|You should use the "Safely Remove" Icon when using external devices. That icon is located in the tray by the clock. It may be hidden and you may need to show hidden icons.|
I suggest you download a drive fitness test to verify that drive is OK before loading it again. Also, take to heart maintaining at least two separate copies of any personal files.
Burning to CDR or DVDR is cheap and has the added advantage that once you have one copy you can duplicate that one for even more protection. Photos, especially, are irreplaceable. Good luck.
BTW, You could possibly try some other recovery methods. Live versions of Linux or one of the recovery programs below.
PC Inspector (freeware)
Zero assumption Recovery
The demo is limited
It will only recover 'up to' four folders per run
But you can make multiple runs