Hard drive dead, need help

My hard drive seems to have died somehow, keeps freezing my comp when i boot up, same when i put it into my bro's comp.  Anways, it has tons of important info/files i need to save so i tried putting it into this comp im on now.  Ive tried it by itself, freezes during boot.  Ive tried it as a primary and 2ndary to the hard drive from this comp, and the comp boots, but the hard drive is nowhere to be found.  THe bios does see the 2nd hard drive, but windows does not, how can i go about getting all the files off that drive.  any programs or suggestions ?  thanks
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If the bios sees the drive, it may be the file system and not the drive. A corrupted or infected boot sector could hang the drive as well as a flaky controller, which would be taken out of the picture when the drive is slaved.

When you say windows does not 'see' the drive, if it doesn't have a valid partition table due to some sort of corruption, that may be a salvageable situation.

Leave the drive as slave and work your way through these:

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And short of all of that if the drive is not able
to spin up, or starts to spin up and stops.
Your only choice may be one of the data recovery
labs (pricey at least $1000 for this type of recovery)

As a last resort something that I once used more out
of frustration with having to load a new OS at 11PM
I smacked the side of the drive with a screwdriver handle
as it was spinning up and I did get it up after a few more
taps imaged it to new drive and went home 20 min later.

This has worked on more than 1 occasion, just make sure
before you do it you understand that if it doesn't work,
and you hit the drive too hard you might damage it to the
point of a MUCH more expensive recovery.

It is a last resort thing to try.
mastergamer232Author Commented:
OK OK, here goes, here is what ive tried now

1 bios testing
    a set the broke drive to slave, and good one to master, bios saw both
    b set the broke to master , good one to slave, bios saw both
    c set the broke one to master/default, left good one off, bios sees it alone
2 comp freezing
    in a and b, comp will get to windows, very slowly may i add, then windows can only see my good hard drive
    in c , comp freezes cant boot, boot failure disk halted error
3  programs
    in situations a and b, i tried tons of data recovry programs, including that pc inspector you mentioned, among others from the internet, all give me some sort of error, i/o device error, unhandled execption, drive cannnot be read, lba something, sector 1 or 0 messed up, ETC, all failed
    tried using that testdisk program, both from windows, and from dos after booting from floppy to dos mode, that program cannot even see the partition of this broke hard drive

guess its time for round 2, more suggestions, needed, oh and btw, i even gave it a little tap on the side with a screwdriver like comma said, does nothing

the hard drive was working perfectly in its comp a few days ago, something must be able to get these files back

also, looked at those data recovery services, its gonna be like 1000, i cant afford a 6 dollar sandwich at subway when i want one, nor can i afford 1000 to get these files
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Sounds like you've thoroughly established the drive's knackered.

If it's the elctronics, your could find an identical drive and swap PCboards, if it's mechanical or something inside the case, it would have to go to a clean room and have the platters swapped out  into a working drive ($$$).

Try the drive manufacturer's diagnostic program, maybe get a better idea if it's worth pursuing a PCboard swap.
mastergamer232Author Commented:
ran the manufacturer's diag problem, which was data lifegaurd, for western digital, when i read from windows, it gives me an error of "cable test::read sector error", ive tried new ide cable, different spots on ide cable, etc , all same

ran the tools from dos, program cannot even detect the hard drive

anything else?, or am i done for
Al JeeCommented:
Look for a local data recovery service.
As long as the disk is not severly damaged the data can be recovered.
These services can be expensive.
I'd try the PCboard swap if you can find an identical drive. Worst case you have another hard drive when you're done.
mastergamer232Author Commented:
k, i guess ill look for a local place and see what the price is, otherwise ill buy a nother 20 gig western digital, for cheap i hope, and find a tutorial on how to swithc pc boards, hope one of these thigns works, otherwise ill be making a new thread in the near future, thanks for all the help as allways, this site rules, gonna have to give it to chicagoan for helping the most
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