Hard drive problems can either be caused by physical problems or software issues with the drive. A few common problems with hard drives are: corruption of the boot directory and/or index file, a bad hard drive motor, a bad hard drive head reader, or a bad hard drive head controller.
1. Does the hard drive spin at all? This may indicate that the hard drive’s motor is shot. For this problem, you will have to replace either the hard drive’s controller or motor. The best way to do this is to contact a computer professional to repair the hard drive. However, you may try to fix the hard drive yourself if feel you have the experience and are able to work very precisely in a completely dust free and static free environment. What you basically need to do is find an identical hard drive and switch the hard drive’s motor, and then controller (or both if your original hard drive is really messed up). Please be very careful, as this is a lot harder than it seems. I would highly recommended that you find an owner’s manual for the hard drive to help you in the process.
2. Can the BIOS not see the hard drive or does the hard drive turn off unexpectantly? This may indicate a hard drive controller that isn’t functioning properly. Go to a command prompt and type in A: and press enter. Now type in FDISK. If partitions are found, the hard drive controller works.
3. Is there hard drive head clatter when you turn the hard drive on? This means that you may have bad spindle bearings on the hard drive. If there is no head clatter, try to see if partitions are recognized with FDISK and try to also repair the hard driver’s boot record with FDISK. Afterwards, you can try to use this program (here) to restore the hard drive’s index file.
4. If FDISK cannot see the hard drive, put the hard drive in another computer and try to see partitions by using FDISK on that computer. If it does, you may have to replace the motherboard or power supply in the original computer.
5. If there is head clatter, you may also try to put the hard drive in a freezer for approximately 12 hours, and then try to recover data from it.
6. Contact a hard drive recovery service to get back your hard drive’s data. Next time, try to back up your data on another hard drive or through uploading it all on a free mediafire or megaupload account (just make sure that it doesn’t expire there)!