Yesterday I was picking up the parts for a PC I was building for a friend, and while I was at the store I picked up a new 250GB Samsung HDD to slip in my now empty Maxtor case. It looks just like any other external 3.5″ enclosure inside so no problems right? Well I should have guessed the Maxtor pain would not end with just a dead drive and data loss.
Installing the drive should have been simple enough. Just plug in the power and IDE cable, screw it in and away you go! Not so. Upon connecting the drive to my MacBook Pro, it asked me to initialize it. So I clicked initialize and the Disk Utility window appear. Format went fine, and now I have a clean 128GB drive….wait what?
The computer would only recognize the HDD as 128GB for some reason. I thought it may have just needed to be repartitioned to create a full 250GB (or 230GB or whatever in “real” numbers) but the physical drive was only showing a capacity of 128GB. So I unplugged it from my MBP and connected it to my desktop. No dice. Computer Management still shows a total size of 128GB. Playing with the jumpers didn’t help, and connecting it using an IDE to USB I have didn’t work either.
Trusty Google to the rescue with an answer that just seems baffling: Maxtor enclosures cripple other manufacturers drives.
That’s right, from what I have read online this is a very common problem, and that there is a good chance putting a Samsung/Seagate/Whatever drive into a Maxtor enclosure will alter the drives maximum size to 128GB. One person I found was lucky with a Western Digital drive (although I wouldn’t buy one of those either) and it didn’t “clip” his drive as he called it, but another poster with a WD drive did have it happen.
I have yet to try any of the possible solutions mentioned on these threads other than swapping from Firewire to USB, and Mac to PC, but one thing is for sure, I won’t be putting another drive in this case. It’s probably headed for the garbage bin.