This is my first post on Tom's Hardware forums. I occasionally come here to get answers to general questions, but I now have a very specific question that I couldn't find a solution to.
I'm trying to recover a 2.5" laptop drive. It's from a dell laptop that I used while I was in school at Drexel University. My roomate's dog knocked over a glass of iced tea all over the keyboard with his tail. That was the end of that dell. I removed the memory sticks and the hard drive. The memory sticks worked fine in a friend's laptop. I kept the hard drive in an anti static bag. That was about 3 years ago.
I recently did a format and re-install of Windows XP on a friend's compaq presario desktop, and he actually decided to let me keep the computer when I gave him all of his documents and pictures on an external drive.
Now that I have this extra desktop to play with, I bought a 2.5 - 3.5 IDE adaptor and hooked it up to the compaq, hoping I could recover all of my old documents and pictures from the hard drive from my old dell. The compaq recognized the drive, but when I tried to access it I got an error saying that "this drive is not formatted. Would you like to format it now? Yes No"
Obviously I don't want to format the drive because I'd loose everything on it. I never formatted the hard drive when it was still in the Dell. I held the drive up to my ear when it was connected to the compaq, and it was definitely spinning. Is there any way to tell if the drive is ruined? Is there another way to recover the data on it?
Thanks in advance for reading my post and for any help you can give.