View Full Version : Is there a problem with Maxtor Drives?

07-30-2002, 06:57 PM
I bought my Hughes GXCEBOT in December. and first thing I did was to ditch the 40G HD for 2 80G Maxtor drives. Great! 149 hours...I can live with that...

In March, my TiVo started rebooting itself, and I could hear "Cur-Chunk, Cur-Chunk... coming from one of the drives...no problem...went to Maxtor.com, and got a replacement shipped...no hastles...now to May...the other drive died...no problem...bad Luck...maxtor.com...replace drive...


One of the drives is cur-chunking AGAIN!!!. I'm getting tired of replacing them...I know that the TiVo is unusually hard on the drives constantly reading/writing to them, but damn!

They are 4W080H6 5400RPM drives. After the first one wen't down, I thought it might be heat, so I left the cover off...the cover was off through the 2nd, and now this dead drive.

Should I not have bought Maxtor drives?

Thanks in advance for any input...

07-31-2002, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by BAHitman
I left the cover off...the cover was off through the 2nd, and now this dead drive.

It may have been to late to save the second drive, the damage may already have been done. (If it is the heat)


07-31-2002, 06:25 PM
That's true, but the now, the third has had it's entire life with the cover off (at the extreme dissatisfaction of my wife :( )...I have a friend who knows an engineer at maxtor, maybe he can figure out whats going on....

08-01-2002, 10:54 AM
i'm not an expert enough to know whats going on, but if you are worried about heat pulling the clover may not be the best thing to do. I've read before- and it seemed to make sense- that the fan placement and baffle design was engineered with a cover in mind. By pulling the cover you change the sirflow and the fan might not be pulling as much air accross the drives.

Now i think that the fan is basically pulling air across the bottom and theres no circulation on top of the buggers so it's possible that you might get better cooling with it off- you should figurte out a way to measure the drive temp both ways (even if it;s just by placing the back of your hand on 'em after extended usage.

That being said. i've had the original 40 plus a maxtor 160 in each of my 2 dsr600's for almost as long as you and never had a problem. again no expert but i would imagine the 160 runs hotter than the 80 since its got more platters to spin in the ssame amount of space- so maybe its something specific to that model?

08-02-2002, 05:09 AM
What model 160's are you using...

I put my original 40 in my dad's TiVo as a 2nd drive, and he has not had an issue with it.

As far as the heat. I am aware of the airflor issues associated with removing the cover, and that the drives are cooler now that ey are in the TiVo without the cover than they would be if they were inside of a PC.

You are correct in that the fan design does tend to pull air across the circuit boards where the cooling is more important.

The 160 (assuming that it is the same model class as mine) heat output should not be much different


08-06-2002, 08:29 PM
i think all the 160's are called d540x?

Got them all from staples- so whatever they are selling is what i got- if that helps.

08-08-2002, 01:49 AM
My hypothesis is that there are at least 3 contributing factors to the failure rate of the Maxtor 5400's in our Tivo's:

1. The number one cause, in my opinion, is forgetting to hook the fan back up after you pull the drives. This causes the temperature to soar within five hours, but even after the Tivo reboots itself in an emergency attempr to cool itself down, the fancontrol module can't tell that the fan is not working, so it gets all hot and bothered immediately again.

I'm embarassed to say that I have forgotten the @#$@!#%$#@!# little fan connection more times than I will ever admit. In fact, one Sunday morning my wife woke me up to tell me that the Tivo smelled like it was cooking eggs, and would I like her to cook an omelette?

2. The constant pulling of the drives, forced (safe or unsafe) reboots, all that opening and closing of the case, jiggling around the turboonet, screwing or unscrewing the drives from the bracket, etc. etc.... all of these acivities are stressful to equipment that must operate in extremely confined spaces, with a limited amount of clean power.

3. Speaking of power, I am not 100% convinced that the tiny power supply was ever engineered for the abuse of constantly running dual 160 gig drives and the fan, plus all the reboots we force on it. (see some of the threads where ppl have tested their power supplies for evidence that the power supply is not exactly server-grade material) I think a UPS may alleviate some of these problems.

Overall, inside your Tivo is a VERY harsh environment, not only with regards to power and heat, but also because ALL of the hardware is often pushed to the limit in maniacally ingenuous ways.

Thank God at least Maxtor is generous regarding warranty replacements!

08-08-2002, 01:56 AM
oh yeah, and with regards to the Tivo case on vs. Tivo case off debate:

If you leave your case off you'll notice that it gives off a huge amount of RF and even IR interference. (set an FM radio right next to it and tune to 99.6 on the dial, or even put your IR remote extender next to it and watch the light start glowing bright red as it picks up what it thinks is IR or RF)

So I believe that the TiVo was designed to run with the lid on 24/7, not just for airflow but for other reasons like dust accumulation, interference, ESD concerns, etc.

That being said, I don't think ANY of the computers in my house have their cases on... when you are constantly tinkering around with something, it just becomes force of habit to leave it open.

I am sure other geeks out there can relate to this.

08-29-2002, 09:13 PM
I'm using 2 Maxtor 80 gig 5400 rpm drives in my xtremed dsr6000 and have had no problems whatsoever.

08-30-2002, 12:02 AM
For those old enough to remember installing Novell servers, in the 2.x series, probably remember running a surface scan for a couple of days before even thinking about installs. This is nothing new. Maxtor is the price leader, and also one of the performance leaders in this space. If you are willing to spend $500 or a 100gb hd, expect no problems with it. But for a $100 about the only testing that is going to get done at the factory, is spot checks or production batches, and a drive power up of the one you buy. WD drive routinely cost more, but I have actually had a higher failure rate on them, than the maxtors. Most of the maxtor failure, I have seen lately have been with the tech they got from quantum.