I have a external WD with 250GB FAT32 which is giving me hell!! Like everyone else I have vital files on it. It is accessable, shows all files, but when I try playing them, or copying, the drive fails.. I noticed clicking noise which I never heard. Ran WD utility to troubleshoot the issue, it fails there too. When playing or copying files from it, I noticed that the drive goes offline (USB disconnect sound/ and then it comes back online. Sounds like when you disconnect USB, and reconect..
Are there any utilities that will determine the problem?
And foremost which software can I use to recover data from the drive? I use 32bit XP Pro
The next thing would be to open the drive up, see if it's an IDE or SATA drive, and buy a new enclosure of the appropriate type to put the drive into just in case it's a problem with the enclosure and not with the drive itself.
If you have a second external drive of the same type then you could try just swapping enclosures rather than buying a brand new one.
Software isn't going to stop the drive from disconnecting - that's a hardware issue.
And upon reflection, you shouldn't need to buy an enclosure - you can just remove the drive from the enclosure and connect it directly to your motherboard, assuming that its a type of drive (IDE vs. SATA) that your motherboard supports.