data any more).

For most drives, blocks that return unrecoverable data during a read are never reallocated until the system subsequently attempts a write. This allows the user as many opportunities as they want to try and re-read the data.

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