I'd start with doing a chkdsk on that external drive. That might find (and fix, if you ask that) the error that causes disk.
If, after a succesfull chkdsk, there still are one of more files in one or more folders that have issues, you only lost those.
And, remember, you only lose what you didn't backup. Since an external disk is unreliable, ALWAYS have a backup copy of everything you 'store' on it. Even better, don't 'store' anything on it except to move from one computer to another or as one of your backups.
And also remember, moving a file involves the risk of losing it. Copying a file and only deleting the source if you're sure the target is OK is much safer. This is especially true on removable hard disks and floppies.
I was recently trying to transfer some files to another folder, both of which are on my external harddrive.
The files started to not respond, and when I tried to eject the external harddrive it wouldn't eject, just had the 'spinning' symbol. I wasn't able to shut down my computer either, because it said that I had a program running (the transfer of files). I had to manually turn off my computer and then unplug the external.
I restarted my computer and plugged the external back in. Now, when I try to view the file that I was trying to transfer photos to, it appears to open but then just shuts the whole filed down. It has down this multiple times now, and it also happens when I use my boyfriends computer.
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions to help fix this? Would really hate to lose everything on my external.
Thanks in advance!