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Maxtor Corporation, founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate Technology in 2006, was an American manufacturer of computer hard disk drives, the third largest in the world immediately prior to acquisition. It now operates as a subsidiary of Seagate.[1]

Maxtor targeted both the server and desktop market, concentrating on disk capacity more than disk speed for desktops.




  • 1981 - Initial search for funding.
  • 1983 - First product.
  • 1985 - Initial public offering.
  • 1990 - Acquired MiniScribe, another hard disk manufacturer.
  • 1992 - Near bankruptcy.
  • 1993 - Closed San Jose, California engineering operations.
  • 1996 - Introduced DiamondMax line of hard disks with DSP-based architecture.
  • 2000 - Purchased Quantum's hard disk line of business especially for their ATA133 IDE interface.
  • 2006 - Acquired by Seagate.

Early financing

The Maxtor founders, James McCoy, Jack Swartz, and Raymond Niedzwiecki --- graduates of the San José State University School of Engineering and former employees of IBM --- began the search for funding in 1981. In early 1982, B.J. Cassin and Chuck Hazel (Bay Partners) provided the initial $3 million funding and the company officially began operations on July 1, 1982. It shipped its first product in February 1983 to Convergent Technology and immediately received an additional $5.5 million in its second round of funding. The company also began negotiations with the EDB (Economic Development Board) of Singapore for favorable terms before committing to Singapore as its offshore manufacturing location. The DBS (Development Bank of Singapore) agreed to provide financing to help grow the company in Singapore. In 1983, the company established a liaison and procurement office in Tokyo, headed by Tatsuya Yamamoto.

Maxtor's product architecture used eight disks; 15 surfaces recorded data and the final surface was where the servo track information was located. The company developed its own spindle motor, which was fitted within the casting containing the disks. This was a major departure, the motor usually being mounted external to the disks. The first product was designed to provide 190 MB of storage, but delays in getting magnetic heads to the Maxtor design resulted in the company taking what was available and the first drives were shipped with a capacity of only 140 MB. The company received an additional round of financing of approximately $37 million in 1984 before going public in 1985, with Goldman Sachs as the prime underwriter.

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