I have a WD My Book Essential Edition 2 TB (although formatted it only holds 1.8 TB) external HD with USB 2.0. It worked fine even after falling off my desk onto a carpeted floor.

Then it inevitably stopped working. While I was copying files onto it, the finder window stopped displaying the folders from the drive and I was unable to eject or unmount the drive from my desktop using DiskUtility. It remained powered up so I actually restarted my Mac to possibly reset the drive. Then the Mac indicated it wouldn't recognize the drive but the drive still remained on. In my desperation I pulled the USB cable connection from the drive to my Mac and it still didn't power down. Probably even more stupid of me I pulled the power cord which finally turned off the drive. I'm afraid to even plug the drive in again.

What is the best course of action? Is it just a matter of removing the drive from the enclosure? Also, is it possible to use a data recovery program to gradually get the data off the corrupted drive? I only ask this because I have 1.1 TB of data on the drive and my Mac HD only holds 230 GB at capacity so I can transfer the data to another external HD.

OSX 10.5.8