T'was a brand new drive and has seen several full formats to NTFS and FAT filesystems this weekend.
I've done some more snooping and it seems there is an Issue between the Daimond Max 9/10 drives and nForce4 chipsets. Those lucky enough not to suffer the slow boot problems, have dreadfull data loss and curruption issues! I havent had the pleasure of file corruption, as I cant get any files on the thing, but everything else being described rings true to my expereinces.
Apparently Nvidia are aware of the problem (via an article on the Inquirer) and are more than happy to lay the blame on Maxtor. Maxtor on the otherhand arent saying anything and are refusing to offer any support or advice, let alone the supposed Firmware fix on there website.
There are a few quick fixes, including setting any Ultra ATA (IDE) devices to "cable select" rather than "Master". I've tried this and a couple of other things to no avail. There is a specific firmaware version that everyone is blaming it on, but not everyone agrees and my drive also has a completly different and supposdly "newer" firmware.
TBH at this point, I'm ready to to take a 20% restocking fee, assuming I can persude the place I bought it from to take it back. Failing that I guess its an Ebay job!
I will NEVER buy Maxtor again and advise everyone to be very carefull with their Mobo's when choosing there SATA drives. Also worth mentioing peeps with Hitcha Deskstars are reporting similar issues, but not in so great a number it seems.
Thanks for everyones help with this.
Trust me in future I will be sure to google ALL my components before I flex the Mastercard! Let this be a lesson to us all!