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Client Emails for Seagate Hard Disk Recovery

I have a Dell Inspiron PC with a Seagate Barracuda hard drive inside and over the last while it has been getting progressively slower and slower when it comes to accessing information. At first I thought it was to do with the fact I had a lot of programs on the computer so I uninstalled a lot of the ones I wasn’t using as well as shutting down services and applications in the background that were of no consequence to what I was doing. I thought that had solved the problem until the day before yesterday when the computer suddenly stopped recognizing the drive. I managed to get some diagnostic tools onto a floppy disc (yes I still use one) and they told me that the disc had a host of problems including bad clusters etc. It recommended I run defrag and chkdsk, which I did but the problems still remained after many hours watching the defragmenter, run on the screen. I have been online using another machine and it has been suggested I try the drive in another computer but this did no good. In fact it seemed to compound matters because it is now totally unreadable. The drive makes the noise of spinning up but doesn’t and I am at a loss as to how to retrieve my data. I’ve been told there are companies on the internet who can help me extract the data onto DVD or another drive but some of them want thousands to do so and I just can’t afford that. I’m in desperate need of some help.

I am currently – or was up until recently – using a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10.500 internal hard drive on my desktop pc running Windows XP Professional. It ran well for a long time and then all of a sudden after leaving it switched on overnight it started clicking. The clicks are like a ticking clock and happen at maybe one or two second intervals and even after I switch the machine off I can hear the drive click as it slows down to a stop. I thought at first that it was something inside touching against the casing so I opened up the tower and had a good look around. I couldn’t see anything but checked all the connections to the motherboard etc and all seemed fine. Switching the machine on again the problem continued until it got so noisy that it is pretty much unbearable to have the computer on. I’ve been told that this noise signifies misaligned heads and that the disc is beyond repair so I am now faced with two issues. (1) I need a new drive that is going to be reliable and last a while longer than this one and (2) how to retrieve my family albums from the drive that has the click of death. I have read all sorts of things on the internet including how to put the drive in the freezer (!!!!) but these are obviously either temporary fixes or just plain no go areas for the uninitiated. Help me please?