Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maxtor is Dead to Me

The following is an IM exchange between me and Maxtor/Seagate support:

Hello. How may I help you?

Paul T.S. no name: Hi. I just bought a OneTouch4 Plus and failed to format it under OSX 10.5. The support page for the drive says I can email Tech Support to get a link for the software that allows HFS+ formatting under Leopard, but the link to Tech Support expects me to register in your database. I DO NOT wish to register. I DO NOT want to be on a mailing list. I want software that makes your product work with my computer as advertised.

Jared J.: its not going to put you on a mailing list it does that so it can send you the correct software

Jared J.: there are people out there that want software that shouldn't work with there drive and some of stuff has encryption which can't be used in certain courtries so we have the registration process to avoid international trade issues

Paul T.S. no name: There is absolutely no technical reason for your process to require my email. Product ID, serial number and country of origin is all you need.

Thank you for using Seagate products. You may now close this window.

Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

30 Minutes Earlier

I bought a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus drive and started to reformat it before looking at all the documentation. While it would format to Fat32 and NTFS (under MacFUSE) just fine, the volume erase command fails when I tried HFS+. When I finally check the docs, I find out that to format under Leopard, I have to run this piece of software that came on the drive only. Ok, so I'm an idiot for not checking the software on the drive. But Maxtor is brain-dead for not including the software on the CD that comes in the box.

So I go to Maxtor's site to download said software. It bounces me to Seagate (fine) and I navigate down to the download area for this drive and eventually get this message:

If you have erased the software and need to obtain replacement software for your hard drive, contact Seagate Technical Support by email. [emphasis mine]

If you click on the Seagate Tech Support link, you don't see a list of email addresses. You get a SalesForce generated login page, in which you have to root around before finding out that if you were not registered, you need to click on the "Register and Create a Support Case" link. Of course, you'd first encounter a secure certificate mismatch dialog, because Seagate apparently registered "" for the certificate, but is serving these pages from "". I then tried to find an email address from the Contact Us page. Guess where it redirected me: back to the login page. So I clicked on the IM link from the Contact Us page and the above is the result.[1]

So Maxtor is now Dead to Me.


I managed to work around this problem by booting up my Powerbook that's running 10.4 and formatting it there. Once that worked, I can reformat it in HFS+ all I want under Leopard. I still don't have the "official" Maxtor software, but I don't need it since I'm not using their drive encryption apps.

[1] Now, it's unclear if they disconnected my chat deliberately or not. It appears that their chat system is a bit eager to boot people. However, it also doesn't use audio feedback when a new message comes in, so waiting for an available agent requires 100% of your attention.