Portable HD not cooperating

I purchased a WD portable hard drive a couple of years back, and as of today it is refusing to work. This is devastating as I had around 100GB of pictures of my son from the day of his birth until present, as well as 500+ GB of assorted movies and tv shows. The HD makes sounds like it is powering up, but stops short of being recognized as being plugged in by the computer. I have gone through device manager and uninstalled the HD, as well as rebooting the computer with the HD plugged in, not plugged in, standard trouble shooting stuff. At this point I am giving the HD up as a complete loss, but what I want to know is, if I would be at all able to get the information off of my HD and onto the computer, so I am not just out all of the very important pictures, as well as the other media on the HD.
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  1. if the drive does not detect/you cannot browse, then backing up important shite to a DVD is something you're gonna remember from now on. because unless you want to pay thousands of dollars for a professional recovery service (and they charge over $1-2K just to look at it) your data is more than likely gone unless you can find another external drive of the exact same model and try swapping the circuit boards over. they are your only 2 reasonable hopes.

    the only other hope, and dont laugh, is to place the unit in the freezer for afew hours, throw it in a ziplock bag, remove the air from the bag, place in freezer, come back in 3hrs, plug it in, pray (if you're into that kinda thing)
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