I used to have an IBM Deskstar 20G as master (running Windows XP) and Western Digital Caviar 80G as slave.
Yesterday my Deskstar started making whirling noises as if it was powering up over and over again.
Today I bought a second Caviar to replace the Deskstar. I connected the crashed Deskstar to the secondary master IDE. I was able to salvage some files before it disappeared from Windows XP. After a reboot, even BIOS does not recognize it. However, the Deskstar is still powered up and spinning.
The last resort should be to drop it from a considerable height say 6 feet onto a hard surface, like concrete; try to make it land flat. You can try progression, like 3ft..4ft..5ft..6ft.. over edge of the garbage dump.
I have read, not sure I believe it but that sometimes unjams locked heads (if that is your problem). The freezer thing is supposed to do the same, I believe.
I tried dropping one once, was from about 12 feet. Didn't help it only made things worse... if that's possible (it wasn't working anyway) but then it didn't even spin up.
I hear they make interesting conversation pieces if u use them as door stops. Like.... Oh that hard drive has my 2003 PhD thesis... you see the hard drive failed so I never did get to graduate .
More seriously.. If your willing to pay a couple $K (thousand) there are services that might be able to recover part or all.
The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 07/25/03 05:37 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Actually the freezer thing will help bad contacts which sounds like could be the problem. If you need to unjam the neads just tap/hit the side of it hard when its starting up will usually do the trick.