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How to access my external harddrive without having to format?

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Try taking apart the casing, so that you extract a normal hard drive. Order online or go to a computer store like Micro Center and spend about $30 on a Universal Drive Adapter. Connect the drive to the cable, then the cable to a computer, and see if it reads.

In most cases, what you're describing is often referred to as a "dirty disc," which is essentially a corrupted Master Boot Record.

Good luck