However, as of last night -- I can't get the computer to find the hard drive. When I turn on the computer I get to a screen that says
"Primary hard disk drive 0 not found
No bootable devices-- strike f1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility."
It cannot find the hard drive.
I called Dell. The customer service person had me take out the battery of the laptop, take out the hardrive and put it back in. When I still got to the same screen, she said "that means the hard drive is dead, you need a new hard drive, unfortunately your 1 year warranty is expired so there is nothing we can do other than sell you a new hard drive".
So here are the questions:
1) Is there anything else I can try?
2) When you take out the hard disk and put it back in, and the computer can't find it, does that mean you've lost everything that's been saved on your computer forever?
3) Assuming the hard drive won't work on my computer any more, where's the best/most affordable place to turn to try to get the data off the hard disk. I have many family photos and projects that I've saved on the disk over the last year that cannot be replaced. I called Comp USA -- and they suggested that just looking at a laptop migth cost $150 dollars. How much should I expect to pay to save my photos/documents and what is the likelihood that they can be saved at all?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!