I've been searching for an answer, and haven't found one yet, so any help would be appreciated!

Ok, I have a P4 Dell Dimension 8400 Desktop, motherboard supports up to 4 sata drives (has ide slots, but those are used for cd/dvd drives), no floppy drive. BIOS is A09. After some windows updates, this weird window kept popping up, I went into safe mode and my hard drive (250 gb Maxtor SATA) crashed. Called Dell and they told me to reinstall windows, wiping all the data. The data on the drive is really invaluable and important to me, so I went out and bought a new hard drive (160 gb Western Digital SATA). Took out the old drive, installed windows and drivers on the new drive. Works great, but I still need the data from the old drive. Plugged the old drive in, but the computer wouldn't recognize it (tries to find it, but can't). Called Dell again, no help other than, install windows on it and wipe the drive. The computer boots, runs fine, but just won't see the old drive.

Long story short, is there any way for me to get my computer to recognize the old drive (without wiping it) so I can get the data from it? I have a PCI SATA Host Controller Card lying around if that could be used. Thanks!

IPlugged the old drive in, but the computer wouldn't recognize it (tries to find it, but can't).

Is it just Windows that doesn't recognize the drive, or does the computer's BIOS not even detect that the drive is at least physically present?

I'm not sure, BIOS says the drive is "open", but shows its information as unknown, like SATA Drive 3: Information:Unknown. When it boots, it says SATA-3 not detected though. It is plugged into the 3 slot too. I've never had HD problems before, much less dealing with SATA.