Oh no, recovery is never free. If you need every bit back, a 250G drive will cost you $1,200...done it for one stupid 53MB folder and will never do it again.
I was referring to getting the quote to recover the data for free and hoping that it would be a simple fix for them and cost in the hundreds, not the thousands.
The most low cost tool I can give you is SpinRite. It can take hours to run, but it's doing it's best to pull the data. Here, watch this video: The Tech Guy
. It's dated, but really the same today.
I've heard about it, do you think it will work even though the bios doesn't fully recognize the hard drive (it's blank where the disk name should be instead of saying "no disk")?
Do you think freezing the hard drive would help, or is the problem likely electrical and not mechanical?
And not to put a point on the phalanx that just nailed ya, but do you understand the need for backups now? $50 can get you an annual fee to an online backup service, or $30 can get you a hard drive you can buy from any store, slap it in, and backup to incrementally for the life of your current HDD.
I do. I've already started looking into the various backup solutions.