I don't get the impression that the maxtor is having trouble though. Seems to be used as a working alternative to me?
According to this...
i spent 11 hours the other day just 2 get the pc to start - using a maxtor. i have it as a usb drive but no luck - unknown/unreadable.
.. the issue is with both the Maxtor and the Hitachi's... suggesting to me that the mobo/BIOS is having difficulty reading drives mounted internally but can see the Maxtor when mounted as a USB, although the data on it appears to be inaccessible.
Funny thing, my sister rang me a short while ago to say she is experiencing a similar thing (no, not the one with the Deskstar) with her old rig... when she powers up it just screams at her and she has to turn it off. She's talking about finding the cause and getting it fixed, but I don't fancy her chances as it has a 939 socket AMD CPU and mobo, and you just can't get those here in Oz anymore.
Fortunately, my mother gave her her PC to my sister when she went to the UK to live, which I rebuilt/upgraded and formatted with Vista Ultimate for her, so she has a working PC to keep her going.