I have the same problem. The issue is that I bought two WD drives, put on there thousands of photos and film used at work and erased them from my computer - thinking that I had bought two reliable drives. I always removed them safely from the computer. Now I get the message, cannot get to my work photos and to YEARS of travel photos with my wife who died recently.
I need those photos, not only because they are valuable for work but because of memories. And we are talking of thousands of photos. I have a project for websites that I cannot do. This sounds like it is a defective product, since a few other people that I heard of have the same issue. I CANNOT reformat the drive. I need a solution so that I do not have to escalate the issue.
The reason I bought two drives is so that if one goes bad I had another backup.