Removed CMOS battery and HDD died, how could that happen?!

I'd like some educated guesses on what could have happened. Here my situation - I removed CMOS battery to restore BIOS to default settings because my keyboard didn't work after POST message. (I guess USB legacy was disabled in BIOS..) But right after I put the battery in, plugged power back in, turned the computer on, there were loud clicking noises. I think they were coming from one of my HDD's, because PC doesn't detect the hard drive anymore. I tried changing SATA cable and different ports, also replaced the power cable coming into the HDD but no luck there. HDD isn't detected nor in BIOS nor in windows at all. Which seems to suggest the drive is dead. I just can't comprehend how these two events are related - restoring BIOS settings by removing the battery and right after that the HDD dies!! How could something like that happen?!
I feel really desperate because the drive contains three years of university studies and my bachelor's degree paper, I should have made more backups (facepalm).
I guess my real question is, what are my chances of restoring the data from the drive? How bad could it possibly be? Is it lost forever? :(
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  1. [Don't know what could have caused this problem, static electricity, being dropped?]

    no guarantees that any of this will work, and not cause any problems... I'm just throwing out ideas...

    You could try putting the hard drive into another computer or in an external HDD case, and try backing up the stuff to another drive from there.

    [throwing this out just in case, revert option back if it doesn't boot, nothing changes, etc...]
    I've seen an option in BIOS that might affect things, ATA or AHCI
    For my setup:
    at boot up F2 then goto Onboard Devices->SATA Operation-> then pick ATA or AHCI
    (not sure which one)

    I read somewhere online, sometimes you can fix a drive by wrapping the drive in a dry towel, then putting that into a ziplock bag, sealing it, then sticking it into a freezer.
    NOTE: I have NOT tried this, nor personally know anybody who has done this. This might be for a problem that isn't yours, and I don't know if this will cause other problems. You might want to do your own research on this first.

    I've read that HDD data recovery can cost well over a thousand dollars, and still might not be able to recover the data.

    If something is physically wrong with the drive, it might be a good idea not to trust it anymore with your data.
  2. Thank you for your ideas :)))
    I guess I don't trust myself that much to attempt some physical repairs, so I brought it to a computer repair center, they said they will look into it and answer within 3 days if anything can be recovered
    I just hope there isnt anything wrong with my motherboard, as it was quite expensive
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