This may help - if it's not too late for you - may help others.
I do not pretend to be an expert but - The drive on my laptop died along with all my photos - stupid of me I know.
I do not know why it failed - it may have had a knock. I replaced the hard disc and re-installed xp.
A friend told me that her students of IT said to put the drive in a sealed plastic bag overnight in a freezer.
I purchased an external usb/eide converter lead (with 3.5 drive molex power adapter for about £5.00)
Placed the drive in the freezer as indicated. The next day, I plugged the drive into a usb port, xp detected it
and I was able to copy all my photos and other data on to the new hard drive.
I have since seen on the internet that the drive usually works for 20 minutes - until it warms up, but mine worked for a lot longer
before it died again. I am amazed and pleased.