1. Run chkdsk to see if it detects (and repairs) any errors in the file system.
2. Try the drive on another PC. It could be a problem with the USB-connection.
If it gives errors there also:
3. Buy a new drive and hopefully transfer all my files to it before it collapses totally.
I am running Vista on an Acer 9300 laptop and using a Maxtor One Touch III Mini Edition External HDD. This has been running fine up until a week ago. I think I have corrupt file(s) on there although I can't be sure. Last week when I plugged this in it wasn't recognised, although by attaching the hdd before I boot up seems to have solved that problem (it's plug and play - I shouldn't have to do that should I)? Anyway, I can see it in Device Manager and also in Disk Management which tells me that all partitions are healthy and it's running normally - it's not! I have used Acronis Disk Director Suite to recover partitions - again, this tells me everything is fine. I can sometimes open files on the hdd although not always and cannot delete the files that I think are the problem. I try and it tells me that they are going into the recycle bin and then my laptop freezes - something which it does a lot when the hdd is connected. THis is drving me mad now, I would be grateful for any suggestions on how to solve this problem without formatting - something which I am led to believe might not work anyway. Thanks guys!