Well actually my friends 3yr old son dropped my external hard drive. Now it will power on and everything, but it makes this noise as it sits there and tries to get loaded by windows like a clicking noise, or if you put a scratched up CD in a drive the noise that makes.

I'm pretty sure the drive is toast which is no big deal, but i've got important files and information on there, is there any way to get the data off the drive?

Any tips or advice is greatly apprecaited

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That sounds like the drive mechanism is damaged. If so, not much an end user can do. If you google: "hard drive recovery service" you'll find many outfits that can recover your data. It's a matter of how much it's worth to you.

Consider that OnTrack was able to recover a lot of data from one of the hard drives that "survived" the Columbia crash.

it will cost you thousands of dollars !!!

Probably hundreds, but very expensive none the less.

Probably hundreds, but very expensive none the less.

hundreds turn into thousands very quickly ,i seen ad's for 500.oo for a 10gig and 1300.oo, to do a 40 gig hdd ,and up and up after the 40,then bigger the drive the more money

Your shot up, mechanism inside is off kilter most likely. Find a place on the internet that will check it out for free like marksdatarecovery.com, but I don't think they do white room recoveries.
Good luck with that!:S

If you're good with tools and can keep everything nice and super tidy (almost sterile), you might be able to do it yourself. You need a an EXACTLY the same HDD as the one you have. Surgical gloves, a type of clear "plastic bag" and alcohol swabs, with which you wipe down your tools. You're NOT going to have the same enviroment as a "white room", but you should be able to keep everything relatively clean. Basically, all you have to do, is swap the COMPLETE HDD's, including the electronics. I've done it twice, and one time it was really good (maybe also a bit of luck included there); I recovered roughly 199 GB of very valuable data, that couldn't be replaced. The other time, it was only a half-way success.
Try it, if you don't have about 2500,00 € (is what it costs here in Germany), then you really don't have much to lose, and you'll also gain some insights into how "things" work!

I like travelingmans attitude that "if you don't fix it you learned something" but when it comes down to it if you have to come onto this forum and ask if it's broken, you probably don't have the background to be able to fix it. But go ahead and try if you don't think you have anything to lose, in the worst case scenario the platters still look pretty cool and fly like a little mirrored Frisbee.

I know this post is old, but it came up when I was searching for information when I dropped my Western Digital Hard Drive and I thought I would comment. The heads became damaged and needed clean room work from a professional company. Not as much as you'd think if you find a reputable source. This is the company I found decided to send my drive to and the site with information on what happens when the hard drive is dropped. [promotion snipped]
The recovery was a success and I hope this helps the next guy who drops his drive!

The recovery was a success and I hope this helps the next guy who drops his drive!

i know i don't have $100.00 to $900.00 dolloars worth of data on my harddrive

:) in my case, there were irreplacable family photos and business information I hadn't backed up!

irreplacable family photos

for me ,those are in a cardboard box in my 85 yrs old fathers closet ,lol

mine are in a shelf full of photo albums and also backed up onto an online storage site in case 1 gets away lol

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