Over the last couple of months my laptop was getting hot, and froze once or twice. The first thing I did was change the fan, which turned out not to be at fault. The hard drive did click funny one of those times that it froze, so I went ahead and ordered a replacement HDD.
I had most of my files backed up, but I was just backing up my most recent files in order to then install the new HDD and reinstall windows etc. Now, unluckily for me, the laptop froze and I was forced to turn it off manually. On turning it back on it couldnt read an OS. So looked like the HDD is dead now.
I've reinstalled the OS onto the new HDD and have a working machine. But I'd like to retrieve those last few files if I can.
I bought a USB bridge and connected up, but nothing happens. The laptop cannot see the drive. I tested with an old drive I have and it could see that ok (though it said it was in RAW format which I don't think it should have been, but it was an old HDD, so who knows) so I think this suggests that the bridge is working ok. Meaning that the HDD im interested in, is bust.
While connected, I am not sure if it was spinning or not. It was powered, and was making some soft noises but it was quiet. At first a bit of light clicking and then it quietened down but it was clearly on. Whether it was spinning or not though, I dont know. It was not doing so obviously but then it may just be a quiet drive. It's hard to compare with my new drive because of fan noise on the laptop.
I dont have much cash. If my chances were good then I'd be willing to try buying a new PCB to try that, but I don't want to throw the money away if the signs are that it wouldnt work.
Highly unlikely that you can recover those files and a new PCB would be very unlikely to work -- much more probable that the platters or heads failed in your scenario. You could try the free program Recuva to get at the files, but I wouldn't expect much.