UPDATE 12/1 9AM: Seagate confirmed Thursday that it decided to revive the Maxtor brand in a bid to sell value products. In the coming months the company plans to phase-out its inexpensive Samsung-branded products and Maxtor will take their place.

Seagate has quietly started to sell Maxtor-branded external storage devices in various countries. At present, the company offers the Maxtor M3 and the Maxtor D3 Station DAS devices, which it also sells under the Samsung name (yes, you read that right - click here for proof). Right now, it is unclear for how long Seagate plans to use the trademark, which it has not touched for quite a while.

Maxtor was a major maker of hard drives that was founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate in 2006. In the early 2000s, Maxtor was the largest maker of HDDs in the world after its acquisition of HDD division from Quantum, but its advantages somewhat diminished by the middle of the decade due to various reasons, such as the lack of a comprehensive lineup of 2.5” hard drives in the product stack. Maxtor faced severe financial troubles for the most part of its history, and after it was acquired it was also plagued by quality problems as well as controversial management decisions. After Seagate took the company over in 2006, it did ship Maxtor-branded internal and external drives for a couple of years (in fact, external storage was a strong side of Maxtor), but eventually the trademark was dropped.

Earlier this year Seagate decided to start using the Maxtor brand again to sell its M3 and D3 Station external storage products. Both of the DAS devices are also known as the Samsung M3 as well as the Samsung D3 Station which are available worldwide today. In fact, it is surprising to see that Seagate still uses the Samsung brand for hard drive products about five years after the acquisition of Samsung’s HDD business. Under the initial agreement, Seagate had rights to use the Samsung trademark for hard drives for 12 months following the buyout. Apparently, the two companies have amended the initial agreement as Seagate currently offers four Samsung-branded products for consumers. Meanwhile, the revival of the Maxtor brand could indicate that Seagate has begun to phase-out use of the Samsung trademark for its products, which is why it creates alternatives featuring a different brand (some may say that we are dealing with a plain re-badging).

Seagate’s Maxtor DAS Lineup
Product Capacity Interface Dimensions
W×L×H (mm)
Model Number
M3 500 GB USB 3.0 82 × 112 × 17.5 STSHX-M500TCBM
3 TB 82 × 118.2 × 19.85 STSHX-M301TCBM
D3 Station 2 TB 129.2 × 180.6 × 129.2 STSHX-D201TDBM

The Maxtor M3 external drive offers 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB capacities via a USB 3.0 interface. The top of the range Maxtor M3 model is based on the Spinpoint M10P 2.5”/15 mm HDD with five 800 GB platters featuring shingled magnetic recording technology at 5400 RPM spindle speed as well as 16 MB of cache. In the meantime, models with lower capacities use different hard drives and have smaller dimensions. The DAS comes with AutoBackup and SafetyKey software for automatic backup and protection.

The Maxtor D3 Station uses two 2.5” HDDs to offer 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB capacities (as opposed to up to 6 TB offered by the Samsung D3 Station version). Just like the M3, the DAS uses a USB 3.0 interface both for data transfer and for power. In addition it also comes with AutoBackup and SafetyKey. Since the D3 Station is designed to serve essential storage needs, it is basically a JBOD device that does not offer any kind of RAID for additional performance or reliability (it also makes for an inconsistent performance profile).

At present, Seagate uses its own brand to sell various external storage devices, the LaCie trademark for premium DAS products and the Samsung brand for select inexpensive external storage solutions. On Thursday the company said that it plans to continue using three brands for its external storage devices going forward with Maxtor taking the the place of Samsung. Seagate intends to add more products into the Maxtor lineup when it makes sense. The statement by Seagate reads as follows.

"Seagate’s consumer strategy is to have three brands to serve our customers varied external storage needs. Seagate (mainstream), LaCie (premium/creative pro) and Maxtor (value)," the company indicated. "The Samsung external HDD line is indeed being transitioned to the revived Maxtor brand. We will continue to provide products under the Maxtor brand and evolve the line as it makes sense."

At present, the Maxtor M3 and the Maxtor D3 Station products are available at Amazon and multiple other online and retail stores across the world.

Related Reading:

Source: Seagate

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • ohnoausername - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    The report you linked shows that HGST (a WD company) is by far the most reliable. It also shows that for 2014-2015 WD was more reliable. Granted, it does show a substantial improvement in reliability for 2016. I will say it does make me a little more worried about some common WD models, but even that linked data shows that although they are commodity parts, clearly there is still a significant range of reliability.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - link

    I've had 2 of 4 2TB WD Green drives in my file server fail since I installed them 6 years ago. They're barely even read or written to! You aways get some bad drives and some good. Sometimes it's the batch, sometimes it's the model and sometimes it's just a single bad drive. The replacement drives, which are a slightly different model of WD green are still working fine.
  • BenJeremy - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    Please... I've got more WD, Hitachi, and original Samsung drives still working just fine, working far longer. It's not operating conditions, unless you mean operating a Seagate drive under 0.3 earth gravity and at sub-zero temperatures for ideal operation of that brand of drive. My environment was dust free, well ventilated, and always air conditioned.

    I'm not the only person, by far, who has had the same experience with Seagate drives. I've certainly given them plenty of chances, but I've been burned every time.
  • PandaBear - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    I worked for Maxtor during the Seagate merger. They combine and shutdown based on location rather than performance so a lot of talents jumped boat instead of remain. Most importantly, their assumption that Maxtor 's new Chinese factory being state of the art ended up with very low yield because a lot of the know how were lost during the merger.
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, December 2, 2016 - link

    So much makes sense now.
  • HomeworldFound - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    Selling under the Samsung and Maxtor brand is pretty misleading, anything to avoid the name Seagate. I guess there's a fair amount of stigma that they want to avoid. I did see these drives for sale in an trade magazine but I had assumed they were old stock.
  • nwarawa - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    Friggin' WHY? Maxtor was the biggest name on my avoid list, and made me avoid seagate for a year after the acquisition... And they want to revive THAT name?! Smh...
  • dgingeri - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    I miss some things of the old days, like the Quantum Fireball series drives. They were top of the heap in performance and pretty reliable. They were good quality products.

    Until the dark days. Until the Empire.

    Maxtor bought out Quantum's HD division and screwed everything up. I certainly don't miss Maxtor, and I'd prefer if that name just lies in the dust of history.
  • Valantar - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    Am I the only one finding it kind of baffling that companies are still churning out _new_ products in late 2016 with the horrible USB 3.0 type-b connector, when type-C has been out for a while? Sure, Type-C is slightly trickier to implement (need to add protections against idiots plugging their laptop power adapter into the HDD ...), but other than that, it's a win-win(-win-win-win-win-win). USB 3.0 type-b, please die. Please.
  • HomeworldFound - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    They probably have factories full of the older connectors and cables to get rid of first.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now