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Maxtor external one touch loses format

I have a customer with a Maxtor 250 GB One touch that is being used for external storage.
it has been working for about 3 months and now over the past week or two,it is no longer being see in explorer or My Computer.
I looked at disk admin,it says not initialzed,so I reinitialized and now it says not formatted.

I am now running Ontrak to recover(6 hours) the files,but something is amiss.

I have done a search and seen a couple of docs pointing to a hotfix from M$ concerning firewire(this does both),but I am using USB 2.0.
The box is a Dell P4 2.4 Ghz XP home Sp2.

I ran a quick Ontrak diag and it says the drive is OK.
I hear bad things about Maxtor,but you would have to hope that $200+ should give you some type of decent quality.

Anybody got feedback or insight?
5 Solutions
What happens if you connect the Maxtor to a different PC?

It could be a problem with the usb2 ports or device manager in XP, but I would try to verify if the drive acts up on other PC's or just this one.

After that, we can concentrate on homing in on the problem.
pgm554Author Commented:
Same thing.
System ,tried W2k and XP drive shows up as unformatted.
Sorry, but Maxtor are not very reliable, and in USB enclosure, problem is even worse.  Now if you just changed users or upgraded the software, it is simply a matter that you dont have "rights" to see the files on the drive.  But if the user has made no changes, has not changed user names, has not reinstalled the OS recently, then the drive has died.  We have customers with bad luck/good luck with maxtor.  Some never have any problems, but most lose their drives after about 1 year.  If you want reliable drives, consider IBM/Hitachi.
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as said, the problem is probably being caused by an upgrade.
You must realise that the USB protocol is not nearly as stable as is the IDE one; lots of usb problems coming in.
since the test shows the drive ok, it is not a drive problem, but an XP, or usb problem.
Unfortunately, no real fix is known to me, up to now
here a good usb guide :   http://www.usbman.com
Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
I have been building alot of PCs with maxtor, they all had problem with it and most of these were bad sectors...
If you have guaranty for the HDD, then go and get another one, If out of warranty....just remove the drive from ext case
hook it up as internal and use mfgs diags to test. If it's OK..

Have alook at this thread...
pgm554Author Commented:
Drive is 3 mos old (Maxtor One Touch).
Ontrack had recovered the files,but I had to do a "raw" recovery
I too have customers w/the same issues.  I must say, I've never found a solution other than to format the drive again (which is rediculous to have to do) or convince customers to go w/seagate external to avoid this issue in the future.
pgm554Author Commented:
6 hours to catalogue the files and now 29 hours to restore them.
I am beginning to despise USB.

Oh ,yeah ,Ontrack gets a screw up award.
Not only does it not like RAID drives (you can't even have a RAID controller in the system),but when you do a RAW recovery and attempt to restore files to another USB device,it says destination and host cannot be the same.

This is a $500 buck product.

you should have tried www.runtime.org -- getdataback, it works, it is extremely cheap, and it always seems to recover the data.  Ontrack is out to rip people off, I agree.

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