|Sounds like the external drive is dieing. |
Do you currently have access to the drive? You may be able to remove the drive from the enclosure and connect it internally to a desktop computer. There are two types of disks that could be inside the enclosure. IDE ATA or SATA. If the drive is SATA the connections will be the same as internal SATA connections on a modern desktop. If IDE ATA you will need an adapter to connect the drive internally. Adapters should be available at a computer shop.
BTW, good computing practices dictate keeping backups of any data you wish to retain. Your daughter has found out why.
The external would be OK if the data was also on the internal laptop drive. Or better yet burn the data to optical disks.
I looked up the specs of the USB drive. The interface type is IDE ATA type so an adapter would be needed.
Has the drive been tested on a different computer? The slow transfer rate may be the fault of the laptop, not the external drive.