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External Hard drive not recognised

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Please can anyone help?

My mother bought a Western Digital 250Gb external hard drive (My Book Essential USB, WD2500D031) two months ago, and it worked fine (simple plug and play) on her Toshiba laptop (win XP OS SP2). It has now stopped working and is not recognised by her computer at all (nor other computers). It does not appear in the disk management, so I cannot look at it that way. When I try to install new hardware, there is no option for installing the correct driver (there is no option even for an external USB device).

I know the correct driver is still there (USBSTOR), because my hard drive is exactly the same model and still works fine on hers and my laptops. There is some communication between the HD and the laptop as when my mother mistakenly installed the HD as a MTP Windows Portable Device, a symbol did appear, although it could not be opened. I have uninstalled this driver, but the situation remains the same.

The drive also has some data on, which I would really like to recover.

I'm extremely grateful for any suggestions.
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