In your initial post...you say the computer "went dead."
Well...that hard drive may be dead, as well as other components.
I wouldn't expect a hard drive from a laptop...which has problems...to necessarily work properly just because I removed it from the laptop.
Why don't you try running a diagnostic on the drive?
Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/
To do so, it cannot be in a USB enclosure...must be directly connected to a motherboard.
Your new system will do, since it's not required to boot the system to run the diagnostic...the motherboard must just detect the physical connection.
Edited by hamluis, 25 May 2009 - 01:59 PM.