My girlfriend is an amateur photographer; just passed her interviews for college after saving up for years. However, a couple of days ago her laptop broke, and last night I came home to find her in floods of tears. She had her photos backed up onto an external hard drive, but when she tried to upload them to a friend's computer a box popped up telling her she had to format the disk before it could be used, and she OK'd it. She didn't just lose a portfolio she spent three years creating, she also lost all her pictures from our holidays; photos of her family back home in Europe; etc. I had hoped a simple program like Recuva might be able to salvage something, but after plugging the external HD into my laptop I'm getting the same message (that it needs to be formatted) she did at first. When I try to search the drive with Recuva anyway, it just comes up with a message saying it can't carry out the scan because it's is unable to determine the file type. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure there must be something that could be done, since the authorities regularly "undelete" files on old disks when they're running prosecutions.