Help me get my old external hard drive working again, to recover sentimental files!

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Feb 27, 2016

I bought an external hard drive in 2006, and it stopped working after incorrectly formatting my PC.
I would like to know what you think the issue is and any solutions I can try myself before taking it to the repair shop, as all quotes I got were crazy. Any help much appreciated! Thanks so much!

4GB Seagate External Portable Drive - Model No. SRD0NF1
PC in 1006: AMD FX(tm)-6300 Six Core Processor 3.50 GHz (64 bit operating system)
Current PC: Samsung S8U Desktop / Dell OptiPlex 5000 / Windows 11 Pro
(If any more info needed, happy to supply)..

Here's what happened in 2006:
  • After uninstalling Windows 10 and installing Windows 7 (downgrading), two out of three of my USB ports stopped working. I troubleshooted, which ran some automatic updates, reinstalled the drivers and repaired all USB ports. Great! BUT, then not long after that I accidentally installed a virus and reformatted my PC again, but this time I not only had the USB ports issue again, but it wouldn't let me download the drivers for them, and my external hard drive, which was plugged into the PC, didn't work anymore (I just looked at my notes I made at the time, and they said that when I downloaded the AMD drivers onto my computer, the devices in control panel said they could not be found or downloaded - that doesn't make sense to me now, but it may to you).
  • I got very confused and overwhelmed by all different things people suggested to try, and I gave up, but I have realised how important some of the sentimental files are on there, and don't want to give up! And so we come to the present day part of the story.

What's happening now:
  • Does the connecting beep sound when I plug it into my PC (but no little green light)
  • Made the beep a few times when moving the drive around and again when screen saver came on
  • File Explorer - doesn't show up as device
  • FYI, I got the same results on my old PC and my friend's laptop, as well as trying different ports in hub and direct PC port)
  • Settings > Devices - shows up as device (when I right click on it to get to Properties, it says 'Windows Explorer Not Responding' - I can right click on any other device without this issue)
  • Settings > Devices > General - it says it is a storage device, but all other info is 'unavailable'
  • Settings > Devices > Hardware - it says 'this device is working properly'
  • Properties > Events:
Device settings for USB\VID_0BC2&PID_2322\MSFT30NA84T9SR were not migrated from previous OS installation due to partial or ambiguous device match
Last Device Instance Id: USB\VID_0930&PID_1400\070851636290C771
Class Guid: {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}
Location Path: PCIROOT(0)#PCI(1400)#USBROOT(0)#USB(17)
Migration Rank: 0xF000FFFFF8000023
Present: false
Status: 0xC0000719
  • Disk Management - listed as Disk 1 | Unknown | Not Initialized
  • Properties > Volumes - no info available | capacity and space is 0MB
  • Properties > Drivers, Update Driver - says it is already up to date
  • I tried a couple of free downloadable data recovery tools, but it didn't show up as a device to scan on either of them
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