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hard drive help

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k heres the scoop guys. My sister brought home a 80 GB maxtor hdd from work that cannot be accessed. she asked me to take a look. I put it in a a secondary drive and my comp booted properly. but when i go to access this new drive it says its not formatted do i wish to format it?

it is imparitive that i keep these files intact.

if i format it through windows will it erase the hdd memory?

if i put in the windows xp disk and format but keep the file system intact will that work?

i cant take any risks here. all help would be wonderful.
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If there are files on the hdd, they will be erased during formating. However, there is a method to format it without losing the files on it. Search Google for that.
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