Maxtor Onetouch II USB drive - Bad sectors and low level formatting
Posted on 2006-06-30
this here is a quite unusual situation. I've had 2 Maxtor Onetouch II's, each 300gb. So that was 600gb down the drain when they crased. Data lost, bad sectors and so on. First i bought one, liked it, bougth another after 2-3 months. After about 2 months, the NEWRST crash. So i return it. The online shop (netshop.no) i bought both disks from, as it turns out, is quite simply a bitch. But, after a lot of arguing I get the return. 3 months, I spent arguing with an "expert" who actually told me that the drive was workin because the software-diagnotisc that come with the drive said that it was fine. They argued that it could read and write, so it was fine!! During this time read alot about the drives, enough to learn that they were quite unreliable and that my problems were quite normal. USB-drives and the MAxtor Onetouch Family can't be used for "secure" storage. Only moving data for one drive to another, and THAT only for a couple of months. Then -CRASH-.. So i was not suprised when my oldest Onetouch crashes, while I'm STILL arguing about the replacment of the newest one.
The maxtor diag. software, seamingly, looks at the NTFS logfiles, looking for bad sectors and does a quick read/write test. It is not possible to access the SMART information in this USB-drive, unless you open it. The first drive i sent, i repartitioned and FORMATTED before i sent it in. Thus removing the ntfs bad sector logs. So the drive passed Maxtor'¨s test. Luckily for me, they LOST my drive, so i got a replacment anyway. Only problem, of course, is that the replacement is ALSO a Maxtor Onetouch II!! It's about as usefull to me as a common rock. Actually, its a BAS paperweight as well, its too big.
My problem is this: Netshop.no said that if the drive is broken (to them: MAxtors Diag app says so), I can excange it for a DIFFERENT drive. Internal drives even. So i was THRILLED when i ran the diagnostics app from MAxtor and i reported the drive as faulty!! "Awsome" i thought, "now i'll just delete everything on the drive so they cant argue that somthing i had on it was the problem.." (they tried with my first return, but it was well formatted so...) and so i came up with a brilliant idea: I'll low-level format it!!" I must have been drunk or something. Not only did it remove the logfiles, it helped HIDE the physical errors! (I actually SAW the low level format-app do this...)
Now the haddrive controller is hiding the errors I NEED to get a refund/replacement.. The maxtor utillity now thinks that the drive is a-ok.. *random curseword'!!
My question: Can I reset the harddive's harware so that the bad sectors are put back to use by the harddive controller? Keep in mind, this is a USB drive, and i can NOT open it. If it is not possible to do, is there a more thurough scanner that chkdisk out there? If so, I'll need a way to make the failing harddrive fail faster. I'd rather not do anything physically to it, like put inside an airtight box. Is there a god, free harddrive stress tester out there wich will aslo detect bad sectors as they pop up?
I use a laptop with Win XP pro Sp1.
good luck ;)