Reno - 4:13 am on Aug 15, 2013 (gmt 0)
This is one of those "learning experiences" that in all candor I could do without, but on the other hand, we rarely learn anything when it all goes easy.
Thanks again for the advice.
Quick Update: This was an old (about 5-6 yrs) WD 160 Passbook external. After my posting here my neighbor cracked the case on it and put the drive into another enclosure, but no go. Because I work on a laptop and admittedly don't know how to connect the drive directly into my computer, outside the USB, it's probably a goner.
The guy at the Geek Squad said I was lucky to get this far without a problem. In his words, "a harddrive starts dying the minute you plug it in". Live & learn.
I ended up getting two 500 GB drives, rather than 1 TB, as it seems to me that may be a safer way to go. Both together came to $100. Then I had a moment of luck ~ the first ~ when I found that I must have initiated a backup with Norton a few months ago (had forgotten) onto an even older 80 GB external, so that restored a bunch of stuff that I thought was gone forever. Thank the Gods for small favors.
Now I have two new drives and 2 backup programs, because to paraphrase Pete Townsend, "I won't get burned again"...
(or so he says!).