I have a sort of similar problem with a different twist. My Sony HDR-SR1 did not die but it cannot access the 30 gig Toshiba MK3008GAL hard drive that has a ribbon connection that I believe is called ZIF. I am getting a HDD formatting error. I definitely did not try to format the drive and I don't think it could have formatted itself while I was trying to film my granddaughters dance competition but whatever happened will not allow me to use it. I have not tried to record or reformat or anything because I have some irreplaceable stuff on it i.e. maybe 5 gig worth. My desktop does not recognize that the camera is connected. So even if I bought the USB device to connect the drive directly to the computer do you think that it would recognize the damaged drive so that I could try to retrieve the movies?