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The maxtor one touch hardrives generally have a 3 year warranty on them. If you have the orginal invoice for the same, I would suggest you to call maxtor and they can help you out on the same. The support information is available on the site below http://www.maxtor.com/en/main/support.html
Usualy this thing happens with my WD Elements drive when the cable is not connected properly or some dust went on the connector, try using a paintbrush and get rid of the dust, sometimes the usb cable's end is corrodated and that's why id doesn't work properly anymore, sometimes it connects and a bit later suddenly it dissapears, this case try another cable. And also a good idea to try out the drive on a different USB port. If none of these works, try it on a different computer and see what happens there, if it's not working over there with any of these tricks than it's time to bring it back to the shop and use your warranty to get a new one.
If you mean remove your old 80 gb drive and replacing with the Maxtor 500 gb drive you should be able to. The Maxtor 21 series is equiped with SATA. Just make sure that your computer can run SATA. If not, I believe that there are adapters out there.
Hey xmartico, If your recent update from Windows XP to Windows Vista has been the only major change to your computer system since you could access your Maxtor One Touch III last, you may simply need to reinstall the Maxtor software to resolve the problem. Information provided by the manufacturer has suggested that if no password was ever set, the hard drive should work with Vista immediately with no additional work required. If you had chosen a password however, you may need to reinstall the software and reboot every time you disconnect/shut down the external drive, or disable your user account control (UAC). Please keep in mind though that disabling UAC is strongly discouraged, as it may open your computer to attacks by various malware programs including viruses and spyware. If you're still not quite sure how to proceed, I would strongly recommend contacting Maxtor directly for further assistance. Hope this helps you out. Sincerely, Aaron Go Ahead. Use Us.
I understand the problem you are going through and it is due to the fact that win xp sp2 install an NTFS filesytem on its hard drive and this file system was designed to be secure in a way that you don't remove disk drive or add disk drives just like that.Now the best solution would be to just reinstall you xp machine with sp2 with the hard drive already in the case.In this way xp will be able to recognize it as one of its own drives and now you will have access to it.