Last night I used my USB HD to back up all my important files, and the. Proceeded to format my desktop and install windows 7. Today my external hard drive asks me to format it so it can be read! It worked last night after I installed windows 7 and I didn't have a chance to copy all my files over. Now it's asking me to format?!?! I did some research and got a valid copy of Active partition recovery. Now when I scan the hard drive with Active Partition Recovery, it shows the corrupted partition that windows won't open. But I can't restore the files. I can see them with this software so I know they are still there! How can I recover the files? I was thinking of troubleshooting more with active partition recovery, but ifthat fails, I thought maybe I can do a 'quick format' in windows and not write anything to the hard drive. Then I can maybe use another data recovery tool and retrieve the files like that. I'm in a jam and freaking out because I have some very important documents that I need on there both for work and classes! Thanks in advance for any help!!! In the mean time I am reading a lot to see if I can find a solution and I am making sure that. Nothing gets written to my external HD.