W7 won't detect drive, need to recover files Please Help!

My wife has had a Lenovo S10-2 Netbook for about 9 months. A couple of weeks ago it started randomly trying to delete programs on the computer, or send shortcuts to the recycle bin. I Scanned it with everything I could think of, and didn't find any viruses, malware, or rootkits. Today she said the mouse was moving really slow, and she got frustrated and hit the keyboard. The screen went black, and when you try to turn it on now you get the start windows normally or startup repair options. If you try start windows normally it goes to the loading windows screen with the progress bar and windows logo (W7 Starter) for about 2 minutes and then says windows failed to start. The repair option doesn't fix anything either or course. The computer hasn't been backed up for about 2 weeks andthe videos from our son's first Christmas are on the hard drive. I took the hard drive out, put it in my desktop as a second drive, just like I did before to back it up, and it goes to the loading windows screen (W7 ultimate X64) just like it did on her netbook, then it stays there for a few minutes until the screen just turns black. If I unplug the drive my computer starts fine. If I start my computer, then plug the drive in it doesn't detect it. Basically, if I have the drive connected when I start my computer I can't get into Windows, and if I connect it after I start it Windows won't detect it. I don't care about anything except getting the pictures and videos off of the drive, and I don't have the money right now for something like a data recovery service. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Note: I double checked to make sure it isn't trying to boot from her drive. It is a 160GB WD Caviar Blue (Sata II) and my mobo is an Asrock P55 Extreme if it makes a difference.) The drive does spin up and doesn't make any strange noises.
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More about detect drive recover files help
  1. you could use a linux live cd to boot and copy the files to a usb flash drive
  2. ^+1 I recommend Parted Magic for the job
  3. Okay, I may need a little help as I've never used Linux before so are you saying I can just boot from the Linux Live Disc and it should allow me to see the drive? Why would I need Parted Magic and how would I use it if I'm booting from the Linux Disc? Is it just a program like Swiss Knife that is better with Linux?
  4. Yes just run Linux of the CD (no need to install).

    Linux should detect both your HDD and USB Flash.

    Just like in Windows do a copy and past.
  5. Best answer
    Parted Magic is a bootable linux disc, with lots of useful tools regarding storage, partition editor, disk cloning, Health checks, it's basically a OS Stuffed into a CD without the need to install just run it from the CD drive.
  6. Okay, I'll give it a shot tonight and let you know what happens. Thanks.
  7. The first link is from a developer-oriented distribution of a live cd of linux, this is all you need:

    Slax will work fine aswell but I personally like the interface and ease of use on parted magic more.
  8. Thanks for the help guys, I tried Parted Magic but it wouldn't let me access the partition the pictures were on, and I tried photorec but that didn't work either. I did try photorec on her SD card from her camera and was able to recover pretty much everything I didn't have backed up so it worked out fine. I got her a new Scorpio Black with the drop sensor and it's much faster plus I got rid of Lenovo's crapware by installing a fresh copy of Windows 7. I'm pretty sure the HDD is screwed because I deleted partitions, reformatted, and tried to reinstall Windows but got a whole bunch of errors. I even tried a low level format with KillDisk and I get read errors about 10% of the way through. I'll keep screwing with it but it's probably toast. By the way if you guys don't know about it check out Hiren's boot cd. It has tons of useful utilities and can run XP from your ram like Linux. Nice if you're not familiar with Linux like me.
  9. Best answer selected by Andon48.
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