i have a wd external usb hdd 250gb, my computer gave a blue screen while moving information from my computer on the external. After the bluescreen i had to reinstall the operating sistem and after that it said that the hdd data is undreadable or corrupt (on winxp). i also have a laptop with windows 7 and when i plugged the external hdd on the laptop it said it had to format it in order to access. so i tried various software, i have dealt with this sort of problem in the past and used data recovery software with great success. however this time it would only see part of the data, not all of it (after a deep scan, not a quick scan), and most of it could not be used. for example i had about 10gb of personal stuff (pictures, pdf, word, etc) in a folder, i managed to save it back in my desktop but not a single file was usable. the pictures couldn`t be viewed, the music and the videos couldn`t be opened, same for the other files. so basicly 10gb of junk, the files did have the exact size as the ones in the past, just unable to be opened.
i read many forums on this issue and tried the partition magic method. needless to say it came to no result, so i played a bit and found the "fix partition system" option. i didn`t know that fixing would result in deleting files (it started "deleting orphan files" with various numbers following). So i closed the process with task manager and tried accessing the hdd again. this time it worked without prompting for format, and there was some data on it (the data that i had previously recovered using data recovery software) and the rest was no more.
now i`m convinced that maybe an expert could have saved the rest of my +50gb of data that have been lost, but by my own strenght using free software found on the web (such as active undelete, get data back, etc.) i don`t think it would have worked either way.
now i think it`s 2 late, but i`m thinking that if you can recover data after a format, i might have a chance of salvaging something and i`m pursuing this further (but with very little chance of victory). i`ll update if i manage to save something.