The Maxtor drive in my 1st Dell computer was whisper quiet. Others Maxtor drives that I've used since are louder, although I wouldn't really say they were overly so. Using the Maxtor program made them nearly silent. I currently have 4 Maxtor drives from 1-3 years old, and no failures to date. I also have a WD drive that is louder than my Maxtor drives.

My opinion is that this is likely an acoustic problem. I've had no problems with Maxtor reliability.