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Diamondmax + nForce4 = Incompatible?

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December 24, 2005 12:19:40 PM

MaximumPC reports problems with Diamonmax 10 and 11 drives working with nForce4 boards (Jan '06 issue, page 35). I bought a Maxtor 100Gig for $30 AMR, starting to compile parts for a new box. I have not seen this compatibility issue discussed anywhere before.

1). Has anyone else heard of this problem?

2). IF so, would it apply to all Maxtor drives, especially the L01M100 7200 100Gig/8MB SATA150 drive I just got?

I have not bought the CPU/Mobo yet, but AMD/nForce4 seems to be one of the best choices.
December 24, 2005 5:56:12 PM

I have never heard of this.
How widespread it it?
I would think the SATA drive standard would insure operation with all SATA chipsets.


Quote:
Maxtor's Goof The Maxtor Diamondmax 11 (the newest of the Maxtor series) has big problems with technology that is to date. Turns out that the new Maxtor hard drive cannot function well with the nForce4 chipsets. (Asus mobo's etc.) Maxtor's huge dilemma is that the new drives can be read, but not written to. In other word the new HDD is like a really large already-been-used CDR that can't be burned again. What's even more ridiculous is that it had the same problems on some of its other models in the Diamondmax 10 series. Some good advice: If you are looking to buy a cheap, yet large HDD for a midrange system go for Maxtor. However, if you're building an awesome custom gaming rig don't even bother. -MPC
December 24, 2005 7:52:56 PM

I have 2 Diamondmax 10 300GB SATA drives on my DFI board and I have yet to experiance any problems what so ever, not even a hiccup. They perform much better on my DFI board than my old ASUS P4C800 Deluxe.

I dont remeber reading anything about that in Max PC, but I will say my are rock solid.
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December 26, 2005 6:58:08 PM

Quote:
I have never heard of this.
How widespread it it?
I would think the SATA drive standard would insure operation with all SATA chipsets.


I have heard of some conflicts with the Plextor PX716A (SATA) DVD burner and some motherboards. I'm thinking this may be more BIOS related since the problems are not found on every NF4 from every brand.

Maybe this is also the case for the Maxtor drives. I hope that at worst it's just hit 'n miss. Seems like on a forum this large I would have had lots of feedback by now if this was really an issue.

As a 478 Intel user looking to build a new box, these are the kinds of issues that make me wonder if AMD939/NF4 is really the best choice.
December 26, 2005 8:11:26 PM

Good points...
If you are interested in the best performance for the dollar, check out the newest Asus A8R-MVP boards, supporting the latest socket 939 X2's and Opterons.
January 4, 2006 7:13:23 PM

As far as the Maxtor goes I am having a issue with them right now. The drive will only run in 150 mode not 300. I have a A8N-sli deluxe. Maxtor is giving me the run around big time. The drive is a 6v250f0 if you have a A8N-sli stay away from that drive for sure. The first call i made to maxtor the lady on the phone said there was a firmware issue, but since that call they deny it. Through email I got a automated response telling me to check the drive with powermax software for errors, but they know that the powermax software does not work with nforce3/4 chipsets sata controlers. They just reply to emails to get them out of there inbox. So stay as far as you can from Maxtor Drives.

sorry replied to wrong member
January 5, 2006 7:33:22 PM

This was the exact same board Maximum PC had trouble with. I'm wondering if this is an SLI bios issue, an NF4 issue, or both.

I personally am looking at an NF4 Ultra (non-SLI) solution for my next build, but ALL forum members need a heads-up on this if it's really a widespread issue!

Thank you very much Signo for your input. :trophy:
January 5, 2006 9:56:02 PM

Well I returend my drive today for a WD3200KS, have heard a few people say they work well on a8n-sli so im going to give it a shot. Have to wait for the drive to get back to the vender to get the new one shipped so its going to be a while before i know if it works for sure but i will post when i know.

Your comment about Maximum PC made me think twice, I have a sub to it and went back and checked. I felt stupid because I know i read the article but just looked at the specs. If i had read the whole think i might have avoided this whole mess.

My friend runs a pc shop but he sells all intel hes been laughing at me all week about the whole thing. He is a Western digital dealer but still cant beat an online price like newegg. Might see if i can barrow one to test out. He has some seagates too. He act real funny when i say stuff like that. I cant blame him its his rep on the line, since reselling the drive as new is not truthful.
January 6, 2006 8:49:43 PM

A lot of small PC retailers just love Intel due to the outstanding service and support they get from them. It really helps to deal with one company that integrates the CPU, chipsets and mobo. Its also why some people swear by Apple. I'm sure they are frustrated when AMD systems are currently the innovator's favorite (and laugh harder at an occasional hiccup), but these things run in cycles.

I'm confident that your new drive will work fine. Only Maxtor drives are an issue here. If other drive brands didn't work, nobody would buy NVidia mobo chipsets.
January 16, 2006 4:18:17 AM

I just bought and installed a Maxtor 200gb 16mb SATA on my ASUS A8N-E motherboard and it won't work. :twisted: I ran maxblaster (the latest version is supposed to read SATA drives) and it shows it as dead. Frankly, I don't know if it was DOA or if it is the compatability thing I've been reading about. And yes, I have heard a LOT of discussion about a compatability issue with Nforce4 chip sets. Of course, I read all this discussion AFTER I bought the drive.
Now I don't know whether I should get the replacement Maxtor and try it or go with a Western Digital or Seagate. I guess I'll try the replacement since the vender won't replace the drive with a different brand.
I have heard that the conflict is in the HD's firmware so I'm hoping that the replacement will have an updated version that works. On the other hand, it may be that this drive was just defective.
I am convinced that there is a problem with the Maxtor and the nForce4 chip set. Of course, it appears that Maxtor is denying that there is a problem.
One work around that I have heard about is to switch the HD jumper to 1.5 gig transfer rate (?). However, I could not find any way of doing that.

Jim
January 17, 2006 9:11:28 PM

I visited Maxtor.com's technical support site and found that they acknowledge compatability problems, list affected drives, and offer help. I do not know how to update firmware on a HDD, but they do.

http://maxtor.custhelp.com/cgi-bin
/maxtor.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=
2685&p_created=1136595488&
p_sid=ho1BSSZh&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNo
PTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PS
ZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MSZwX3Byb2RzPTAmcF
9jYXRzPSZwX3B2PSZwX2N2PSZwX3NlYX
JjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX25s
JnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9bk
ZvcmNlNA**&p_li=&p_topview=1


OK, I didn't really expect that URL to work.
Go to maxtor.com and click on support.
They have a search engine for topics: input "nForce4"
You will find one FAQ that addresses this in unusual detail.
Good Luck.
January 17, 2006 9:56:17 PM

from maximum pc magazine:

Maxtor sent us new firmware that resolved the nforce4 issues, but decreased performance

it's fast as hell on intel platform but still has issues with nforce4

and also this article is about a half terabyte so....
it's for the 500GB drive and not the others
January 18, 2006 12:31:48 AM

I just checked the Maxtor site and it says that there is a conflict with SATA drives and nforce4 chip sets. They suggest a firmware update for a work around but it can only be used on these drives:

Quote:
The drives affected are those with model numbers starting with:

# 6V- (DiamondMax 10)

# 6H- (DiamondMax 11)

# 7V- (Maxline III)

# 7H- (MaxLine Pro 500)


I have a model 6L DiamondMax 10, so I hope mine is not one affected.

What really pisses me off is that just yesterday I was on the phone with one of their tech people and asked him specifically if there was any possible conflict between the SATA drives and the nforce4 chipset. I asked him 3 - 4 times and every time he said no, there was no conflict that he was aware of. He was either an incompetent moron or he was lying through his teeth, you decide.

If I have a problem with the next drive they send me I'm going to ask for my money back and if they bulk I may start a Web letter campaign about this and what looks like blatant dishonesty.

JH
January 21, 2006 11:56:08 PM

hello!!!

well I have the same problem with this damn HD (Diamondmax 10 - 6V250F0).

-DFI LAN PARTY NF4 SLI-DR

At first I couldn' start windows XP installation, the board recognized the drive, but when I loaded the cd so it could boot and start the setup process It wouldn't start the screen went black and it stayed like that until I rebooted the system, I tried everything in the bios till I got desperate and did something (don't remember what) and windows xp installation initiated normally and installed perfectly after two failed attempts.

When I installed the OS I had to move the jumper in the HD to 1.5gb/S, after windows was finally installed I moved the jumper back to it's default position and it's working fine, however when I try to reboot my pc when it gets to the part where it loads windows (xp logo) the screen goes black and stays like that till I shut down the system.

I want to know if maxtor is going to do something about it that does not decrease the performance of the HD.

I've read everything but no solution has been given from maxtor :cry: 

If you have any sugestions please do answer to my prayer :o 
January 23, 2006 5:33:52 AM

OK, I've been doing a lot of researching on this problem since I got my Maxtor and this is what I've found out. The problem of compatability is VERY complex. It does not affect all Maxtor SATA harddrive models and with those that are affected not all versions are affected. Also, my impression is that Maxtor is trying to work out the problems and will work with you to fix it. However, some of their tech people are not as informed as they should be (see below). :evil: 

It appears that the newest version of firmware fixes the compatability problems in most cases. If you have one that is incompatable with the nForce4 chip set call Maxtor and see if you can get an RMA # (return to manufactorer authorization) and return it under the warrantee for a new one. If your hd is still under warrentee you should be able to get an RMA automatically. The new one will have the latest firmware version and that should take care of the problem. Maxtor claims that the new firmware does not degrade performance. If you can't get a replacement, then have the tech support walk you through downloading and installing the firmware upgrade for your model. The model and version of your hd is VERY important . . . firmware varies alot from model to model. Get the serial # off the drive. Be sure to have your Motherboard model and version as well as the bios version when you talk to tech. DON'T just start downloading firmware updates off the web. I've been told that the firmware has to be matched to your hd model and version (and sometimes to the diagnosis # you get from the software). If you install the wrong firmware you may create more problems. DON'T let the tech person tell you there is no compatability issue. If they do, ask to speak with a "second level" tech person. Not all first level techs are all that knowlegable.

If all else fails you can try a different controller but that probably opens up a whole new can of worms.

Maxtor's tech people told me that if the hd is incompatable you will be able to write and read info on the hd but performance will be very unstable. Sometimes if you run their diagnostic software it will not recognize the hd at all. If it is a dead hd you will not be able to read or write to it and the system may hang as soon as it tries. Also, the diagnostic software will recognize the hd but it will fail the tests. My system bios recognized the hd and the software recognized it. I was even able to formate it (or so the installation software said) but as soon as I tried to install Win XP the system hung up. When I ran the diag software it failed the hd and gave me a fault code. So, I believe my original hd was DOA.

My hard drive is a Maxtor 6L200SO. It is a SATA II and has no jumper settings at all. The mb is ASUS A8N-E Rev. 2.00 and the bios is ver. 1008.00 (I think), the lastest version is 1010.XX. I don't know if the first hd I got was DOA or had a major compatability problem. Maxtor's diagnostic software gave me a fault number and I got a RMA # on Maxtor's web site. Maxtor shipped me a new one in less than a week. I have had NO problems with the new one. . . just plugged it in and played.

BTW: you can download the diagnostic software from the Maxtor web site. I forget the name of the software but be sure to get the one for SATA drives.

Hope this helps. Good luck. Jim
January 23, 2006 8:45:45 PM

That was excellent! :trophy: Thanx for the info.
January 29, 2006 3:10:39 PM

It's now a month since I first posted this issue. I chose to build an X2 box with the NVidia 6150 chipset and 2 cheap HDDs. Yesterday I put it together and it runs great. I knew the $30 Maxtor I bought was SATA150 but the nForce4 chipset issue caused me concern since I was leaning toward nForce4Ultra boards:

Quote:
Maxtor's Goof The Maxtor Diamondmax 11 (the newest of the Maxtor series) has big problems with technology that is to date.
Turns out that the new Maxtor hard drive cannot function well with the nForce4 chipsets.
(Asus mobo's etc.) Maxtor's huge dilemma is that the new drives can be read, but not written to...
However, if you're building an awesome custom gaming rig don't even bother. -MPC

Many people come to this forum looking for advice on building an awesome nForce4 gaming rig. It seems to me that steering them away from a serious glitch when alternatives are available makes sense.
February 4, 2006 9:10:54 AM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news and all, but I have an MSI Neo 2
Platinum board. It has an NForce 3 Ultra 250 chipset and I'm having the
exact same problems.

I'm currently awaiting my third drive, as I believed the first two were
faulty. The drives are Diamond Max 10's (6V250F0). The first seemed
to be DOA although the bios picked it up fine, it was manufactured
on 7 Dec 2005 if it helps anyone.

The second was manufactured at the end of Dec and worked long enough
to transfer backed up files onto it. The problems appeared when the
machine was next booted, it gets to the XP logo and stays there. The drive
must be disconnected to ever load windows.

I have spoke to Maxtor tech's and they want me to call them when I
receive the next drive, I'll post again after that.

Moone
February 4, 2006 5:48:36 PM

Thanks for the info.
It's starting to look like Maxtor is having a high failure rate as opposed to just a compatibility problem. This is not good news at all.
I just read that Maxtor was bought out by Seagate. Maybe this will be of some help in the future with support.
February 6, 2006 9:57:40 PM

I too was having problems with the Diamondmax 10 + nforce4 but found a work around.
I have a 200gig DM10 (6B model) and an Asus A8N-E rev 2.00 bios 1008.
I tried calling maxtor multiple times and they deny that there is a compatability problem and thus have been no help.
However, I was able to fix the problem quite easily.

Format your computer and reinstall windows.
IMMEDIATELY follwoing the fresh windows install make sure the first thing you do is install the nforce4 6.70 chipset driver.
Here is the important part: you must disable NCQ!!!
(to do this go to device manager -> IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers -> NVIDIA Nforce4 Serial ATA controller -> properties -> Primary Channel -> uncheck 'Enable Command Queueing')

Once NCQ is disabled on the 6.70 driver the problem dissappears completely.
February 7, 2006 8:51:02 AM

Seems a bit drastic when all I wanted was bulk storage in the form of
an E: drive.
Strangely enough the reason I originally called Maxtor support was
because command queing was unavailable on my D/Max 10, but was
free to be enabled on my Raptor boot drive. It slowed down booting
by around ten seconds BTW.
I think most people find that their machine won't boot at all when the
Maxtor drive is connected, it gets to the Xp logo and stays there, so I'm
not sure how workable your fix is. :) 

Moone
February 8, 2006 3:12:00 AM

Actually, that is the exact problem that my fix resolved.
I would try to boot windows and it would stay at the windows loading screen forever. Updating the chipset driver and disabling NCQ is what finally resolved the issue. You just have to make sure you do it right after a fresh install so that you get into windows at least once.
February 8, 2006 3:42:06 AM

Not all of the problems with the nForce4/Maxtor combination are driver related. Many, including me, have "disappearing drive" problem where the drive(s) will seemingly disappear from the system. When you check the BIOS setup they are not there. Disconnecting their cable and then reconnecting it seems to make them reappear for no apparent reason. I sent an email to Maxtor regarding this issue and they told me that there are firmware upgrades that are available that might be appropriate for my setup but that I'd have to call their tech support line and ask for a level 2 technician. I will do that when I have the chance but I can't say that I'm confident the problem will be fixed. Their knowledge base has an article that talks about this problem with regards to drives having model numbers starting 6V and 6H, but mine starts with 6L. Hopefully they'll be able to help.
February 8, 2006 8:19:03 AM

I can confirm the nForce 4 chipset works with Maxtor Diamond Max drives, as I've used many, with various firmwares.

All I can say, is check it with PowerMax as the HDD may very well be defective. (On an Intel chipset based system if you need to - you are a tech, act like one and stop crying. Real techs always have one of each system, if not more).

Now Maxtor (who own Quantum), have been brought out by Seagate (who are quite large now) 'issues' like this will become very rare indead.

Asus may have 'tweaked' their BIOS (defaults) to configure the chipset in an 'incorrect' (but it works 99% of the time) way. They've done this many times before in their early BIOS versions, just look how often they update.

Also Disable AI NOS, (and all that 'new' Asus shit), so the drive can 'negotiate' a better interface connection, it may resolve 'other' issues you are having aswell, or haven't encountered yet.

Recently (well over a year ago, as some may recall) MSI started 'pretending' they where the 'new' Asus aswell, and implementing similar 'tweaks' to their chipset configurations. (CoreCell was just the start). You get a perfectly good chipset, a perfectly good HDD, and cables, then the board manufacturer BIOS has 'incompatibility issues'. (That is their offical stance on it anyway). Wow, the boards are pre-overclocked by 3% and it wins in benchmarks, shit it must be good (really are ppl that stupid ?, if so they deserve it for taking part fanboyism) with various tweaks that affect the IDE controller performance.... & reliability. (No real surprises there).

When you've got 25 mainboards from different manufacturers, Using 25 identical chipsets, the same model HDD (firmware version, etc) on all the machines, same video, RAM, etc, and some of them 'magically pull high performance out of their ass' you need to start asking questions and not take it for granted... really it'll be 100% stable out of the box, forever, in 100% of cases, out of millions of cases..... (Sure it will - :p  ).

It took ATI quite some time to figure out why only 'certain boards' all of a sample using the same chipsets where having issues, but the brands gave it away. (Look at all the techdocs in http://www.ati.com for some ideas), perhaps it may not be all that long until HDD manufacturer websites have techdocs indicating certain board/bios combinations do not work, but othes using the same chipset, and same Award BIOS are not affected at all.

The more people that figure this out, and the sooner they figure it out the better off the IT industry will be. Chipset performance doesn't vary 'that much' from just configuration alone.... Think straight.

(PS: I like the 'old' Asus / MSI better than the new one - They are always 'pushing the acceptable industry standards' and trying to make up their own).
February 11, 2006 6:38:05 PM

Quote:
I can confirm the nForce 4 chipset works with Maxtor Diamond Max drives, as I've used many, with various firmwares.
All I can say, is check it with PowerMax as the HDD may very well be defective. (On an Intel chipset based system if you need to - you are a tech, act like one and stop crying. Real techs always have one of each system, if not more)...

I'm glad you have had good luck with Maxtor drives. As it turns out, so have I. Some, including a gaming oriented PC magazine, have not. I did not know I was crying about this. I posted some news I read while looking at upgrade options, hoping for feedback (like yours) that could clarify why Maximum PC would not recommend Maxtor drives for nF4 chipset motherboards. It turns out that this is a bigger issue than I thought although it has an easy solution. As I said before:
Many people come to this forum looking for advice on building an awesome nForce4 gaming rig. It seems to me that steering them away from a serious glitch when alternatives are available makes sense.
February 18, 2006 4:54:08 PM

So I decided to build a computer and I happened to order a Maxtor HDD and an nforce4 motherboard. I recently recieved all the parts and I had planned to start building it tomorrow. It wasn't until after I placed my order that i found out about the issue with the hard drive's and motherboard's compatibility. I'm contemplating whether I should not even take the hard drive out of the wrapper and get a refund so I can order a Western Digital or make an attempt and see what happens. The hard drive model is 6L250SO and the motherboard is an ASUS A8N5X with the nforce4 chipset. What should I do?
February 18, 2006 11:05:41 PM

The short answer is that I don't know what you should do...

The 6L250S0 is not listed by Maxtor as a problem drive.
Most (not all but most) people do not have failed drives, even those who have to run them in SATA150 mode which will work OK.
Returning the drive (even unopened) will cost you money, at least for shipping.

On the other hand:
If you have the time to wait for it, a WD drive WILL work flawlessly.
The cost to changeover is not prohibitive.

I'd put the odds at 80%/20% that the Maxtor will work out OK for you.
If it were me, I'd trade the time and a few $ to get a different drive that I knew would work without hassles of any kind. But I have the time and $.
It's up to you to weigh the above and decide what to do.
That's the best I can do.
December 27, 2006 2:16:34 PM

Im using a Maxtor DM10 6V300F0 on a MSI K8n Neo4-f and am having a hard time with it. I get a lot of data corruption, to the point where i cannot install certain games, download large files or burn DVD's. My system also locks up from time to time and my HD is not recognized on reboot, a few minutes off line usually fix the problem. I see that im not the only one, but neither Maxtor or Nvidia are helping, and i can't flash my HD since i have a NF4 board. This is the last Maxtor product i ever buy, i had to return this one 3 times before i got one running, and now this. Im getting a Seagate 7200.10 drive tomorrow and will sell this one once whatever non-corrupted data i have left on it is transfered..
January 20, 2007 10:35:53 PM

I have a 6V250F0 and got the 'disappearing HDD' problem. This appears when writing to the HDD within 50 GB of data it occurs about 95% estimated. On reading it appears too but very rarely my estimation is to 95% on a transfer of 300 GB.
chkdsk with 'find bad sectors' freezes.


But I own a nForce590SLI Intel. Thats not all, I also plugged the drive on a VIA KT600 Chipset (Asus A7V600-E) and got the identical problem.
So the point that the problem only appears with nForce chipsets is obviously wrong!

I am going to check out the drive on some more chipsets as I get my hands on. Until then I am waiting for a response from the Maxtor support.
January 21, 2007 1:02:16 AM

The 590i and 680i NVidia chipsets (for Intel cpus) have had issues with hard drive I/O. This is not believed to be Maxtor specific but an issue with motherboard circuitry. It also only seems to affect some boards which may suggest quality control problems, although NVidia has issued BIOS updates they claim will help.
I would guess that in your specific case that you got a bum hard drive since it fails on multiple platforms...
January 21, 2007 9:12:17 AM

This might be the case but for this specific problem it is very unlikely, because:
- I have 4 other drives on the nForce590 SLI working fine.
- the Maxtor drive shows the identical problem at the KT600 chipset.
January 21, 2007 1:31:17 PM

huh?

"I would guess that in your specific case that you got a bum hard drive since it fails on multiple platforms..."
So your point is?
!