Maxtor, an American manufacturer of hard drives, was founded in 1982 and was acquired by Seagate in 2006. Just before the acquisition, Maxtor was the world's third largest manufacturer of hard discs. This review is of an external 320GB hard drive released under the Maxtor name.
I got an external Seagate hard drive from Amazon. The hard drive failed within the warranty period, so I sent it back, and Seagate sent me a refurbished Maxtor drive. I don't know whether it would make a difference that my drive is refurbished. I don't really think so. My motivation for getting an external drive in the first place was to expand on my internal storage. The idea of mobile storage appealed to me, as I could easily connect my drive to another PC or bring it with me to other locations.
This is a 3.5" external hard drive with 320GB capacity. In essence, because of how calculations of storage and formatting works, you'll end up with about 298GB of usable storage on the drive. The speed is 7200RPM and it has 16MB cache. These numbers are fairly standard for consumer drives. The better drives will have a higher RPM count and 32MB cache, but in this price class and for this consumer market, these values are fine and offer good performance. The drive connects to a USB2 port, and is backwards compatible with USB1.1, although the speeds offered by USB1.1 are ridiculously low. The USB2 standard limits the drive to a maximum transfer rate of 480 Mbit/s (~57 MB/s).
The hard drive enclosure of this drive is made of plastic. It does not feel particularly sturdy. I'm not worried it will fall apart, but it feels like there is not much protecting the hard drive inside the enclosure. I don't think it could survive much of a fall. On the subject of falls, it comes with a hard drive stand, so you can have it stand up sideways, theoretically taking up less space on your desk. However, the stand is easily knocked over if you are not careful, so I prefer to keep my drive on top of my desktop, laying down. There is no power button on this drive, so the only way to turn it on and off is to plug in and out the power lead for the AC adapter. You have to ensure to safely remove the drive from Windows before unplugging the power, to make sure you don't corrupt your files. There is a green light on the encoslure that blinks while transferring data. I'd say this has got to be the least study 3.5" external hard drive I have seen. The plastic enclosure does not inspire confidence in me that the drive can survive much of a fall at all.
Out of the box, this Maxtor drive is as fast and responsive as any run of the mill consumer market drive. One thing that does stand out is that it is very noisy, and I'm not even talking about noise while transferring data. The drive, while idle, makes a sort of deep bassy sound, like you might expect from an old refrigerator. I tend to keep my hard drives on during the night. After all, there is no power button on this drive. However, I found myself getting up after having gone to bed in order to turn off the drive, as it was making too much noise for me to sleep in the same room. It seemed to produce such low frequncies, that they travelled with the ground. It ended up with me plugging the hard drive out and just plugging it in when I needed specific files on it.
My long term experience with the Maxtor Personal Storage drive has been quite odd to say the least. In my experience hard drives tend to work fine, until they stop working fine, at which point they let out clicking noises and soon after die. Sometimes they jump straight to the die stage with no clicking noises first. With the Maxtor drive, it was working fine in the beginning, like any other hard drive. And it still works fine. Well, it depends on your definition of "fine". The drive has slowly deteriorated. Slowly it took longer and longer time for it to be recognized by my PCs, and currenly my desktop PCs don't recognize it at all, for some reason. I plug the hard drive in, and nothing happens. For some reason it always works with my laptop. However now it is starting to take more time for my laptop to recognize it as well. It used to be instantaneous, and now it can take almost half a minute. However, the drive itself, once recognized, works fine. It doesn't make clicking noises. I just made a backup of all my essesntial files from it over to another external drive through my laptop, so there is nothing wrong with the actual drive itself. It just seems like there is a weakness in the design of the interface.
I would not recommend this hard drive. It's too noisy, and over time it has become unreliable. On a whole, I have had a lot of negative experiences with Seagate as well, several of their drives failing for me unreasonably soon. The only brand I can stand behind 100% is Western Digital. I've also recently had a very positive experience with Iomega, although I'll need to keep it for a few years before I can vouch 100% for it. The Maxtor drive cost around £70-80 a few years ago, and can now be had for around £35 or so, although you would rather want to get a 500GB or bigger drive from another brand.
Having used computers for over 20 years for my work I never backed up my files as religously as I should have. Luckily I have never lost too much work from my computer, which cost much money to me and my business.
My daughter informed me of a storage device which is easy to use and at about £ 70 a very reasonable price.
I bought this storage device as a backup for my computer files, as I work from home my computer is used by the rest of the family for personal and internet usage. So I was worried that my work which pays some of the wages towards the house could get corrupted by mutiple users of the same machine.
I found that I needed to keep my work files backed up, but quickly, simply and efficiently. I have an 250 GB hard drive so in theory I can back up the whole of the drive onto my maxtors' drive it has a 300 GB capacity.
The rest of the Technical information which is only on the packaging as it does not have an instruction booklet it is that simple to use is as follows:.
The Maxtor has 16 MB Cache/7200 RPM
It can also store 230,000 JPEG photos or
21 hrs of DV video or 5000 hrs of MP3 music
obviously with the Maxtor can take combinations of each on it's huge memory.
It can be used on a Windows - compatible PC or laptop
The Size on the packaging is:
1.77 x 5.11 x 8.89 inches or
45 x 130 x 226 mm
To check this I have just measured my maxtor and the actual unit I have measures:
40 x 128 x 225 mm so it is only slightly smaller than stated which I think is a bonus as it is relatively tiny. The Maxtor fits on its on small stand which slides onto the bottom and is only slightly wider to enable the Maxtor to be self supporting.
The way I personally use it is to make an initial back up, this is then used just like "My computer", dragging and dropping files.
This way I can take the whole of each working programme that I use for my business and drag the file to the created file I created on the Maxtor.
I also drag "My documents" into the Maxtor. So this means I have two daily work programmes and all my office files either backed up daily or weekly. I prefer the weekly method.
When backing up, a tip is to put the date on the file so you know which your last backup was and you don't overwrite it, you then have the original files and the ones which you have been hard at work on safely onto a very good backup facility or very large flash drive.
Unfortunately you can't fit this one into a handbag or pocket although the unit is very light so there is not a problem should you need to use it in that way.
Before getting the maxtor I have lost a days work, as I wasn't a keen cd backer upper, this meant spending valuable time doing the same work again. So the Maxtor has saved me a lot of money and time and has soon paid for itself.
It is connected to your PC by USB 2.0 cables so is really simple. This is the best storage system that I have ever bought and would recommend it to all who need to save vital work.
My daughter is an artist and saves all of her work from corel and photoshop on this too.
Hope this helps you decide, please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them, if I can, as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading.
© dvdsprks2 2007