I had the same problem like many as you, Maxtor 3200 looked like it crashed, it wouldn't show up in My Computer anymore and it would freeze up any pc (tried 3 different ones with XP) as soon as it got plugged in. Tried everything mentioned on this forum like changing drive letters and disabling in device manager, but nothing seemed to work.
Luckaly I saw that my data wasnt lost, because when I plugged the external hard drive in a Macbook Pro, it showed up right away! And I could acces all the files and copy them without any problems!
But then I came across another forum with my solution: https://pchelper.nl/forum/index.php?showtopic=70161
It is in Dutch so sorry about that.
But what they say is let the drive be checked and repaired by chkdsk:
Go to START
Go to RUN
type in cmd
(command-prompt opens up)
type in chkdsk #: /R
(where you should put drive letter in place of #)
Then it will start checking your drive, be patient here because it can take a long long time for this to finish. Also it looked to me in the beginning of the scan nothing was going on, but after a minute or 2 it sayed THE DRIVE FORMAT IS NTFS...or something like that and from then it starts scanning for a long time. Took me about 4 hours to check the total drive! But in the end it worked again properly!!
Hope this works for more of you with the same problem as me. BTW dont know how this works when you have no clue what the drive letter is, I was lucky to see this still in my disk manager.