How can I recover data off an old laptop HDD

My laptop running Vista crashed and i need my data off this HDD. I purchased an external hard drive case with a usb cord to put the HDD into. However when I plug it into my home PC running vista it won't let me see the files, it wants me to format the drive. Obviously I need the data so I don't want to format it. The same thing happend when plugging it into a pc running xp? Any ideas on how to do this?
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More about recover data laptop
  1. If your hard drive gets damaged due to some reason then that makes the data partially or completely inaccessible. The causes for this hard disk may be due to unintentional formatting or re-formatting, virus attack ,file system corruption etc. In such case you can recover data from laptop hard drives using recovery software.
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