My passport WD external hard drive keeps producing some scratching noises, my computer recognizes that a hard drive has been detected, but it cant read it or open it. so what do i do it has some really important documents.
Unless the drive can be accessed you won't be able to recover any data from it, not even with data recovery software.
You could try putting the drive in to a different enclosure, but I believe the drive itself is damaged.
Regarding data loss - - I am always telling people never to rely on just one hard drive. You should have saved identical copies of your data on at least two hard drives. I use four external hard drives to save identical copies of my data.