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External HD randomly drops out/malfunctions

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I have a 750GB "Rock" brand external usb hd. I store videos on it and often while accessing media on the drive, it will suddenly die and i get the "usb device malfunction" popup. If i unplug it and plug it back in, it will usually work again. It doesn't get hot, so I don't think that's the problem. Any suggestions on what might be causing this problem, and will it deteriorate to the point where i might lose all my data?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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