Answer for:

External Hard Drive Fail

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The first thing to do IF data is important would be to CLONE the external drive to a new drive of same or larger size. Products like Clonzilla, Redo or if your a Linux user DDrescue.

Next on the cloned drive use some software like TestDisk by CGSecurity to find and attempt a repair of the partition.

A mind set to follow with potentially failing drives is "The next time it is powered up may be the last time it powers up!"

A thought; if the data is "truly" important is to ship of to a data recovery company who specialize in the recovery of data from failed devices.

There is tons of documentation on each of these applications and processes available on the internet.

Good luck.