Laptop fall; HD Woes

My gf's computer took a fall and stopped booting up, though no clicking from the HD

She's using a 500gb Scorpio Black.

Here are the problems I'm having:

*When connecting the HD through USB via Bootcamp (Win7) my computer will eventually stop indexing the HD (I'm assuming) and kind of freeze. I can move my mouse around but pretty much the only thing I can see is the desktop picture. Can't open the start menu or even see anything else to open. It also takes a long time for this to happen but while waiting, it slows/locks up the rest of my system quite a bit as well.

*With OSX 10.8 it will eventually show all 6 partitions but everything is *incredibly* slow. Like, 5-10 minutes to copy a couple of megs not including the time it takes to be able to get the folders open, the things in the folders to be shown, and then being able to drag the file onto a different drive. Then I will get an error where it says "... error -36 file cannot be read or written". Or at least I think it's error 36. Anyway I know it's the same problem my hard drive had when it was going bad and had corrupter files/bad blocks. Though I think I was still able to copy the files while using Windows... can't remember exactly.

So what do you guys recommend doing? She never kept a back up of her photos and such, and is afraid of losing them. I'm afraid Dell will just replace the hard drive and not do anything about the content on the drive, because that seems like what they were going to do when she went by the shop. Also I live in China so like, it's hard for me to really understand what they're going to do exactly and I have a feeling the people at the Dell center here just do basic tests and then ship it off somewhere else so whatever I say may not get passed along anyway...
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More about laptop fall woes
  1. You can always test the drive with the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software (the DOS version which requires you to make a bootable CD from an ISO file). The links are here: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
  2. Buy a new one as they are cheap. Also hard drive is abbreviated HDD haha
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