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Hard Drive Failure

Recently I have been using an old external hard drive that was handed down to me by my father when he moved from PC to Mac. The drive itself owned neither of us any favours and indeed had been around the proverbial block a few times but seemed to work well. I had been in the middle of a backup in order to install Windows 8 onto my computer but halfway through the drive simply stopped working. I say simply stopped working, it made a lot of noise as though it was struggling and then the transfer rate slowed right down. I checked to make sure that there was power still flowing through it and indeed there was but checking in the explorer panel on Windows I found that the drive had disappeared and in its place the DVD drive had taken over its letter. Since then I have tried rebooting the drive in several other machines but no joy it wont do anything other than light up to signify there is power running through it. Is it possible to save the contents of the drive before binning it? If I could that would be great but I don’t have much faith in these recovery software programs that are advertised on the Internet.

Up until yesterday I was using a Toshiba external drive with my Toshiba laptop. (There’s no particular reason for this just coincidence I suppose). When I turned everything on the external drive simply wouldn’t read. Instead I was presented with a message that said the drive needed to be formatted as it had no file format and I am frightened to do this because I know the drive was formatted ok when I switched the machine off. I’m also presented with the message that the drive is in what Windows calls a RAW state. I have no idea what that means but it sounds to me as though it thinks the drive has never been used. I got a friend to come round and look at it and he said the drive definitely needed to be formatted but the trouble is I have a lot of work on their for some volunteering work I do and I really could do with saving it before I reformat the drive. Would this be something you could help me with? I’m happy to pay the cost of postage and what have you if it is something that can be done before the drive is completely lost. Just also for your information the drive didn’t beep, make any strange noises or do anything out of the ordinary when I last used it.