i don't really know how to get them working , but it could be a motherboard problem.probably the the connector on the motherboard has gone bad,so you might have to replace the motherboard or you might have to buy a expansion card that has the connectors for the hdd.that's just my opinion for now.i am just suggesting it could be the problem but i am 50-50 on that bet.so see if you could find out from someone else aswell.
I've gone through 3 hard drives in the last 4 months - they all stop working completely - totally unrecognised by CMOS, not a problem with jumpers or connections they just stop working
Is there any way I might be able to get them working again? or will I have to try voodoo magic to lift this terrible curse?
If they're not recognized in the BIOS, it's more than likely 1 of 3 things:
1 - the drive isn't spinning up. This could mean a completely dead drive, a bad / underpowered power supply or a bad power lead / wire. Pull the drive out but leave it connected to the power cable. Turn the PC on and see if you can feel or hear the drive spinning.
2 - the cable is bad. Try a different cable.
3 - the connector / drive controller is bad. Try the other controller (or one of the others if SATA) on the motherboard.
I havent really read any of the above, to find out the real deal on the drive consider downloading the S.M.A.R.T diagnostic tool off the manufacturer's website. Powermax is the maxtor version i forget the other names.
If its really not detected post boot, or in the bios, is it on a sata raid controller because they often have their own interfaces usually control and S ?? but not typically. The smart tool will be a bootable floppy disk.
If it isnt detected like you say maybe clear the cmos back to factory defaults, good luck all the same.
It would be extremely rare to get 4 duds in a row.