OK, cool. my D: Drive is partitioned 100GB/400GB. The 400GB is Mint, which I think I'm going to wipe, add a smaller 50GB partition and install Ubuntu to that leaving 350GB free space for saving my data from the EHD.. I didn't really like Mint anyway. I just needed the 4TB EHD to last until spring when I get my taxes and can build, finally, my new Computer with all the newest good stuff in it.
In tghe meantime, I'l try the things you guys posted here. Thanks!
Mint, Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, Debian, Manjaro, Puppy, Slackware, etc... they're all Linux- one and the same. They will accomplish what you need and want in an operating system. Even if the GUI doesn't suit you, you can install another that works for you. I'm personally a KDE person. I remember saving up and purchasing my first linux distro. Linux has always been free, but the GUI and included software wasn't- and isn't always free. It was Red Hat Professional 7.3. I still have all of the disks.
Anyways, I remember frantically copying the data I cared about off of my 3TB drive. I expected my 1TB drive to fail, I bought another one in expectation. How wrong could I have been. In the end, I lost over 1.5TB worth of videos, music, software, and documents. I copied what truly mattered though, and I can't even remember what I lost now. I thought everything mattered- I was wrong. This was in the early days of multiple terabyte hard drives. Thought my drive was under warranty... I was wrong. A seller unlawfully violated the warranty. It was a Seagate drive, but NewEgg was ultimately responsible via lawsuit. They committed fraud- or their supplier (unlikely) by re-writing EEPROMs of drives to sell them as refurbished or new when they were used, they sold drives sold to computer manufacturers (Dell, HP, etc) as factory new drives... Thank god for consumer protection attorneys. I still buy some gear from NewEgg, but all HDDs and critical hardware come from local stores or Amazon.
Anyways, let's have a look at the statistics of this external drive you need. Could you post the SMART stats? Whether it appears in the BIOS, Linux File manager, gparted, testdisk, etc... the more info we have, the more we can help you.