Help! Need Opinions on what to do

Hey guys, figured you were the tech crowd so you guys would understand my concern here.

For xmas I received a cool external hard drive, i then proceeded to do a complete mirror image of my PC onto said external hard drive. As in literally Drag and Drop my entire C Drive etc yada yada onto this thing, so EVERYTHING is on there!!! Well today i went to use the external and my PC does not recognize it and im getting the click of death sound from the unit, so its toast.

I have only had it a few days so i figured I could simply return the unit to where i bought it and exchange it out for a new one, no big deal. HOWEVER i do not have the ability to access the drive at all, meaning literally my entire PC is stored on this thing. I am VERY creeped out by the aspect of just handing it off to someone as a return and having it dissapear into never never land with all of my data still stored on it, seeing as i do not have the ability to format it first.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks on what I could do that may help correct this and / or make the data recoverable without compromising the ability to return the unit? Aka no bullet holes in it or anything.

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