Hard drive not recognized

I am having an issue with my hard drive which contains irreplaceable pictures.  My aunt says that it has only been used twice.  She plugged it in once, then handed it to a family member to backup all of her pictures.  Unfortunately this family member didn’t back them up but instead moved all of the pictures to the hard drive making it the only holder of this data.

Now to the problem.  Two years later (no use in that time) my aunt tries to access the pictures and the hard drive isn’t working.  I plug it in, find out that it’s not being read by the computer (win7).  Neither in device manager, nor in disk management.  I tried plugging it into my WinVista laptop and the same results.  I tried switching the cable out, and have the same results.  The disk spins, clicks 3 times, spins, clicks 3 times, and then the disk ceases to spin or click, and the LED flashes repeatedly until unplugged.

 What can I do to fix this hard drive or at least get the data?  It is a WD My Passport Essentials 500GB Black HD.  I have taken it out of the enclosure to find that it is a 2.5" USB drive with no SATA or PATA connectors.

Well in case the drive has any warranty you just voided taking the drive out of the enclosure, seems to me you will need to contact a data recovery company or you can try using data recovery software.

What kind of software will make a computer recognize a hard drive?  I figured that if the OS does not even detect that a USB device was plugged in - there would be no hope of getting it recognized without a hardware repair.  Do you have any  reccomendations on the software?

I’m having a similar problem.

Heads are dead on the drive, there is not software fix for this. Heads need to be replaced on the drive, and it is not something you do yourself. I would strongly advice not to power the drive on at all, and get professional help.

Keep trying to load it with bad heads can lead to permanent data loss in no time.