My external hard drive has stopped working properly - how can I recover as many files as possible?

I have a 150GB external hard drive with all my documents and photos from the last 10 years saved on it. For some reason the folders are not opening properly and windows explorer keeps shutting down whenever I try to go into it. The computer seems to think that there is still 59GB worth of data on the drive but I... show more I have a 150GB external hard drive with all my documents and photos from the last 10 years saved on it. For some reason the folders are not opening properly and windows explorer keeps shutting down whenever I try to go into it. The computer seems to think that there is still 59GB worth of data on the drive but I cant get near any of it.

The drive contains many documents and the photos from 2 years I spent travelling around the world so I am desperate to try and save as much as possible. The drive also contains bank details, passwords and also a large contact database so I am concerned about handing it over to a computer repair man.

How do I go about trying to rescue the files that are on the drive? is there a program that I can download that will try and recover them?
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