How to recover files on an unformatted external drive

does anyone know how to fix the following issue i have a 1.0TB western digital in an external case which was formatted to NTFS i have put many files on there and it worked without a problem until i backed my dads asus laptop info onto it and the hen i went to transfer the info back the hard drive does not even read on a PC it makes a noise when i plug it in as tho the computer has recognised the it is there but nothing shows up i then plugged it into my mac and went to the disk utility and it is there but it appears to be unformatted HOW CAN I SAVE MY INFO!!!!! it is really important that it is not lost forever.
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  1. Two possibilities:

    1. the drive is dead (the beeping could be an error that could be read with a drive diagnostic from WD) I misread, you said a sound when plugged in I thought the drive made a sound but you are talking about windows notifying you a USB device was plugged in.
    2. the drive is fine and you can use one of many software applications on the internet that can recover at least most of the files that haven't been damaged or written over.

    Most data recovery applications cost money so you'll need to do quite a bit of searching to find one that is free or trail.
  2. GetDataBack for NTFS saved my a** once. It's not free, but you can run the demo, just to see that the files are there. They most probably are, so it's important that you stay calm, and give yourself time to learn about recovery before you take actions.

    Hint: you can check recovery software on Hiren's boot CD (can also be put on a USB pendrive).
  3. use active partition recovery. it has 2 utilities, active partition recovery and active file recovery.
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