Lots of suggestions on the web and tried a lot of them. Here's the problem (and I will pay for a solution that works)!
External USB 3.0 WD Mybook 1140 3G drive. Was working perfect for over a year. I recently upgraded to Windows 8.1, but it was still working fine. Now I can see in Administration Storage and windows even offers to eject said disk. BUT in explorer the disk is not listed. Device Manager also reports the disk but says 0Mb free. Basically windows wants me to initialise the disk (which I am not going to do as for sure the data will be lost).
Any ideas? Really, I have tried quite a lot. I don't mind initialising for the MBR can be recreated, but it is 10 years of pictures from my DSLR that I am trying to recover.
Yes, yes I should backup, but this was my backup and after installing windows 8 fresh I do not have most the original images ... I feel sick! HELP!
Update - I think I know what I did. The external drive was unplugged and I installed a new 480Gb SSD, then like a dumb ass I assign it the same drive letter as the unplugged external drive. I have now renamed the new SSD, but still cannot see the external drive. Windows 8.1 reports Disk 5 - Unknown and wants me to initialise, which as I say I won't do until I have tried absolutely everything to get the data back. Any suggestions? How about a system restore point? would this help?