Usb hdd unable to read

I had recently backed up my Laptop on an external USB HDD as My laptop needed to be formated. Now when I connect the HDD it shows me the drive letter F: & G: but gives an I/O device error. is the HDD bad is ther any utility(freeware) that i can use to fix this problem. Please advice. Thx.
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  1. Try this:

    Go here:
    and download a free utility called TestDisk (I downloaded the latest NON-beta version). It's a zipped file, just extract all files to a folder of your choice leaving the option "Use folder names" checked. Then, go to the folder where you unzipped the files, go to the Win folder, and run the testdisk-win.exe file. It runs in a DOS window, even though it says it's a Windows app, but it doesn't really matter at all.
    So, start the app (you must run it with administrator privileges), wait for it to recognise all the drives, it will take 5-15 seconds. Choose the external drive. Confirm Intel/PC partition. Analyse it. Proceed. Enter to continue. Write on the next menu. Confirm. Quit the app. Disconnect USB cable from the device following the safe hardware removal procedure. Reboot your pc. Re-connect the device and it should be properly recognised, and the whole thing doesn't take longer than a couple of seconds!
  2. open up the cmd prompt

    Select RUN from start menu and type cmd

    from there type "chkdsk X: /f" no quotes and replace X with whatever drive it is.

    It should perform a scan and once complete should work just like new!
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