How do I create a partition for my Maxtor One Touch external harddrive

I've had my Maxtor One Touch for about a year now. Suddenly it is saying I need to create a partician (I have no idea what that is) but when I click for it to format I get the message "Partition Creation Failed". Also the Maxtor will not open so I don't know if all my records are gone or not. Can anyone help me?
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  1. It looks as if your drive has failed, no doubt the warranty has also expired, but check anyway.
    There is a small chance that the fault lies with a connection or cable and the drive itself is ok.
    You would need to remove it from the case and connect it internaly if it's a desktop pc, or if it's a laptop get a powered adptor or another case to connect it via usb.
    Here is an article you can read about partitions, I won't duplicate web content: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning
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