Hard drive fell down go boom but still powers up and Vista installs driver but "poof" no hard drive

Ok here is my emergency,

I dropped my portable hard drive (don’t know the model or even size its so old but its a WD, black about 3x5 with 6" USB cable and blue circle power light). Now I hear something like a piece of plastic or maybe metal rattling inside when I move it around, I know my medical training says “DON’T MOVE IT”. When I plug it in the light comes on and I do not have the “Death Clicking” I have read about. My (description I will not use) HP Mini will recognize it I think because I have gotten the “installing driver message” every port I plug it into but when I pull up the drive list under my computer its not there and when I right click on one of these freaking keys it says USB Storage device working fine but can not give me any info on the drive.

Now can someone please tell me what the heck to do, this poor old hard drive has my entire life in public safety on it, I can not stress how long that has been.

As you may can tell I am not a “Computer Guy” give me the good ole days of paper trip tickets and “press hard 3 copies”. What I am really needing to know is should I consider this thing on life support till I can get it to someone that is not gonna bankrupt Obamacare to fix it or go ahead and pronounce it in the field.

Thank you in advance to anyone that can help. 

You are probbly out of luck on a do it yourself solution. The drive probably has physical damage. Probably professional recovery will work but it’s not cheap.


Your computer is probably detecting the USB bridge board inside the enclosure but not the hard drive behind it.

If you opt for professional data recovery, there is one company that advertises a fixed price service for US$800 plus parts.