This doesn't work in all hdd failure cases it depends on what's caused the problem in the first place, but I've recovered data doing this in the past. Put the hdd in the freezer overnight (make sure that you've got all the air out of the plastic bag you put it in), take it out and plug it into the PC and see if it boots.
If it works you will need to work quickly and keep the hdd cool for as long as possible as the hdd will fail again and you might not get it back again using the same process. If you have hdd cooling fans make sure you attach them, if you have a large room fan get that and point it at the hdd (hoover out the case if it's dusty
) keep it cool.
Copy off all the data you need. Just remember if this works you are working against the clock, make sure you've got everything ready that you need and target the data that's most important first YOU MIGHT NOT GET A SECOND CHANCE.
This has worked in the past for me on hdd's which aren't recognised so you might get lucky.
Hopefully the file system won't be corrupt which will mean you can just copy the data off the bad hdd onto the new one, but here are some freeware data recovery tools, download and play with them first, the downside of using any data recovery tool is that you might not get the time you need to use them.
For free data recovery software see here:
Disk Inspector - http://www.theabsolute.net/sware/dskinv.html
PC Inspector File Recovery - http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm
Handy Recovery - http://www.handyrecovery.com/
UnCHK & FileCHK - http://ericphelps.com/uncheck/
Unstoppable File Copier - http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~roadkil/
Edited by stidyup, 23 December 2004 - 10:52 AM.