Getting files after formatting an external drive

i have a WD 320gb harddrive that i was using in an old laptop,to which broke. i decided to get a new laptop and get my files of tis harddrive as i have loads of pics etc from years back. My question is,how do i get them off? Do i have to format it in disk management?
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More about getting files formatting external drive
  1. definitely DO NOT format any hard drive you want to retrieve data from as formatting will wipe the data!

    Buy a 2.5-inch External Hard Drive Enclosure which is compatible with the connection-interface (IDE or SATA) of the WD 320GB hard drive. Install the drive into the enclosure as per the supplied instructions. Connect the enclosure to a mains power socket by means of the supplied mains adapter, then attach the enclosure to your new laptop with USB cable.

    Windows should detect it and the AutoPlay menu should open - - click "Open folder to view files".
  2. Hi, yer thanks for that i have been given a usb-sata hd cable and it seems my harddrive may be broken/corrupt :/ my computer wont pick it up,its not viewable in device manager or disc management either even after 15 mins of waiting. Itll power up but not connect/show any data
    I tried a sare hd i had and that worked,it showed up in disk management.

    weird thing is every now and then my hd will connect,install driver then aprox 5 seconds into it itll disconnect,stop spinning then power up again and not connect :/
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