06-03-2009 12:08 PM - edited 06-19-2009 11:46 AM
Removing the plastic drive enclosure voids the warranty, but removing the plastic enclosure also fixed my "zombie" --living dead-- Maxtor One Touch III 2 TB drive.
My Maxtor had worked fine since I bought it in Feb 09, then yesterday it disappeared from my Mac desktop, would not mount, could not be accessed by Disk Utilities or Disk Warrior, would not light up, even though it had power and I could hear the twin 1 TB hard-drives humming away. I tried all the recommended trouble-shooting procedures. It had gone way and it was not coming back.
Yes, it was under warranty, but I wanted my data not another "factory refurbished" drive that could fail again. How could I trust another one? So I read everything I could find on the internet about the problems and solutions that have been reported for the Maxtor One Touch products, then I decided that my drives had not failed. The plastic external enclosure was the problem. I had nothing to lose at this point. So I removed the plastic external enclosure, leaving the twin drives in the inner metal enclosure, hooked it up, plugged it back in and there was all my data with no loss!!! I repeat: The only thing I had to do was remove the external plastic enclosure to get all my data back! In my 25 years of computer use (including teaching), I have never had a hard-drive actually fail (knock wood), but I have frequently experienced faulty power supplies, fans, enclosures. Check out the simplest solution first--at your own risk, of course, My two cents.
UPDATE: June 19, 2009
I was feeling pretty proud of myself for awhile then the Maxtor disappeared again. It's become a case of "now you see me, now you don't." I have pretty much figured out that (as others have said) it's a heat problem. The metal enclosure (there's one inside the plastic enclosure) probably also gets too hot when the drive has been on for many hours. I am going to do what others have done-- dismantle the metal enclosure, extract the two drives, and put them into another enclosure. I no longer have to worry about data loss. I have purchased a 1 TB Western Digital My Book Home Edition (much quieter than the Maxtor One Touch, BTW), plus two Western Digital 500 GB Passport Drives (these are so cool--they're tiny, no power supply, just plug into your USB, so quiet I don't know that they are there). All my data has been backed up to these drives. So far so good.
I dismantled my Maxtor One Touch III then discovered that it contained two Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS. This model number made in Thailand has had high failure rates and requires a firmware update from Seagate to prevent it from failing. Once it bricks, nothing works apparently (google it and also look under internal ATA drives on this forum). However my two drives with the same model number (ST31000340AS) has different firmware than the drive with the high failure rates. My two drives have Firmware SD35 made in Singapore. I could not discover if that required a firmware update or not so I called Seagate this morning. Finally got through on the phone to Seagate. A very polite young woman in tech support assured me that my two model numbers did not have firmware problems. Am I reassured? Not so much....
One can only hope that running these two drives as individual internal drives will prevent them failing in the near future and keep them . I certainly don't trust them as backup! And I certainly did not get what I paid for--a 2 TB external drive for backup! I am not happy.
But on the bright side, I did get to keep all my data--no thanks to Seagate. Please note: customers who bought the internal drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS withthe firmware that failed were offered free data recovery. Maxtor One Touch III purchasers have not been offered anything but loss of data and a refurbished One Touch III that will probably fail again.
My two Barracudas are now running as as individual internal drives with PCI SATA controller card in my Powermac G4 (non-intel). So far they are working fine, but I am worried that their previous "now you see me, now you don't" behavior will return. There's no way to know, but after all this I am not feeling lucky!