Seagate HD Recognized but not accessible

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Seagate HD Recognized but not accessible

I've been slogging through forums to see if this problem
exists but
can't seem to find a way to correct it.

Question: Is there any way to 'repair' a external HD so that
a computer
will recognize it as already being formatted and storing

Here's why...

I have a Seagate 250G external HD
inch_external_storage/) that I formatted to FAT32 when I
got it a year
or so back. It's strictly back-up only, so it has seen
minimal use. I
recently switched to Mac and was swapping the drive
between my
WinXP and Mac 10.5.1 with no problem last week. On
Monday I tried
the same and now, in both PC and Mac, the there's an
error message
thrown asking to reformat the drive. Probably a result of
the plug-n-
play I was doing last week and perhaps I didn't quit in Mac

So I dl'd Seagates free demo for data recover
( and found
that the
files are all intact which is no big surprise. The thing is I
don't think I
need to 'recover' I think that perhaps it's something to do
with the
drive just not being fully recognized (it shows up as E: but
unaccessible). The way I think about it, the computer is
expecting to
see the switch OFF but it's seeing it as ON which prompts
the comp. to
offer to reformat in order to set the switch ON.

Any ideas as to how to go about 'repairing' without doing
doing data
recovery? Yes, I know I could spend the $130 at Seagate
for the
software and get my files back...but that would involve
installing their
PC only software on a friends computer and not being
able to use it
again on my Mac.