Go to Maxtor's web site, and look for their utility that tests hard drives. Download it on your working computer and temporarily connect the hard drive.
Now run the utility to check the drive for faults.
It's strange you get the same problem on two different machines, and it would be worth checking you haven't been unlucky and received a faulty new drive. If it is, Maxtor will very probably want the data produced by their utility, in order to replace it for you.
The other thing you need to check, is whether your BIOS will support a 40 Gig hard drive. I am not familiar with your motherboard, so cannot offer advice on that, but I come back to the fact you have the same problem on different machines, and that leads me to believe it is likely to be a drive issue, rather than motherboard.
One further thought. Make sure you have connected the drive in the correct manner. Incorrect connection can result in all sorts of strange behavior. Is it a Master or Slave and configured as such? Does the red tracer on the cable go to pin 1? And recently, there was a time when somebody connected the wrong end of the cable to the motherboard; it happens! The end with the connectors closest to each other, is the drive end of the cable.
If the drive is OK, post back and we will see what else we can think of!