My WD My passport external hard drive is lagging my pc and isn't opening

So i’ve had this hdd for a year and it was working fine and all until a couple of months ago i found a compressed 46gb copy of a game that i deleted a while ago from my old pc so i tried extracting it then suddenly the hdd froze so i unplugged it and plugged it again and it shows up in my pc tab but it shows no storage data and when i try opening it my file explorer tab freezes and my pc’s desktop turns black and i can’t control it whatsoever until i unplug the hdd everything goes back to normal and it also sometimes doesn’t shut down until i unplug the hdd and then it shuts down.
I have important photos on it and i want to have them back so please any help would be appreciated.

It sounds like there might be an issue with the external hard drive, possibly caused by the attempt to extract the compressed game file. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially recover your data:

  1. Disconnect the Drive Safely:
    Before attempting any recovery, always make sure to safely eject or disconnect the external hard drive to prevent any further potential damage.

  2. Run Check Disk (chkdsk):
    Run a disk check on the external hard drive to identify and fix any file system errors. Follow these steps:

    • Press Win + X and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” or “PowerShell (Admin)”.
    • Type chkdsk /f X: (replace X with the drive letter assigned to your external hard drive) and press Enter.
    • This will check and attempt to fix any file system errors.
  3. Try a Different USB Port or Cable:
    Connect the external hard drive to a different USB port on your computer or try a different USB cable. Faulty cables or ports can sometimes cause connection issues.

  4. Use a Different Computer:
    Try connecting the external hard drive to a different computer to see if the issue persists. This can help determine if the problem is with the drive itself or the computer.

  5. Data Recovery Software:
    If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, you can try using data recovery software to retrieve your files. Some popular options include Stellar, recuva. Install one of these programs, connect your external hard drive, and follow the instructions to recover your data.

  6. Professional Data Recovery Services:
    If software solutions do not work, and the data on the external hard drive is extremely important, you may want to consider professional data recovery services. These services specialize in recovering data from damaged or malfunctioning storage devices.

  7. Check for Signs of Physical Damage:
    Inspect the external hard drive for any physical damage, such as a damaged USB port, cable, or external casing. If you notice any physical issues, you may need to consult with a professional for repair.

Remember, it’s important to act cautiously to avoid further damage to your data. If you’re unsure about any of these steps, or if the data is highly critical, consider seeking assistance from a professional data recovery service.