External hard drive not showing up in Windows Explorer

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Hi,
I have a Seagate 1TB external hard drive that stopped responding; it is NOT brand new, it's full of very important data and it's really freaking me out :/
I have no idea if this has anything to do with it (well, actually, I'm afraid it's the reason for the problem), but a little bit before it stopped working I lifted my laptop and it slid off the table - but it didn't hit the ground, the USB cable for it is very short, so it just dangled for half a second until I lifted it. This has happened before, and caused no problems - I am aware it's reckless, but carrying my laptop around everywhere has consequences. Fast forward 15 minutes later, I wanted to open a file on it, opened the drive, and when I wanted to open a folder inside of it, explorer froze. After trying to kill the process in the task manager (and failing), I figured the easiest thing to do was to disconnect it manually, like I do with my flash drives occasionally when this sort of thing happens.
Then I stopped responding - well, when I plug it in, it makes this beeping (?) noise for a couple of seconds, and my computer makes the "new device plugged in" sound. After maybe 20 seconds of silence, the computer makes the "device disconnected" sound and the light on the hard drive starts blinking (it has been continuous up until then). I tried plugging it into my other laptop, and it did the same thing - the beeping, connect/disconnect sound - except the other laptop showed the process of "installing the driver for the new device" (its system is freshly reinstalled yesterday, I had no chance to connect this external hard drive before that moment). Can someone please point me to the possible solution of the problem? Thanks in advance and sorry if the English isn't completely understandable, it's not my mother tongue.


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There are two major failure points in an external drive:
1. the USB interface electronics
2. the hard drive itself (which is often a standard laptop drive)

I suspect your problem is that the USB interface circuit board was damaged when the drive hung from the table.

You could try removing the drive itself from the case and inserting it into a newly purchased USB adapter case.

Good Luck

P.S. your English is very good.
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Thanks for answering! If it changes anything, a new detail showed up - I watched closely in the device manager, and in the "USB controllers" group, it shows up briefly as "USB mass storage device", in the period between the "device plugged in" and "device disconnected" sound, after which it just disappears from the list. I tried disabling it or uninstalling it during that interval, but it stops the process after the disconnect sound. Is that a sign that the USB interface is damaged or could it be something else? Sorry for bothering you :)
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Yes it does. Windows uses the "device driver" to talk to the device. It makes a number of requests from the external device to identify the drive/interface. It is possible that the external drive controller can't respond to one of these requests. Often when the drive itself is broken Windows thinks that the drive is unformatted and asks if you want to format it.
Since it has the same problem on your other computer it's a fair assumption that you do have a failed controller. You have about a 50% chance that a USB adapter would allow you to read the data from the drive.