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May 24, 2004

Stupid Maxtor Return (RMA) Process

One of the hard drives in a Linux box next to my desk started making this loud clicking sound the other day. Sure enough, the drive is hosed. It's a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 120G ATA/133. Pretty sure it was whatever was cheapest at the time.

Having had good experiences with fujitsu and western digital RMAs, I hoped that Maxtor had a similar process. Almost, with the exception that rather than letting you assume the risk that the hard drive might not be bad and paying the shipping, they *require* the diagnostic software output as a part of the RMA process.

Even more annoying, the PowerMax tools are only available for Windows. The tools is actually a small executable that creates a boot floppy. What if I'm running Linux, and on a box that doesn't have a floppy drive? Just getting my hands on an unused floppy took 20 minutes and digging around a supply closet on another floor.

I found an available Windows box to go through this process, 2 hours later I'm back to putting the RMA together online. Now as I'm re-entering (session expired) the information I discover that the PowerMax diagnostics info is only required if you give a soft answer to what's wrong with the drive. I had chosen "bad sector," but if I choose "drive makes noise" the diagnostic code is bypassed. Grrrrr.

For future reference when filling in the Maxtor RMA either choose "drive makes noise" or use diagnostic code de67a669 (hopefully that's not unique to the serial number of my hard drive).

Posted by mike at May 24, 2004 1:19 PM