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How to retrieve files from a drive needed to be re-formatted?

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Probably - have you tried Disk Management? In W7 (admin) right click My Computer, select Manage, then Storage, Disk Management and you will probably see your drive as an item in the list. Volume will be blank, but check in the Capacity column, If there, select the drive, right click the blank Volume, and select Change Drive letter, then choose accordingly. It should then appear as normal. I've got a drive that shows this behaviour every time I retrieve it from storage!
Hope this works for you (a no cost solution!).