Recovering files from failing laptop HDD using USB enclosure (drive detected, but issues accessing files)

Windows 8.1/Acer Aspire V3/Western Digital laptop HDD

Background: I recently had the following symptoms of what I believe is a failing HDD, with my laptop: incredibly slow in starting up; disk overloaded 100% in Task Manager constantly; opening a program or doing anything beyond staying on the desktop would result in a freeze. After going through this over and over, having to do a hard reboot every time, I thought that the hard drive was probably failing.

So I took the hard drive out, put it in a USB enclosure, and plugged it into a different, working laptop. The drive gets detected, the Windows "scan and repair" message comes (I clicked it once and waited ~45 minutes and it didn't progress at all).

I go into the drive, click into my administrator user folder with all my files (D:\Users\Acer), and it starts to load. When it appears that it's fully loaded, I lose connection to the drive - stopped seeing D:\Drive under My Computer. This has happened multiple times. At other times, I can't even get into the main drive directory (D:\) to begin with.

Is there anything I can do to recover my files? I thought there may still be hope since the drive is at least being detected.
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  1. Best answer
    Hey there, vaughan1.

    Sorry to hear about the troubles you're having with the HDD. Just a piece of advice for future references - always keep a backup of your valuable data and in case you don't have one, backup everything at the first sign of any drive issues. Also when your hard drive runs into trouble, you should never run any scans or diagnostic tools before you recover your data. This is because depending on the issue, it could cause the HDD to fail even quicker and it's best to use that time for data recovery instead of scanning.
    @ffg7 has a lot of good suggestions for data recovery software, so you can go ahead and try them out. Another option would be to try and access the drive via Ubuntu Live USB/DVD, to see if it's properly recognized and if you can access your data and recover it. The best and most reliable option remains a professional data recovery company, so you can check out this link as well: WD Data Recovery Partners

    Please let me know how everything goes.
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