Maxtor full-height 5.25" drives of death

dwight dkelvey at
Thu Feb 8 09:02:28 CST 2018

Although, it may seem that the heat while running can't effect a stored drive, heat is still a major contributor to such failures. Heat causes the seal on leads to fracture. While sitting on the shelf, moisture and other atmospheric contaminants get to the silicon inside. Most silicon has some layer of passivation but that can be compromised by heat as well.

Most failures are still related to the bonding wires. Exposure to the atmosphere will oxidize aluminum bonding, causing failure.


From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> on behalf of Ian Finder via cctalk <cctalk at>
Sent: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 11:50:09 AM
To: allison; General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Maxtor full-height 5.25" drives of death

> Drives of the day were power hungry and ran hot.  Heat is a killer.

Yes, certainly heat is why these drives go onto a shelf working and come
off of it broken with servo and head amplifier problems at an astonishing
rate far higher than their contemporary brethren.
It also helps answer my question of common failure modes- surely, it must
be the refrigeration on the drives that fails while it is on the shelf.
Perhaps the freon slowly leaks.

Thank you for this insightful response.

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