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You could try to format it by right clicking its drive icon in My Computer. If no go then perhaps download and use Seatools. It is easy to use and instructions are very clear:- http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=seatools-win-eula&vgnextoid=d0d51d4dad651110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD
It could be a situation where only the "table-of-contents", which describes all the files on the disk, has become scrambled. So, look online for "file recovery" utilities -- programs that will read through all the blocks of data on the disk, and try to "stitch" together all the files, without using the "damaged" file-directory.
Unless the data on the maxtor is very important You should format the drive, assuming you are using windows, go to my computer, right click on the drive, it should show the option to format. If the info is very important, my advice take it to a info recovery business.
Is this a new Maxtor external drive? It came with a CD. Run the utility.
If there is no data on it that you want to save, you can also blow away the partition and format it:
Right-click [My Computer]
Find your external Maxtor Disk inthe list and / or graph
Right-click on the disk and select either "Format" or "Delete Partition"
(try format first) Use "NTFS quick format"
If you delete the partition, then "Create Partition" and then format.
You can assign a drive letter or accept whatever it assignes (probably Drive D)
Browse to the location on the new computer where you want to save the old data.
Right click and choose New Folder.
Name the folder Files from Old PC
Press enter twice and the new folder will open.
Plug the Maxtor USB into the new computer and turn on the power.
The drive will install and be given a drive letter in my computer.
Browse to the drive in My Computer and double click the Maxtor drive.
Browse to the folder where you saved the old data and open it.
Now do the keyboard command CTRL + A (select all) this will select all the files.
Click one of the selected files & drag them all to the new folder you have open and let go.
All of the files from the Maxtor will copy to your new computer.
You have a possible corrupted file. Open My Computer and right-click the drive icon. Click PROPERTIES in the menu. Click TOOLS. Click CHECK NOW. Click a check into the AUTOMATICALLY FIX FILE SYSTEM ERRORS box. Click START. The OS may tell you a reboot is required.
If all else fails, dump the data to some other storage device and use DISK MANAGER to delete the partion, make a new partition and format.