Buffalo Portable 500gb hd problem

Please help me. I have a buffalo portable 500gb hard drive with lots of information stored on it. I've had it for 1 year and have never dropped it. Now when I try to get information off of it, it tries but then says it can't find the requested sector. It initially takes a while to show up in the drive list. When it eventually does show, all my files are listed. I have the feeling it is faulty. I would like to transfer all my files off of it but can't do it. 1. Do I need data recovery software? 2. What is the best data recovery software for this device? 3. How effective is software like this for saving data? Please help!
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  1. Lets try a simple fix.

    Go to Start menu and click Run (or Search)
    Type: cmd (then press enter)
    type the letter assigned to the problem drive followed by a colon and press enter. Eg:
    type: chkdsk /r (and press enter)

    let it run it's surface scan of the disk. It may just fix the problem.

    If not...
    You will need A hard drive that is at least 500GB either in your computer, or on a networked computer and a blank CD.

    There are plenty of recovery tools out there. The best ones are the ones that can perform a "bare metal recovery" or bit for bit copy. Of the paid software, Acronis and @Active Partition Recovery are my favorites. Simple and effective.

    Here is a very simple, very good free solution:

    Redo Backup

    1) download Redo Backup @ redobackup.org

    2) Burn the ISO onto CD using Windows Image Burner, or Nero, or Roxio. (Burn as an image. Don't just drag and drop the file to a disk and burn it.)

    3) Boot the newly burned CD on the machine. You may need to consult your system manual for BIOS Setup Boot Device Settings. The manual can be located under the support section of your system manufacturer's website)

    If backing up to a network drive, make sure to use the network manager tool (in the system tray by the clock) to connect to the wireless network if needed.

    4) Walk through the wizard to set up your backup.
    Make sure to select the correct location to store the backup (either attached external drive or network share).
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