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

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Linux is a solution in that it may allow you to access and read the data on the drive. Unlike Windows and Apple/Mac, Linux can access and read ALL formats. The suggestion I believe is to try a distribution of Linux on a 'live' CD. this means that the operating system is on a CD or a DVD and will boot and run completely from that. I use linux and have used it to access unreadable drives that I couldn't access with Windows.
Knoppix, Ubuntu, and Puppy are three of the distros I have attempted (and with success) to access to read and access a drive that could not be accessed with Windows. The Linux distributions are FREE (in case you were unaware) and are downloadable in ISO files to be burned to CD/DVD. I hope this helps you.