I would remove the hard drive from the case and slave it to my primary drive inside the tower. If it is out of warranty then it is likely old and about to die. Maxtors do not exactly have a reputation for longevity. Your best bet would be to image it and restore the image on a new drive.
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Your Maxtor HDD is Broken, or Jammed. thats why these hanging things happen. send it to the service center if you have any warrenty. i think they will fix this. if no warrenty then open the HDD casing and remove the HDD and put it in new casing and try backing up Date. best of luck...
Remove the hard drive from the Maxtor case, purchase an USB hard drive adapter case, and install the hard drive inside this case. Then you can connect this to the computer's USB port and if the hard drive is OK then this computer will detect it as an external USB hard drive, then you can open the folders and files and back them up.
If plugged in the first time, the external drive needs to be initialized from your computer. Here are the steps.
1. Plug in your external drive to your computer's usb port. 2. Right click your My Computer and choose Manage. 3. Click on the Disk Management from the left. The list of available drives will show on the right. 4. Right click on your External drive and select create partition (primary partition). 5. After that you now you need to format the hard drive. Choose quick format. 6. Right click again on the partition you've just created, now select "Format" and select NTFS. 7. Click Ok and follow the wizard as it will guide you until it is finished.
The USB Isn,t supplying/providing enough Power to the device.
Search e-bay or similar for a 2 into 1 USB Cable.
Then power the unit with 2 USB Ports on the Computer.
2 x USB Into 2 x Sockets On P.C. 1 x Into Device Drive.
This will be enough power to operate the Device Correctly.
I,ve done this on several external Drives, never failed for Me.
You can try and use PowerQuest PartitionMagic. It will allow you to partition/format/check most HDs including USB connected. Choices/options are from FAT16 to NTFS and Linux.
Another handy disk utility that is a freeware is HP's bootable flash utility at http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/23839.html
Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back how things are or should you need further information.
Good luck and kind regards.