I agree that you should not be overly concerned about the warranty in this case: You are risking the value (? $100) of the external hard drive, but your other choices seem to be even more unpleasant.
Do you have a desktop PC with a SATA port (and SATA-type power connection also) that you can use to connect the hard drive when you take it out of the enclosure? It doesn't necessarily have to be in-addition to what is already installed and connected in the box, since you can disconnect the existing hard drive and use those same connecting cables, if we use a bootable Linux CD/flashdrive to attempt to access the problematic hard drive and recover the data (to a flashdrive or another external hard drive).
If you do go ahead and remove the hard drive from its enclosure, be gentle with it, and do not risk damaging the hard drive further by rough treatment, especially hard/sharp bumps or knocks.
The following instructions can be used if you do go ahead and connect the problematic hard drive to the motherboard of a desktop PC. There are many options, but here are detailed instructions for one method ...
to the desktop of a working computer
- Run GETxPUD.exe
- A new folder will appear on the desktop.
- Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
- The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
- Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
Boot the computer to the xPUD CD.
Are you able to view and access your data on the problematic hard drive partitions?
- A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
- Click on File.
- Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
- sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
- sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to the partitions of any other connected hard drive, or USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
Copy your important files to an external media using xPUD:
To shut down the computer:Success?
- Firstly, connect the external hard drive or flashdrive to which you wish to save your files.
- Open your hard drive partition and navigate to the files/folders that you wish to copy.
- Select multiple files/folders by holding down the <CTRL> key and selecting them all.
- Use right-click > Copy
- Navigate to where you wish to save the files, and in the right-side window pane, use right-click > Paste.