my external hard drive would come up but when i go to view the files it would ask me to format (i say no) but i still could not view the files. and now i think everything thing is erased. help please
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External hard drives are typically less reliable than internal ones, often because of the USB converter board inside the enclosure which is prone to becoming faulty after a while - this may be what's happenned to yours, in which the data on the drive will be perfectly intact, you just can't see it.
The best course of action is to remove the hard drive from the enclosure (not an easy task since there are no screws holding it together, it's held together by concealed clips), remove the USB adapter board from it, and put the bare drive into a new, third-party hard drive enclosure.