connecting this drive to another PC (running XP maybe) and see what it says about it.
I can tell you how to do it in XP, but not in Vista, but I'm sure somebody else can, and - if necessary - they surely can in the Vista forum. That should be no problem.
After a format, all your data is gone. It seems gone right now, but it's possible (but not sure at all) a data recovery program will be able to recover it. Have a look at Bob's post (#4) in http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7591_102-0.html?forumID=26&threadID=258441&messageID=2551921#2551921 for example.
If it can't be recovered, it's gone. That's why it pays off to have a backup of data on an external hard disk. Even more than on an internal disk. External disks, especially if formatted FAT32, are more error-prone than internal disk, after all. A new external disk you buy most of the time is formatted FAT32. The first thing to do with it is reformat it NTFS. That's a tip for the future.
I have a FAT32 formatted Western Digital external hard drive. I cannot access the drive.
Vista reports it as a RAW drive that needs to be formatted. I have no knowledge of formatting a drive.
I thought of taking a chance and formatting it. But I noticed further that the windows says the drive is totally empty.
When the drive was working pretty well it showed 60% filled. Where is my data gone.
Any advice suggestions tips that can relly help me.