ok, I know I said I would never add another reply, but I have finally found out the true cause of the failing external hard drive-it was a loose or poor usb port/connection on the external hdd, so all the leads I had were identical that I had tried before. I finally found this out as the drive was connected yesterday and wasnt being recognized-at the same time I decided to gently move the usb cable at the end where it connects to the drive. The light on the drive switched on and off, and was eventually recognized fully once again. Unfortunately by gently moving the usb at this point, it has spelled the end of the drive, or at least on it being able to recognize the hdd even less likely. I found a guide on being able to at least being able to open the casing of a basics drive, which might be handy if anyone has a similar maxtor drive and wants to get to the hdd inside and knows how to re-solder the usb port connection, if thats the sole cause.
The usb port does not seem loose even with the casing removed, but as Im not an electrician,aside from being able to remove the hdd from its casing, I think Ill leave the opening of the actual hdd itself to check the port to someone else, but the port is definately the problem :) case closed! :) thanks for all the replies