Hello Caren, my name is Rusty. Sorry to hear you're having trouble, that must be very frustrating. Let's see if we can get it working, and get a backup immediately in case your drive is going out.
First, use a different USB cable on a different USB port. Most of the time, a worn out cable or USB hub causes the problem. It will work with some devices, but cannot keep up with the demand of the hard drive.
If you find that the drive is dead, we'll have to go into data recovery, and confirm that your drive is still spinning. When you plug it in and turn it on, can you feel it vibrate to indicate the drive is spinning?
I'm a sound engineer, meaning I need to know how to use not only racks of sound equipment linked together, but also computer peripherals and external hard drives, as well as how to fix them in a pinch. I'm an electronics expert.
Like I said, the drive has a lot of demand, more so than a flash drive, or USB mouse. It needs a good cable in perfect condition, otherwise it can cause it not to function properly. Be sure to use a quality high speed USB cable. That is where to start in the troubleshooting process. You may be able to borrow one from your printer to see if you get any different results.
I don't handle billing, I answer the questions. I'll help make sure you are taken care of, but it is in my best interest to get your hard drive going. Were you able to locate your drive in control panel?
I'm still here to help in case there are any hiccups.