A Call for Help
A Call for Help I called Maxtor tech support, and the very helpful technician told me that only Sony could replace the drive (as the system was no longer under warranty, I knew that would be a dead end). He explained that since the system could still recognize that the drive exists and even knew how much space it had available, I needed to perform a low-level or "zero-fill" format on the drive, which would basically write all "zeros" to the entire disk. When I told him that I had repeatedly tried to reformat the drive without success, he explained that I needed to boot my system with Maxtor software and then format the drive. So this time, instead of downloading and installing the Maxtor utility to my functioning hard drive, I needed to download and run a special app that would install the MaxBlast ISO software on a bootable CD-ROM. After that, I was to reboot the system with the CD in the drive and then follow the instructions to run a zero-fill format. That process would make the drive suitable for formatting under Windows or with the Windows-based MaxBlast utility.
Unfortunately, making an ISO disk is not as much of a no-brainer as I was led to believe. Oddly, every instruction, including Maxtors own, explained how to do this with Roxios Easy CD Creator. It would be very simple: Download the ZIP file, extract the ISO image to the desktop, click on it, and the CD-writing app would start up automaticallyas long as its Easy CD Creator. I dont have Easy CD Creator on my system, and without it Windows doesnt really know what to do with an ISO file. Since my system didnt recognize the file type, Windows helpfully offered to search the Microsoft Web site for information and software on ISO files. I went through three different shareware apps before I found one that could effectively burn the bootable CDEasy DVD/CD Burner 3.014.