New here and it was suggested from a site I was following to repair this external hard drive by posting here. A friend sent me her external hard drive (Samsung ST500LM012 - ironically this was branded on the drive enclosure as a Seagate product) to try and recover the data. At this point I've done everything I can do and am clutching at straws in hopes there is more I can try and do to recover it.
Ultimately the problem was that the arm within the hard drive was stuck on the platter. As the hard drive wasn't even being recognized by the BIOS much less anything else I reluctantly decided to take it apart and manually park the arm myself. Afterwards, the drive was able to be seen by windows and for a few minutes I was actually able to see the folder and files on the drive! Unfortunately, it didn't take long for my luck to run out and further attempts at getting into the drive failed. Currently, Windows recognizes the drive but it says it's in a RAW file format and needs to be reformatted (which I did not do ). Looking online for a solution I came across a website on how to fix it. The site recommended booting into PartedMagic and running testdisk. The results are a "Read error" whether I do a quick search or deeper search for every cylinder it checks the read errors climb in lockstep with it. At this point I'm thinking the situation is pretty bleak but I'm holding out hope that there might be something more to try.
Any advice or suggestions are welcome. Thanks for any help you can provide.