How to repair external drive without losing data

my external hard drive is saying i need to format it when i plug it in have i lost all my material that was on there?
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More about repair external drive losing data
  1. Try TestDisk, it has worked great for me before.
  2. crack it open and take out the hdd plug in in ur esata orsata or ide and see what it says then could be a faulty controller
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