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Maxtor Corp.’s representatives told X-bit labs that counterfeit hard disk drives (HDD) that were located in several Japanese stares a couple of weeks ago only emerged in Japan and were not reported to be found in other regions. The company reassured that it takes measures to avoid such situations in future.

“The unfortunate reality in the hard drive industry, as with several other industries, is counterfeiting of product. We did discover several months back an occurrence in the Japan region only of some counterfeit activity with Maxtor hard drives,” Karen Clyne, a spokeswoman for Maxtor told X-bit labs.

Instead of Maxtor MaXLine II hard disk drives, some unnamed suppliers shipped hard drives that mimic products intended for Maxtor’s OEM clients to several stores in Japan. The products do not seem to be genuine, though. The products identify themselves with model number 5A320J0 and come with 320GB capacity, which is not in the MaXLine II lineup intended for retail customers. The counterfeit hard drives can be distinguished by incorrect font on the label as well as usage of lower-case “X” letter in the brand-name: on forged HDDs it is writer MaxLine II, whereas the company calls the drives as MaXLine II.

“As part of a larger channel effort, we implemented some measures to combat counterfeiting practices such as, implementation of a compliance officer, special labeling and security coding on drives to indicate if a label had been removed or the drive tampered with, and an education plan to our partners and resellers – ways to detect a counterfeit drive and what to do,” Ms. Clyne explained.

The HDDs that were, according to the company’s Japanese representatives, either mislabeled or made from unqualified components, or components that did not pass quality assurance procedures, are intended for systems with Parallel ATA-133 interconnection. The hard drives are equipped with 5400rpm motors and 2MB cache.

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