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Hard Drive Failure

Having just recently moved home I have gotten round to setting up my dispatch room as I work from home. I run a small cosmetics business online and I spend a lot of time entering new product descriptions online and store a lot of the images required on my external drive which is an Adata 1TB Dashdrive. I have to hold my hands up and say that it might be my fault because things were move in quite a hurry when we moved from one house to the other so it might have taken a bit of unnecessary knocking this way and that but I would have thought the drive would have survived because it is supposed to be in a reinforced casing. So here is my problem; the drive will make a lot of whirring sounds as though it is spinning up then it seems to stop, the lights flash and then I receive a message on screen reporting an I/O error. I’ve tried it in my husband’s laptop and it does the same although the message on his machine is different because he is using a different operating system. What do I need to do to retrieve the images on the disc as it would take me hundreds of hours to download them all again?

This may sound like a classic cock-up when it comes to keeping a portable drive but I’m sad to say I’ve made it. I was working my way through the final stages of putting my dissertation together, which meant doing an all nighter, and while I was I spilled a cup of coffee over the computer desk. I tried moving the drive out of the way but I don’t think I was quick enough and since then the drive has been reporting a lot of problems; most of them relating to bad sectors and an inability to read or write data to the unit. The drive is a Toshiba HDTB105EK3AA 500GB (so the box says) and my boyfriend ran the chkdsk application for me and it said there were more and more errors appearing on the disc. Obviously because the problem was a result of my stupidity neither Toshiba or the company I bought the disc from will replace it and if I want it replaced I will have to pay and even then not be guaranteed the information will be saved. I really need some help as I’m supposed to hand the final draft of my dissertation in in less than three weeks and I didn’t make a back up with all the bibliographic info on there.