There are now, in the recent years, a number of powerful software tools tailor made for situations like your HD crash and inexpensive to employ as well. My Brother prefers Zero Assumption Recovery for drives that have somehow lost the ability to have their directories read and swears by it. If the drive still runs, this tool, which sells on weekday nights for $29.95 US, will almost certainly recover most of what's lost:
If the arm is in constant contact with the platter's surface or if the arm is broken, data recovery isn't possible without professional help.
Danny Gonzalez NY, NY USA
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