Dropped HD - PC now sees it as either corrupt or blank

I dropped a 1TB WD USB-powered HD as it was writing on a compute running W7. I plugged it back in there and then and it seemed ok.

A few days later I plugged it in to another laptop running Ubuntu and it was happy for a bit, and then it suddenly disappeared.

I plugged it back into the computer I had been using when I dropped it running W7 and it did not register at all.

I plugged it back into the second computer, this time running W7 and after a while the drive letter was recognised but nothing else. There was no record of the size of the drive or how much was free. Clicking into it showed nothing. On the odd occasion a window has popped up telling me I need to format the drive in order to continue, which of course I don't want to do.

Now I am running TestDisk on the second computer and whilst it can see the hard drive and is 'analysing cylinder' it is saying 'Read Error' and still only on 00% after an hour.

Would I be better to format the disk and then try and recover the data? If not, what other options do I have? Any pointers gratefully received.
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  1. It's likely the drive is dead. Those are typical symptoms of when the head crashes into the platter or whats referred to as Head Crash - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_crash

    It may work for a time. Usually not very long. Backup whatever you can but odds are most everything will be lost. The drive is permanently damaged and will only get worse. Data recovery is likely not possible.
  2. Thanks for the reply. It is still coming up that I need to format the hard drive. I'm tempted to give it a go since I have nothing to lose and then to see if I can salvage anything using TestDisk
  3. Go for it and I hope you get lucky and can get some data.
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