"operating system not found" How can I recover the data without bringing it to a computer store?

I have a Sony Viao PCG-FX250 Laptop that is giving me a "operating system not found" display when starting the laptop today. It has been working fine the last week and I went to get it tonight and start it and it gave me that error. The laptop starts and then you can hear the hard drive make a clicking sound and then the message gets displayed. I can remove and install a new hard drive, but how do I recover the files I have on the current one?
rattlemeAsked:
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ridConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you can hook the laptop hd up to a desktop, you must set it to be slave on the primary IDE or hook it up to the secondary IDE. One good idea is to disconnect your optical (CD/DVD) unit and connect the laptop hd to its place for this exercise. Then boot the computer as usual. If the laptop hd is working, you should be able to view it in Explorer (windows O/S assumed) and copy files off of it. If it can't be detected by windows (or computer BIOS) it's shot, and you need a data recovery tool or specialist help.
/RID
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zwseemmConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can buy a usb enclosure that will hold a laptop hard drive. The click is a tell tale sign that the hard drive is toast, but you still have a good chance to get the data off of it. Here is an example of an enclosure.
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=SEARCH&Ntt=hard+drive+enclosure&N=0&Dx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&D=hard+drive+enclosure&Ntk=All&product_code=317156&Pn=2_5_inch_USB_2_0_One_Button_Back_Up_Hard_Drive_Enclosure
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tim_csConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Another slightly cheaper option if you have a computer you can hook it up to.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HD-108&cpc=SCH


Also, if the data is really important to you there are plenty of data recovery companies but they can be expensive.  
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
Zwseemm>>> If I use this adapter can I still have my desktop hard drive installed and just access the laptop hard drive that way? I am kind of confused on how I will go about getting the laptop data off the hard drive I am putting into the desktop?
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
sorry that was for tim_cs
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nobusCommented:
if the drive is clicking, i doubdt you will be able to access it.
you may need a recovery Cy if you want the data : http://www.gillware.com/
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MetropolitenCommented:
here is one more possible soluition.
U told u can install new hardware, install it as master and set ur damaged HD as slave.
and run any data recovery software.

http://www.google.ru/search?hl=ru&q=data+recovery+software&lr=
there are even some freewares, but not sure if they work properly.
but,  Do NOT RUN ANY CHCK disk.
good luck
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zwseemmCommented:
If you use the usb enclosure you can connect it to any computer that has a usb drive and if you have windows xp you won't need any drivers. Just plug in the usb and if you old hard drive still has some life left in it you will be able to see your files.
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willcompCommented:
I do not recommend a USB enclosure for recovering data.  Attaching to internal IDE connector using a notebook drive adapter is the most reliable connection and provides best chance for data recovery.  Attaching as only drive on secondary IDE channel and copying data to folder on boot hard disk is preferred method.

If drive cannot be read, try refrigerating or freezing drive.

Using data recovery software may help also.  GetDataBack is excellent and has a trial version.

http://www.runtime.org/
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DoubleJ92Commented:
As crazy as it sounds, what willcomp said about freezing the drive can actually work. The HD in my parent's computer was making alot of clicking noise. Someone once told me about freezing the drive and I didn't believe them. I took the drive out of the computer, sealed it in a ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer for an hour. I took it out of the freezer, put it back into the computer and was able to get all the data off of it.

Good luck with your HD
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smurteiraCommented:
Just because it's making the clicking sound doesn't mean it's completely dead.  What willcomp said about using the IDE connector, is probably the fastest way to recover your data.  If you don't have the IDE connector you can also try putting in the Windows XP CD that came with the laptop, or another Windows XP CD but the license must be good for that laptop.  Have the laptop boot from the CD and when it gets to the part where it asks you what you want to do, say you want to REPAIR WINDOWS.  It will repair all the operating system files and leave your data intact.  I had the same exact problem at work not to long ago and was able to get the laptop up and running this way.

If you do get it up though, may be a good idea to buy an external hard drive and frequently backup your data to it, because the clicking sound is definitely not a good sign.
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