How to get information off an external hard drive without formatting

I had a computer with Windows XP. I had my external hard drive formatted to it. The computer crashed and cannot be recovered. I now have a computer with Windows 7. When I plug in the external hard drive to my new computer it asks to format it. I know, as well as you do, that I will lose all of the saved data if I do this. My question is: Can I use the software partition recovery tools discussed in this forum in order to recover the information off of my external hard drive? And how does the software work (Do I plug in the external hard drive and the software reads it or what)? Please help.
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More about information external hard drive formatting
  1. If the external hard drive you formatted is still not copied to new data then any efficient data recovery software can recover your formatted data from your external hard drive. I will suggest you to use Kernel for FAT and NTFS hard disk data recovery software to recover your data from external hard disk as well from pen drive, flash memory card etc. It has a user friendly interface through which you can scan you hard drive in different modes, it preview your data there and then give you the choice to save it to your location. for more details
  2. Get Data Back FAT/NTFS
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