How do i recover files from an external hard drive when it says it needs formatting

I have a portable seagate FA GO Flex Desk hard drive i have been using for ages now and have heaps of files on there - all of a sudden it is coming up as an K drive & says I need to format it. It also makes a bunch of unusually loud tick sounds. I'm devastated I may lose all my files - can anyone help tell me what to do?
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  1. All is not lost, but I don't like the click. Here http://www.piriform.com/recuva or
    Free trial :http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/
  2. Do not perform ANY writes to the drive in question:
    Then fire up http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk using a GPartEd Live boot CD, or similar package to recover your partition table and MBR.

    Ensure you do this without writing any data to the HDD in question.
  3. It sounds like your drive is corrupted for its long time use. But, from your words, we cannot make sure whether it is corrupted logically or physically.

    Therefore, in order not to lose your files on this drive, you could try to use data recovery software as everyone writes above.

    Actually, there are many data recovery programs out there. But, not all of them could work as efficient as you think. Therefore, you are supposed to do some searching carefully before you make your decision.

    Or you also could firstly try some drive data recovery freeware to take a chance:
    http://www.piriform.com/recuva
    and http://freeware-fix.blogspot.com/2013/03/hard-drive-not-formatted.html

    Note: After the data recovery process, you should not forget to format this drive and see whether it could be fixed.

    After experiencing this trouble, you should always back up your need data in case of similar problems.
  4. Thanks for the suggestion, it works great.
    Free trial :http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/
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