external HDD has stopped working

Hi there I have a external HDD its stopped working when i go in to disk management the disk is unknown and not initialized when I right click on it I cant select to initialize it and it is also off line if I go into properties in general it tells me this device is working properly. I have very important family photos and my latest work backed up on it and cant loss it any help will be greatly appreciated.
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  1. <sigh> here we go again..
    I feel sorry for you.... but frustrated that people are so stupid...
    "I have very important family photos"!!!... then why the hell do you not have a backup?
    The work thing is less of an issue? you say its a work backup.. so presumably you have the originals still?

    Your drive may be dead... try it on another comp.. but if that also cannot recognise.. then the drive is probably dead.
    If you REALLY need that photos/work.. you will probably need the help of professional recovery.
    You MAY be lucky - and the HDD drive is OK.. its just the electoronics in the external housing gone bad (or the cable?) .. so rip out the HDD and connect directly.. but it a long shot... just don't try anything that could REALLY break it such that even professionals could not get your data off (or significantly increase the price for them to do so).

    Good luck.
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