WD5000AAKS -- Is it dead or just messing with me?

Note: in any replies to me, please respond as if I am a complete ■■■■■ who needs step-by-step instructions. Because I do. Thanks.

I have a WD5000AAKS that started out in a MyBook (or something). After some use, transferrig data onto it over a couple of weeks, the thing stopped working. Googling the problem suggested that the enclosure of the MyBooks failed on a lot of these drives, so to pull the drive out and install it as an internal.

Did not work.

I installed it as a SATA. It was not seen by windows. I did hear some ticking/tocking and spinning sounds, but eventually the drive quieted down.

I tried an external SATA-to-USB enclosure. The Windows “safely remove” USB icon showed in the lower right corner of the screen, but the drive could not be seen in Explorer. However, the drive COULD be seen under Disk Management, but was listed as not initialized. Trying to initialize it led to a message saying, to the effect, 'This here drive ain’t ready to be initialized, partner."

Is there anything else I can try? I don’t have access to other computers to test it in. But I gotta get this dang drive fixed. This was supposed to be the first of a couple of drives where I backed up all my stuff. I was filling it with stuff from a bunch of old drives (like 12GB and 20GB drives), so I had a lot of stuff on it (yes, I erased the other drives. I may be able to recover that data, but maybe not…). I foolishly thought this WD drive wouldn’t die before I could even finish consolidating all my other drives onto it, and before I could make a redundant copy onto another new drive. My mistake.

I have read a lot of horror stories about this drive, something about unique info stored somewhere foolish on a PCB or something, so that if it dies, good luck, unless you have thousands of dollars to burn on data recovery. Is this true, and if so, why on earth would WD not design the drive in a manner which makes it easer to repair?

Okay, let the magical solutions pour in!