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Try using a different USB cable in connecting to the computer. Sometimes, the USB cable wires gets defective due to wear and tear. If that doesn't work, look for another AC power supply, as it is sometimes the cause of the harddrive not spinning the motors. Try a different power cord, or a different power supply, and hope it works.
However last month I found that the Maxtor is no longer recognisable to my machine. Reading through related postings on other sites it appears that Vista updates from Microsoft may be the reason why this functionality has suddenly ceased. I presume the security updates in particular may have meant that the Maxtor 3200 is also considered a potential threat. The question is who will take responsibility for resolving this issue of Maxtor 3200 users no longer being able to access their back up files via their Vista based machines. Personally I believe the onus is with Microsoft
Wikipedia has a good explanation under polarity symbols. For my maxtor adaptor the positive was in the center which is synonymous with "tip" so tip positive or center positive. leaving these jacket negative.
it makes no difference how old the drive is, unless you transfer the same amount of content everyday and can chart and predict. It might help to wrap your mind around the actually capacity and extent of files you trasfer and use. If that drive is a 200GB....1 gigabyte is roughly 1 cd and a half. A compact disc can hold 700MB, or gauge it to like a ipod. So if youre possibly transferring say 2GB per day, you will reach the max of the drive in 3 months?
2GB X 90 days=180GB
If you are using graphic applications, or video...you may want to look towards a 320 GB or 500GB as things only get larger with current computers........Just 3 years ago, who knew what a gigabyte was? Now we own drive in upwards to 1TB ( terabyte ).