This article is for informational purposes only and no longer being updated by Seagate.

Maxtor BlackArmor - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Maxtor BlackArmor including information on its encryption capabilities, comparison with other software, and its backup capabilities.

What are the minimum system requirements for the BlackArmor drives?

  • Pentium III, 500Mhz equivalent processor or higher
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business (32-bit versions Only *)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Center Edition (SP2/32-bit versions Only *)
  • 256MB RAM or more as required by operating system
  • Internet Connection (for software updates)
  • One (1) USB 2.0 Connection
    * BlackArmor Users Must Possess Administrator User Privileges in Order to Use the Software

    Note: Some older computers limit bus power and require a USB Y-cable for additional power. Y-cable is sold separately.

Is Maxtor BlackArmor compatible with Mac OS X (Tiger/Leopard)

There is no support for the Macintosh operating systems.

Is Maxtor BlackArmor compatible with Linux

There is no support for Linux operating systems.

What are the maximum capacity points for the Maxtor BlackArmor drives?

  • Maxtor BlackArmor model number STM901603BAA1E1-RK - 160GB
  • Maxtor BlackArmor model number STM903203BAA1E1-RK - 320GB (estimated release date July 2008)

What are some Key Features of Maxtor BlackArmor:

  • Hardware-based full-disk encryption technology
  • Invalid password prohibits access to your data
  • Removal of the USB cable from your computer auto locks the drive
  • No tedious manual security procedures found in software-based encryption technology
  • Hint feature offers a reminder in the event of a forgotten password
  • Permanently delete encryption key for secure redeployment
  • Pre-loaded software makes installation quick and easy
  • Automated backup scheduling
  • Sync to multiple computers on the same operating system
  • USB 2.0 interface powers your drive and ensures fast data transfer

Where is the installation Software located?

BlackArmor installation software is located in what is called the Pre-Boot Area; a protected area of the drive and is accessible as a virtual CD-ROM upon initial connection of the drive. Maxtor BlackArmor Software can also be downloaded from the Seagate's Website.

What type of Software comes with Maxtor BlackArmor?

Maxtor Manager is the software provided with the BlackArmor Drive and is comprised of two portions:

  • Maxtor Manager (aka Host Application) - This software contains:
    • Backup
    • Sync
    • Drive Diagnostics
    • Power Management
    • Security Settings
      Note: Only Maxtor Manager contains KeyEraseTM - the feature that permanently erases the encryption key from the BlackArmor drive.
  • Black Armor Manager - used to unlock a drive on any compatible Windows computer...even if the host application is installed.
    Note: Maxtor BlackArmor Manager contains various features found also in the Maxtor Manager such as:
    • Change of Password
    • Set, Change or Delete Password Hint
    • Drive Diagnostics

How do Maxtor BlackArmor Host Application and Maxtor OneTouch 4 Software(s) (Maxtor Manager) compare?

The following Table identifies Maxtor Manager features and which products provide these features.

Feature OneTouch 4 OneTouch 4 Mini/Plus BlackArmor
Scheduled Backup x x x
Backup/Restore of User Files/Folders x x x
Maxtor Auto Software Update x x x
OneTouch Button Customization x x  
Adjust Power Management x x x
Drive Diagnostics x x x
Sync   x x
Maxtor Folder Encryption   x  
DrivePass   x  
SafetyDrill   x  
Full Disk Encryption     x

Will the Maxtor Manager bundled with BlackArmor identify Seagate External and Seagate FreeAgent Drives connected to my computer?

No. The Maxtor Manager will only identify the following external drives:

  • Maxtor OneTouch 4
  • Maxtor OneTouch III
  • Maxtor OneTouch II
  • Maxtor Basics

What will the Maxtor Manager's Backup feature back up?

The Backup feature by default will back up the following:

  • Windows XP - Back up the contents of current user's My Documents folder
  • Windows Vista - Back up the contents of current user's Personal folder

What won't the Maxtor Manager's Backup feature back up?

The Backup feature will not back up the following:

  • Your operating system
  • Your Programs
  • Your Email (when not selected in a Custom Backup and when the Email Client is Open)
  • Internet Favorites/Bookmarks
  • Certain Proprietary Files (e.g., Financial Data)
  • Any files/folders that contain System Attributes or that are hidden/locked by the operating system

What will the Maxtor Manager's Sync feature do?

With Sync, files can be synchronized between two or more computers allowing users to have the most up-to-date files.

Can I use Sync to synchronize data between Windows XP and Windows Vista computers?

No. Due to the differences between Windows XP and Windows Vista default folder structures, data cannot be synchronized between these operating systems.

What won't the Maxtor Manager's Sync feature synchronize?

The Sync feature will not synchronize the following:

  • Your operating system
  • Your Programs
  • Your Email
  • Any files/folders that contain System Attributes or that are hidden by the operating system

What type of encryption does Maxtor BlackArmor use?

Maxtor BlackArmor uses the 128-bit AES - Encryption method certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

What is the easiest way to lock the BlackArmor drive?

The easiest and quickest way to lock the BlackArmor drive is by disconnecting the drive via a system shutdown or Safe Removal.

What do I do if I lose or forget my BlackArmor drive's Password?

There is no way to recover a lost/forgotten password. In the event that this happens, you must perform a KeyEraseTM using the Maxtor Manager software. Once erased, you will have to reconfigure, repartition and reformat before redeployment/use.

BlackArmor is extremely secure...are there other things I need to do to ensure my data is secure?

BlackArmor's Full-Disk Encryption is one of the most robust security/portable drives on the market. However there are other things you need to think about with regards to securing your data:

  • Lock your BlackArmor drive when it is not in use. Remember that after BlackArmor is connected and unlocked, it remains unlocked. Make sure you always disconnect the drive from a computer if not in use.
  • The Password is your key to your data. Make sure your password is secure. Write the password down and store it in a safe location and take advantage of the Password Hint feature in the BlackArmor software; these practices will aid in the event of a forgotten password. Never share your Password with others.
  • Be aware of Third-Party Software on your system that could compromise security. Various software packages can and will capture passwords without you even knowing it. Be aware of Search/Toolbar or Keylogging applications that can and will cache keystrokes. Make sure you clear various application caches and be cautious of unknown computers where suspicious software may reside.

How do I simply copy files and folders to my BlackArmor Drive?

Copying data to your BlackArmor drive can be accomplished through various methods found in your operating system. Refer to your operating system documentation for more information.