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MY 80GB MAXTOR HARD DRIVE REALLY SUCKS BIG TIME!!!

Posted on 2004-03-22
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I have an 80GB Maxtor Hard Drive I'm having problems with. The Maxblast software sees the full capacity of the drive and sets it up as it should when I connect it on the mother board. The problem arises after the computer is powered off. (NOT REBOOTED) After powering up, the bios only shows 33GB of the drive. Then the drive becomes unaccessable in Windows. I've also tried using an ATA adapter card but it only sees 33GB no matter what. I know it's not a bios limitation issue because I can run a 250GB Western Digital on either the Mother board or ATA Card without any issues at all. Might it be an internal physical issue that I can't fix?
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Question by:sweetladyel
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10654705
What motherboard?
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10654792
Tried it in 4 different motherboards with same results : asus a7nx8 deluxe, asus p5a, biostar m7vib, intel whitney with 810 chip. All flavors of Windows... 98SE, 2000PRO, XP PRO and Home.
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10654801
There appear to be many reports of this occurence:

Windows XP has a 32GB limit when you format in FAT32, as confirmed by MS:
http://www.microsoft.com/WINDOWSXP/...T_and_FAT32.asp

see also here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20534687.html

Check LBA is not enabled in BIOS this may max it at 33Gb

What version of BIOS are you running -- it may be drive manfr specific.

What bios and version?

What motherboard?

What OS

Peace
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10654826
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10654857
Drive cannot be auto detected properly after power up until set up with maxblast. Then after shutdown bios looses set up info in all 4 different computers stated above and all 4 OS's. It's formatted in NFTS.
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10654998
hmm?
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by:Luniz2k1
ID: 10657852
I believe you have the jumpers on the hard drive incorrectly set.

http://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/maxtor.cfg/php/enduser/olh_adp.php?p_faqid=555

"Alternate Capacity (AC) jumper will limit the capacity of the drive to 33GB"
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10659815
Drive cannot be auto detected properly after power up until set up with maxblast. Then after shutdown bios looses set up info
*BIOS hasn't had a chance to record it

in all 4 different computers stated above and all 4 OS's. It's formatted in NFTS
*Would point at Drive or its set-up procedure, ie maxblast

You have forced the Master jumper on it and installed as master in BIOS with correct IDE lead? sorry I'm running out of ideas
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by:LeoTer
ID: 10662044
I think some things are getting confused here. It's the BIOS that detects the HD as 32GB, right? Well, last time I checked, neither Maxblast nor Windows XP are capable of intervering with the BIOS' detection process. So, the correct answer to the question why the bios only detects 32GM is probably Luniz2k1's.
But why can't windows access the HD anymore? Well, what maxblast does is installing a tiny program in the MBR, that is read in directly *after* the BIOS. Speaking in a simplified way, whenever subsequently loaded software (like windows) wants to access "logical sector x" of the harddrive, the maxblast software translates this to "physical sector y", a task that is normally handled by the BIOS. However, maxbalst may use an other method of translating x into y than the BIOS. In other words, for the same "logical sector x",  the BIOS and Maxblast would go looking on another "physical sector y". So, if you would put data on the HD before installing Maxblast, chances are that you can't acces these data anymore after installing it. Similarly, if you boot with maxblast, put data on the disk, then reboot without maxblast, the data may become unreadable.
I can think of a few situations in which this could happen:
- It's a while ago since I used maxblast, but it has a partitioning and data copying tool in it, doesn't it? Well, if you try to install the maxblast program in the MBR, but the BIOS intercepts this command (most BIOSes have a feature to prevent write operations to the MBR to avoid it being overwritten by malware), and if you then partition your harddisk and copy files on it prior to rebooting, the maxblast program won't be loaded on reboot, and your freshly created partitions will be unreadable.
- Maybe you boot from another harddisk than the maxtor drive? I'm not sure whether maxblast would be smart enough to install its MBR program on the other drive. Aditionally, if you swap the boot drive after installing maxblast, you're in for a surprise ;-)
- Maybe you left a boot disk or CD in your computer? If you boot from a removable medium, maxblast won't be loaded. What you have to do in that case is to boot from the harddisk, then, when the blue maxblast screen appears, press the approriate key for booting from floppy or CD. That way, the bootdisk will be loaded *after* maxblast got the chance to load into memory...

One last consideration: if your BIOS is capable of detecting the whole drive (after removal of the cylinder limitation jumper), *don't* install Maxblast. It's secifically for drives that can in no way be detected correctly by the BIOS, and has a lot of disadvantages.

HTH,

Leo.
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10664430
Sorta - leo

The BIOS must support the drive, but OS and its filesystem must too via drivers supplied by the drive manfr.... hey? .... from the maxblast instructions....."if you have not previously installed a SATA drive in your system, you must install a Windows driver for your SATA PCI card or SATA-enabled motherboard or system so that Windows can recognize your new drive."

Also leo, the drive and Maxtblast where both produced by the same people so they are more likely to work togeher more than somebody elses BIOS. This happens all to often.

   What Maxblast actually does is a low level format and it creates the File Allocation table - or whatever NTFS calls its variant. Later in windows it does the higher level stuff ... IIRC

   The OS expects the FAT and the disk partitions etc to be a certain shape and size and structure, as does the BIOS

   BUT! You may have stumbled on a point.... HAVE YOU GOT THE BOOT SECTOR VIRUS DISABLED in BIOS, if not do it, and disable floppy seek.

If you overwrite another drives MBR your gonna get a bigger suprise :-)
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by:HippyWarlock
ID: 10664433
Worldwide Support Website
www.maxtor.com
Click on Support to access the Knowledge Base, download software updates, register your drive, and get assistance via e-mail.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa Support
Support available in English, French and German
Telephone: +353 1 204 1111 (all countries)
08 25 31 43 22 (in France)
01801 62 98 67 (in Germany)
North America and Latin America Support
Support available in English
Telephone: 1-800-2-MAXTOR (1-800-262-9867)
303-678-2015 (outside the US and Canada)
Australia and Asia-Pacific Support
Support available in English
Telephone: +61-2-9369-3662
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by:LeoTer
ID: 10667248
HippyWarlock,
I don't doubt Maxblast's compatibility with Maxtor drives. What I meant was: the very concept of having BIOS extentions for hard disk access load from the harddisk, has serious disadvantages, and should only be used as a last resort.

About overwriting the MBR of another disk: it doesn't have to be as serious as it sounds. I's vital that the maxblast MBR program is installed on the boot disk, regardless of whether that is the maxtor drive to be "overlaid". One shoud thouroughly read the documentation before starting such an operation, but at least in theory, it should be possible possible to install a drive overlay program on the boot drive without touching its partition table nor its ability to boot. Really, it all depends on how the program is coded. But anyway, after installation, any drive swapping operation may be disastrous (unless Maxblast installs on all harddrives simultaneously and afterwards recognises the maxtor drive to be "overlaid" by its id/serial number).
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10673584
If the drive has maxblast on it how do I get it off.  Will formatting the drive with xp cdrom remove it. And is there a bios limitation on what size drives can be on the same ide cable.  I know I can run a 250 gig wd on 2 of the motherboards with no problems at all. But with the maxtor the bios identify it as 80 gig until I shutdown the computer then it reverts back to 33gigs.  I can reboot and it stays 80 gigs but the shutdown and then detection looses the drive again. I know the jumper is right because there isnt one on it. To run as slave it only has the storage jumper on the upper left corner.
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LeoTer earned 125 total points
ID: 10680299
The drive shouldn't have maxblast on it unless you installed maxblast on it. To get maxblast off, it suffices to overwrite the  MBR. If you don't have any valuable data on the disk, you can accomplish this with fdisk. Formatting won't do unless you'd manage to perform a low-level format ;)
There is no BIOS limitation on what size drives can be on the same ide cable.
"But with the maxtor the bios identify it as 80 gig until I shutdown the computer then it reverts back to 33gigs.  I can reboot and it stays 80 gigs but the shutdown and then detection looses the drive again."
This is kinda confusing to me. Can you tell us *exactly* what happens? If you boot it up "cold", what does the BIOS say? Do you see a blue box with a message on top of your screen after passing the BIOS? How does windows recognise the drive? What do you mean with "I can reboot and it stays 80 gigs but the shutdown and then detection looses the drive again"? What command do you give to reboot? What does the BIOS say then? What about the shutdown?
Please be as clear and detailed as possible, otherwise we may never be able to solve the problem.

From all information available, I'm think that it might indeed be a unique physical problem with the HD. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to become very unhappy with the quality of Maxtor's electronics. I've got a brand new Maxtor drive that makes a random write error about every megabite; that's not much, but enough to render it absolutely useless. And all this without being able to detect any bad sectors! And then there's this other drive, that behaves even weirder:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_20925998.html
and now your story, all this in a timespan of about half a year...
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10683438
It's simple when I first install the drive everything is fine I can use it as a regular slave for storage. I can reboot the computer and it stays 80 gigs.Then if I shutdown the computer (a complete power off). And I start the computer up, the bios screen comes up and says detecting ide drives.It sees the wd 120 gig then it identifies the maxtor as 33gigs. I don't issue any commands just the standard startup No blue screen pops up. In windows the drive is inaccessible. Even though I was just using it afew miutes before the shutdown as storage. Windows says this drive needs to be formatted and it is unacessible again.  If I go through the whole setting up the drive again by removing the drive from the computer and installing it like a new drive the bios see it, Windows sees it and it runs fine until the (next shutdown), then I have to go through the whole removing and hooking it back up again.
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10683514
Sorry this happens on all the computers above even when connected to an ata card. This one example is on an A7n8x deluxe board rev 2 with new bios so it shouldn't be a bios issue.
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by:LeoTer
ID: 10694785
What can I say? Computers keep surprising. This is extremely unlogical to me. I agree it's probably not the bios, since it's reproducible on other mainboards, however, I don't see how the harddrive possibly can tell the difference between a *complete* power-off and being removed from the system alltogether, let alone why it should react in such an odd way.
I think you'll be stuck with your riddle until you eventually buy aother specimen of this hard drive, just as I am.
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by:crissand
ID: 10920449
Can you write the product number, or the harddisk type? I have a 80 GB Maxtor formatted as 80 GBytes and it's working smooth.

See what Maxtor reclaims:

On drives that are larger than 32 GB there is a Capacity Limitation Jumper (CLJ) or the Alternate Capacity (AC) Jumper setting. This jumper will limit the capacity of the drive to 32 GB and should only be used when the BIOS hangs when trying to auto-detect the drive. If you have two jumpers shunts on the drive you will need to remove the CLJ or AC jumper. To resolve the issue use the standard jumper settings.

If you format the drive with the CLJ or AC jumper then the drive capacity will be limited to 32GB. After removing the CLJ or AC jumper the drive will still be recognized as 32GB. You must reformat the drive without the CLJ or AC jumper to gain the full capacity of the drive.
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by:sweetladyel
ID: 10924119
Diamond Max 80 Ata 100 Model 98196H8 I tried everything, I think its just a bad drive. I tried putting it in my computer as the only drive as master and it still wouldnt work.Fdisked and formatted, with no jumper limitation,no maxblast as 80 gig. My bios see the 80 gig drive when installing it.  I can install OS on it, reboot and its fine, But if I do a complete power off and restart, the drive is back to 33 gigs I know it sounds weird I've never seen anything like it before so I figure the drive is bad. I'm taking a sledge hammer to the thing and buring it the woods somewhere.:)  And buying myself a new WD. If I buy a 250 WD will there be data loss on a drive that big? I have 120 gig WD and it runs great.
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