as sibbil says - if its spinning up.
having used it a good bit, a couple of suggestions: one is to google up the tutorials and follow them. second one is my opinion: scan for a limited filetype first and see what you get: takes less time and will reveal a little about the state of your files.
for instance, you might search first for documents instead of images, or vice-versa.
on a sick drive it can take a lot of time.
also, I realize this is going to sound very scary but if the above is unproductive, you have less and less to lose: you may have to format the drive. "quick" ntfs format will not destroy data. it will make the drive discoverable, then you can look for and restore lost partitions, etc if the drive is healthy enough to keep spinning.
finally, there is a small possibility that you have an issue with your usb interface. if other measures fail, you will need to crack open the box and remove the drive, put it on the bus in your pc
Quote: Originally Posted by sibbil
What brand/model number is it?
Do you feel the drive platters start spinning when you power it up? Any slight vibration?
You might try running testdisk from a bootable CD: Ultimate Boot CD - Overview