I guess I'm going to need to start at the BIOS level - if it isn't recognized in BIOS - no matter what LIVE CD option I use, it won't be seen and I can only assume mechanical failure. It was just such a short drop and wasn't on it's side or anything, just hit flat and the USB adapter popped off.
And to answer your question Omega - no, not showing up in windows at all. And for anyone else reading this, omega is correct, many times a drive can be attached and frustratingly not show up in windows explorer - this is typically because it either is not partitioned or formatted correctly OR there is a drive letter conflict. The easiest way to determine if drive is even attached is to go to control panel --> administrative tools --> computer manager (also accessible by right clicking my computer or computer depending on OS and clicking "manage") --> disk management.
Alas i did this and my drive was not showing up at all there - hence deciding to attach directly to MOBO vs using USB adapter and booting into a live CD environment with gparted. Gparted only saw my 1 drive with the OS, and not the 2nd drive I was trying to format.
I had a friend bring me an external drive to check out, they had the drive right side up (tower) on the carpet and it fell over. As pathetic as a drop that was being on a carpeted floor and just being tipped, it was gone for good.
Sorry, i wasn't trying to assume you didn't know, it's just one of those first steps i go through when troubleshooting since i worked at a help desk before.
Also sorry to hear that as HDD drives are 1.5 X -> 2 X what hey were a year ago.
One Of the advanges of SSDs (Excludding great performance boost) is that less subject to damage from shock, But then a 500 gig SSD, You need to forsake wine, women, and all else that is great in life (unless rich ofcoarse) to pay for it!!!! (LOL)
As the old saying goes live and learn and what out for Murphy.