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External harddrive not working

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Hello all

Firstly i'd like to say that i've had several external harddrives and am quite confortable dealing with basic problems, but this one is beyond me so any help would be much appreciated.

The external hard drive is a maxtor personal storage 3200, 500gb. I'm running windows xp home on a dell.

I was downloading a file (it may have contained a virus) to the external harddrive when my computer crashed. Did a hard restart and computer screwed up, i've managed to reinstall everything so computer now working fine, problem is i cant sort out the external hd.

When i plug it in the computer recognises something has been plugged in but no mention of it on my computer,. When i check anything to do with the external harddrive (eg device manager, system in the control panel, safely remove hardware) nothing happens, the moment i remove the ext hd then it loads up, while its plugged in nothing. If i plug it in before i start up the computer, the computer doesnt start up, again the moment i unplug it it starts up immediately. Tried using xp cd to reformat it but again the moment i plug it in computer freezes, as soon as i remove it computer works fine again. Same problems occur when trying to run it in safe mode.

Any help would be great.

Thank You
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