Formatting to NTFS from FAT32 and would like to backup Home Edition files first. Is it possible?

I have been having a lot of problems with my My Book Home Edition and didn’t even know it.  I have had it for a few years now and I just found out it has not been backing up my HP laptop files and I don’t think it has ever backed up all of my files yet.

I posted earlier and am waiting for some help there but I do have some other questions.  I am going crazy trying to figure out why my WD drive disappears at times from my Computer Management.  If I shutdown and restart the light on my drive starts moving up and down and the drive shows up in Computer Management.  When I start WD Anywhere Backup it shows up sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t.  Why is this?  It seems that my drive is always stopping for something and that is why it never completely backs up my computer.  How can I depend on a drive and program that operates like this or rather doesn’t operate as it should?  My confidence level is at rock bottom.

So I am going to reformat the drive to NTFS and see if my problems will go away.  Has anyone tried this and seen an improvement in their problems?

Is there a way to save the data that is already on the drive before reformatting?  I haven’t found a way to actually see the files that are on the drive so that I can save them.  Explorer doesn’t seem to be able to open the drive.  What will work for me?

Thanks in advance for your help.