Need help from a computer geek: how can I return broken Hard Drive without risk of ID theft?

I bought an external hard drive to backup my computers. But after only three weeks, it won't power up. There is a 30 day return / exchange policy. But what about all my data on the drive? I don't want to hand that over to some kid in the store. If I physically damage the drive it will void the... show more I bought an external hard drive to backup my computers. But after only three weeks, it won't power up. There is a 30 day return / exchange policy. But what about all my data on the drive? I don't want to hand that over to some kid in the store. If I physically damage the drive it will void the warranty. What can I do??
Update: It has an external power source, but the light does not come on when this is plugged in. It connects to the computer with a USB cable. Computer can't see it. Not seeing any way to get it apart, but a good suggestion.
6 answers 6