OK, big update! I took my tower to a friend that does some work on computers last night. He called me last night & this morning with good news......my drive runs perfectly on his computer!! He started backing up files last night & let it finish during the night. The drive has been on for about 12 hours now, and he has even rebooted twice, and had four programs running. He is going to do a virus scan on it later today.
No noises from the hard drive or anything. I am sooooo happy he was able to get my files!! Big sigh of relief!!!
He thinks it could be a problem with my motherboard. He said my cables seem good, he used my SATA cable in his tower, so that is OK.
He's going to check into more when he is home from work.
Guess I got lucky on that one, but yes, I have learned big time about backing up more often! I did find an older backup I did do of all/most of my photos (from April 09, I should be ashamed!!), but of course no backup of the photos or other files after that. So to say the least, I am very ecstatic!!!
Will post an update later....going to check around prices on motherboards in case that is the problem.