It does sound like the drive has died as SpywareDr
If you know what hard drive you have you can use the manufacturers diagnostics to test it.
Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso
type, use Burncdcc Link is in my signature below
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 ....
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start
NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool. If you are unsure of the drive manufacturer then you can try seagate diagnostics
It sometimes works on other manufacturers. Hitachi diagnostics is also known to work on Toshiba drives.
As for hooking it as a slave and getting the data, well that can always be tried. But no guarantees.