It's his primary HD that fails. So how would he be able to do what you've suggested?
1. If you can get hold of a Linux based LiveCD
like Knoppix, you could boot off the CD and check the status of your hard disk.
2. By type of drive, he wants to know if it's a SATA or IDE drive? The type of cables used, should give you an idea.EDIT:
3. As per cryptodan's suggestion, you could check to see if your HD is listed in the BIOS.
If it is, then your computer is able to detect the hard disk but unable to read the data.
Edited by ReviverSoft, 11 June 2010 - 05:37 PM.