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The main caused of the problem is the enclosure of your Maxtor ext drive you need to change ot replace it to a new one. Take your hadridsk out of the enclosure and buy new enclosure and then put your hardisk back on to the new enclosure.
1 of 2 things can be wrong...1 (cable may be loose) unplug the cable (ext HD) connected to pc, now reinsert back into pc..try this once or twice...until you see it appear in my computer....if this is not working and your ext HD came with a CD software..uninstall (make sure ext HD is not connected) software, then reinstall make sure your firewall allows it to be connected....this should do the trick...now plug HD back up to pc...do not format your ext hd unless you really really dont want the data on it (format erases everything)
First of all, restoring a hard drive rarely affects data stored on it. I usually just adjusts the supporting software that allows it to run properly. Definately check the manual prior to restoring it, though. Formatting it will absolutely erase everything (unless your the FBI). I'm about 99% sure that restoring it will leave your stored data completely unaffected.
You're better off performing the work using the newest OS available. BTW, your BF can plug into the internet and get upgraded to 10.4.11 as well for free and it doesn't take long.
First thing First, detect and isolate the problem:
take the HD and connect it to the computer (DATA AND POWER CABLES right connected) and see if Operative System detects it and you can partition, format and write and move data to and inside it without problems.
If you can and the system works OK with that... your HD is working so take a breath. If not... you HD is down and well... there is not much to do without expending money.
If you succeed, just try powering your case without the HD and of course with the right power supply... the one that comes with the case. if the case can be powered for a few hours with no problems nor rare noises... connect the HD to it and try.
The info you are giving is very incomplete, I don`t know what you did, what system are you operating, Do not know what you know about computers, so I do not know what to explain and what you know already.
You need to use data recovery to recover all the file inside. but it will cost you $99.00. Please chat me at the chat session to give you complete instruction and to give you the application just for free.