A Call for Help

By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2004-06-23 Print this article Print

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 automatically—as 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 CD—Easy DVD/CD Burner 3.014.

Lance Ulanoff is Editor in Chief and VP of Content for PC Magazine Network, and brings with him over 20 years journalism experience, the last 16 of which he has spent in the computer technology publishing industry.

He began his career as a weekly newspaper reporter before joining a national trade publication, traveling the country covering product distribution and data processing issues. In 1991 he joined PC Magazine where he spent five years writing and managing feature stories and reviews, covering a wide range of topics, including books and diverse technologies such as graphics hardware and software, office applications, operating systems and, tech news. He left as a senior associate editor in 1996 to enter the online arena as online editor at HomePC magazine, a popular consumer computing publication. While there, Ulanoff launched AskDrPC.com, and KidRaves.com and wrote about Web sites and Web-site building.

In 1998 he joined Windows Magazine as the senior editor for online, spearheading the popular magazine's Web site, which drew some 6 million page views per month. He also wrote numerous product reviews and features covering all aspects of the computing world. During his tenure, Winmag.com won the Computer Press Association's prestigious runner-up prize for Best Overall Website.

In August 1999, Ulanoff briefly left publishing to join Deja.com as producer for the Computing and Consumer Electronics channels and then was promoted to the site's senior director for content. He returned to PC Magazine in November 2000 and relaunched PCMag.com in July 2001. The new PCMag.com was named runner-up for Best Web Sites at the American Business Media's Annual Neal Awards in March 2002 and won a Best Web Site Award from the ASBPE in 2004. Under his direction, PCMag.com regularly generated more than 25 million page views a month and reached nearly 5 million monthly unique visitors in 2005.

For the last year and a half, Ulanoff has served as Editor, Reviews, PC Magazine. In that role he has overseen all product and review coverage for PC Magazine and PCMag.com, as well as managed PC Labs. He also writes a popular weekly technology column for PCMag.com and his column also appears in PC Magazine.

Recognized as an expert in the technology arena, Lance makes frequent appearances on local, national and international news programs including New YorkÔÇÖs Eyewitness News, NewsChannel 4, CNN, CNN HN, CNBC, MSNBC, Good Morning America Weekend Edition, and BBC, as well as being a regular guest on FoxNewsÔÇÖ Studio B with Shepard Smith. He has also offered commentary on National Public Radio and been interviewed by radio stations around the country. Lance has been an invited guest speaker at numerous technology conferences including Digital Life, RoboBusiness, RoboNexus, Business Foresight and Digital Media WireÔÇÖs Games and Mobile Forum.

Lance also serves as co-host of PC MagazineÔÇÖs weekly podcast, PCMag Radio.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel