This is a repeat of the issue at http://forums.cnet.com/7723-7591_102-638317/failed-hdd/?tag=rb_content;forums06 where you clone the drive then use recovery tools on the clone.
Unless you accept the risk of losing it all, you leave the original untouched until you recover.
We clone the drive then try recovery on the clone. There are titles in the CNET Storage Forum top post on what to try on the clone.
Just wondering. If you wanted to keep these files around, why no backup copies?
I have an external HDD, it has suddenly stopped working. I usually always have it attached to my TV and very rarely use it with my laptop. However, I have recently moved all my data to the HDD, and now my TV doesn't recognise it, it says I need to connect to PC to be formatted. Apart from the fact that I don't want to format it because I don't want to lose everything, my laptop doesn't recognise it. If I open up 'Devices and Printers' it is there next to my actual laptop under 'Devices' but it's not actually there as a drive, so I am only able to access the properties of the 'device' and not the actual data. It says that it is attached and connected by USB3.0. I thought the issue was the USB cable, so I bought a new cable, however, I had the same issue. So I'm wondering if it's an issue with the HDD itself? I'm not too sure if any of this is making sense, but I'm hoping someone can help. I am running Windows 8.1 and all updates are up to date. I have photos that shows the connections etc, but from what I can see, I can't post them? (Ps, this is my first forum post, so I am new to it all). Thank you in advance to anyone that can help or give any advice at all.