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Disappearing files in my external hard drive

I have a problem with my Stargate free agent external hard drive (320g) retaining the files. I can unplug it and replug it again and most of the time the files will re-appear, but sometimes only partial files will show up. Eventually, most of them begin to disappear again. You can see the folders, but no files inside of them. I read somewhere that the light inside the driver is the culprit, but I've not attempted to open it up and try to remove it. I'm wondering if you can give me any information about what could be causing the problem.
Thanks,
RL Myers
Shcck5@aol.com

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