What do you mean by “can't access my external hard drive”?
Cannot be detected on your PC? Or receive “not formatted error” message or other inaccessible message?
If it can not be detected, you drive must be corrupted. You should take this time to replace it.
If it can be detected and receive some error messages, you can try a hard drive recovery tool to restore your data for free and format this drive for return its normal use. This recovery freeware is really efficient and easy to operate since it has helped my girl friend restore her family pictures completely.
I hope my answer can help you.
IF your external hard drive was working normally before and it has suddenly stopped, there are several possibilitiesforf what has failed. Each has a different process to investigate and try to fix.
IF, on the other hand, this is a NEW external hard drive you have never used before, you do NOT have a failed unit. ANY new empty hard drive must be prepared by Partitioning and Formatting it before Windows can recognize it and use it. Together, these two processes are often joined in one step called Initiaizing the drive. For details, see WyomingKnott's sticky at the top of the Storage ... General Discussion Forum, here: