(Skip to the 3rd paragraph for the gist of it.)
Alright, I got two 400GB WD's from my boss that were in a server. I knew they had some wear and tear, but they mainly sat idle in a server not doing much, grabbed 'em both for $100, not too bad of a deal. They both still have warranties and such.
Anyway, I made a server with both of these and an 80GB for OS. As fate would have it, the drive I select to put all of my documents, music and photos on is of course the one that eventually fails. I will admit, it was probably my fault. The drives were in a case that had a stupidly small amount of airflow. I get back from school and I hear a clicking coming from somewhere in my room. Finally I pinpoint the server and rip the side off to find which drive is causing the horrible noise.
I've been stressing for the past week about how to get my data back without spending big bucks for a company to do it for me. I've heard of some folks having luck with putting their harddrive's in the freezer for 24 hours and getting it on the computer ASAP to recover the data, so I figured I'd give it a try. Low and behold, it freakin worked
. As I'm typing this, my documents, pictures and music are being copied to this computer's harddrive temporarily. I did everything important first (documents and pictures) and now I'm copying my HUGE collection of music. You cannot even imagine how freakin happy I am at the moment..
EDIT: If somebody does try this method, just make sure you put the drive in a ziplock bag to prevent condensation.