Question about Maxtor MaXLine Plus II 250 GB Hard Drive

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Maxtor Maxline II 250 GB

This drive is not recognized when connected as a slave drive. I made sure that the BIOS was on auto detect. It is also not recognized when connected using a USB external drive enclosure.

Using Seatools I found that this drive is reported as Maxtor Falcon, has error 4, 0 GB and while trying to erase the drive I get a write error. I got this drive from someone and would like to use it. It does not have any of my information and I am about to trash it but I found your site and decided to give it one more try.

Based on Google it looks like there is a firmware problem. Is there anything I can do to get this drive to work. I would like to get a guaranteed answer to get this drive to work. Can you please help?

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  • FrankPaul Jan 14, 2009

    Clarification to pyrophile and worldvet:
    The motherboard is K7S5A (ECS manufacturer).
    I have the blue end connected to the motherboard and the middle connected to my master C drive which is 32 GB (actually it is 60GB but while formatting I had trouble getting it to be used as a 60 GB). The terminal connector is where I connect my slave drive and it does work with other drives but when I connect this Maxtor Falcon on either of them it is not recognized at all.

    Yes, Seatools is the only way to get info on this drive and it reports LBA 0 (0.000GB). I tried the short and long test and both respond with :"Exiting due to signal SIGSEGV " and error=0004

  • FrankPaul Jan 16, 2009

    Response to Worldvet:

    With the blue/grey/black cable Seatools does not even see this drive. I did try another good drive on the same cable and Seatools did detect this drive. So, the cable is good.

    I would really like to know how to get this particular drive to start functioning again- i.e. if it is at all possible by me.

    How do I do a firmware update on this drive? Maybe that can make the drive alive again.

    Thank you.

  • Nahum Reduta May 11, 2010

    What motherboard do you have?

    Some older systems have trouble with disks larger than 137GB. There might be a jumper setting that somehow allows the disk to be used (perhaps by using only 137GB, or underreporting its capacity).

  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers May 11, 2010

    Just to verify. Do you have two drives on a ribbon cable with the end plugged into the motherboard colored blue?

    And if you have this pinned as slave? the other drive on the cable is the last one attached and pinned Master?

    Additionally when you load SeaTools, the drive is recognized by shows a zero capacity?




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Your motherboard might not be recent enough to accept the 250GB drive at full capacity.

Download this (manual for this drive):

Appendix A describes the 137GB problem. Basically, the motherboard can't comprehend such a large drive (which didn't exist when this board was developed), and BIOS isn't able to reference memory beyond 137GB (28-bit addressing).

The drive is probably fine, but you'll have to set the Cylinder Limitation Jumper in order to use at least some of its capacity (c.f. section in the Maxline Manual). BIOS will consider the drives 32GB in size, but Windows might be able to detect the full capacity using its own methods.

A similar problem is probably happening with your original 60GB drive. There is a chance that BIOS is set incorrectly, preventing Windows from using the full capacity (usually a setting like "Large Block Addressing" or "LBA").

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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Thanks for the detail. The newer 80pin cables are twice as dense in wires to carry a ground wire for every com wire. These are recognizable by the Blue Plug and a Gray and Black plug. The slave and master if they are pinned manually have to be placed on this cable in a particluar order.

The master, pinned as master or set to CS (default) MUST be attached at the Black connector or at the very end. A Slave whether pinned Slave or set to CS must attach to the gray connector.

You will need to move the drives to the appropriate color plug and then restest. I do doubt this will change your problem, but it is possible that this may clear things up to the point where you may be able to apply a firmware update to the drive or extract a more exact error message and code. But, do make this change on the cable and respond with any new information you receive or do not receive.

Seagate is famous for having put five year warranties on their drives of late, with the exception of those purchased at Retail Outlest like Frys, CompUSA, etc.

So, make a note of the S/N of your drive, its exact model ID and the model ID displayed in Sea Tools and then apply for an RMA at Seagate to have your drive replaced. I can't guarantee what results your request will receive, but Seagate is a major leader in hard drive technology.

Change the position on the cable and let us know what Sea Tools tells you after that.


Posted on Jan 14, 2009

  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Jan 20, 2009

    Sorry, I was never notified by email of your further question. It does happen from time to time.

    To answer you question on a firmware update, if SeaTools doesn't recognize it you can't apply an update. I thought I read in your initial question that seatools found it but could not read it.

    You will have to resort to getting it replaced under warranty. Even if you are not the original owner you can do this.

    You go to this web page here. Fill out the information required, the page will tell you if you are still under warranty and if so will email you information. This will usually be an RMA number that must be on the package and will also include the address to send it to.

    If the above link has expired by the time you read this. Go to this page and look for the link, Return as a Guest user, or words to that affect.

    You will need the serial number so its best to write that and the exact model number down before you start at those web pages.

    On the second link I supplied is information on how to package the hard drive. This is important because if it is not packed correctly they will reject your hard drive and you will be out of luck.

    Regards, and ask again if you need to. If I do not respond within 24 hours use the Ask Me button by clicking on my user name and visit my profile.


  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Feb 03, 2009

    Are you still having a problem with your drive or have you resolved it by now? If you have resolved it would you share with me what was wrong and was resolved?

    If not, I was rereading your communications and noticed again that it was a 60GB but would only format as 30GB. Can you recall why that was and if you got past it?

    This may be the core reason for the problem and it would require a simple replacement by Seagate. Also, on the hard drive does it say its version 7.11 as there has been a 30% failure rate of that revision.




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