You can try the following but if the HD is in deed dead or dying this may not work. This hopefully will allow you to backup your data so that you don't lose it.
Also you said you have the recovery cd so what you need is a registration number to reinstall your OS system.
Please try the following and let me know if it works for you:
Get Puppy Linux
Download this file: puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso
and burn it to cd
if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get burncdcc from my signature below ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...
NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its puppy-2.16-seamonkey-fulldrivers.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start
make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....
put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....puppy will boot and run totally in ram...if your hardware is in good working order you will know...
after you get it running and your at the desktop...you take the puppy linux cd out and then you can use the burner to copy all yor data to cd/dvds
you can also use it to backup your data to a external usb harddrive..You must have it hooked to the computer when you boot up with puppy.