Maxtor HDD does not initialize.

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by #12, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Last night, I investigated 12 old hard drives. Use adapter cable to plug into USB port, delete partitions, format, ready to use for storing images of other computers.

    Every Maxtor drive (7 of them) failed to be detected or was listed as, "not initialized" and they couldn't be initialized. Every drive that was not Maxtor worked exactly as expected.

    Right now, I am assuming something is wrong with the cable set I bought, or Vista hates Maxtor, but I am not quite ready to drop 7 hard drives in the trash.

    Any suggestions? (Besides to go get my other cable set from the bum that "borrowed" them 3 months ago.)
     
  2. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    You could run a Linux LiveCD and mount the drives through another OS to make sure it isn't just Windows...
     
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  3. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    They are using some kind of USB adapter. They are not actually connecting the hard drives to the PATA connector.

    #12, by old hard drive I assume you mean PATA drives, not SATA drives. A couple of things to do:
    1) Check the jumper setting on the drives when using that USB adapter. There are situations where when you have just one hd on the PATA connector, you have a choice of no jumper and jumper set for master. I always make sure the drive is set for master, no matter what other options I have.
    2) Connect the drives to PATA like you normally would, set the jumpers as needed. I hope you have an old motherboard with PATA.
     
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  4. #12

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    My bad. They are IDE drives, as far as I know. The kind with about 40 pins. I set them all to, "Master" as per the instructions that came with the cable.

    Problem: I don't have any computers that I can plug them in to. I only have SATA computers. That's why I bought the adapter cables.

    OH! I could go to the computer shop and have that guy plug a couple of them in and see if they show up.:p
    Much shorter drive than going to repossess my old cable set.
     
  5. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    The best way to do it, is to set the master/slave jumper according to instruction on the hard drive label and connect them to mobo with PATA (IDE) connector. So. If the people in computer store would do that for you, then it would be a good way to go. Or maybe someone you know has older computer, my Core 2 computer has mobo with one PATA (IDE) connector so I can do both PATA and SATA. You don't have to look for really old mobo if you want to find PATA connector.

    As far as your USB adapter, I am not saying who is right and who is wrong, but I would set the master/slave jumper according to the label on the hard drive, not the USB adapter instructions. If the hard drive label did not work, then I would use USB adapter instructions.
     
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  6. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

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    OK, guys and gals, the verdict is in. Computer shop guy confirmed that the HDD's that I could not get working are really dead. I thought I was going to be a wise guy and store backup images on old hard drives, but the answer is: 90% of used hard drives that sit in the closet for 5 or more years will not start up. No sense storing O.S. images on them because they will not work when you need them.

    This has been a public service announcement.
     
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  7. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I got old WD Caviar 2340 that were made in 1993 that I got used probably close to 10 or more years ago, they still work, of course they are also 340 MB so the utility in this day and age is very limited.

    A couple of years ago I got a pair of used drives, one WD, one IBM. WD worked fine, IBM was not.

    It is really more a lottery when it comes to used hd.
     
  8. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    I have not usually had issues with the usb converter cables, unless OS is messed up, or the drive is bad. To me it sounds like they would have to be low level formatted, I have tried this, but generally see maybe a few more uses from them before they are toast. SCSI drives that's a bit different from what I've seen. I have many old maxtors, I wasn't expecting a lot from them, due to the use they had, but I think out of like about 30 of those I have had like 6 fail. They showed no sign of having issue, (odd noise, etc) but just out of no where just fail. I noticed with seagte drive too (granted they were somewhat old, and this happens, but what I've seen WD drives actually start showing problems before they just go dead.
    That's just my experience, and I know many others with similar stories, that's why unless there is some awesome deal, or I get for nothing I avoid Seagate, Maxtor drives. Just thought this could help somebody in future that sees this thread.
     
  9. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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