Accidental format of external hard drive

hi i was wondering if anyone could help, whilst trying to sort a tomtom problem my external hard disc started to fromat, i clicked cancel and removed the usb, now when i plug back in it asks if i want to format and now sees it as a drive rather than an expansion file. The drive contains 10 years of photos and lots of work, can anyone advise me please?
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  1. Windows might not be able to recognize the drive as NTFS since the format was interrupted; Windows can only work with NTFS and FAT (or FAT32) HDDs.
    I would try to connect the drive to an Ubuntu laptop (you can run Ubuntu from a bootable CD, no need to install, and the interface is very easy to use), then save all the files that I can to another HDD; then, do a full format of the HDD and start anew. Some of your files might have gotten corrupted with the initial format, but if you removed it in time, it should not be that many.
    Another option would be to send it to a data recovery firm, but that is pretty costly.
  2. For the record, I tried this and it did not work.
  3. Use recuva to find and copy files to another drive. After copying all files, format the external drive and copy all the files back over to it.
  4. TestDisk, Data Recovery
    TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

    TestDisk Step By Step to recover lost partitions and repair damaged FAT/NTFS boot sector
    Recover deleted files from NTFS partition

    NOTE If seeked lost file are still missing, give PhotoRec a try. PhotoRec is a signature based file recovery utility and may be able to recover your data where other methods failed.

    PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
  5. I think this collection of file recovery article can help you: Data Recovery Advisor.
  6. As a drive user, the unformatted drive problem often happens. So, do not frustrate.
    Run a free hard drive recovery tool that can recover all your inaccessible data back and format this drive for returning its normal use after the recovery process.
    You could download it:
    Important note: You should not save new data on hit drive to rewrite the original data in case of data loss.
    You should save at least two copies of everything important on different drives in case of similar drive problems.
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