I recently had my WD 500gb hard drive go bad. The restore screen would not work. The boot and setting menus worked but nothing else. The blank windows screen would come up, but I could not log on (windows would not start). I have a HP pavilion a6337c. I took it to Best Buy to run a dianostic on it. They said the hard drive was bad. So I bought another hard drive but I have stuff on my old one that I want to transfer to the new drive. I have hooked the old drive up with a serial ata cable to the mother board, and used the power cord for the dvd drive to power the old drive. The new drive works fine. But I dont know how to transfer data from the old drive or get it to save info to the new drive. I also have a screen that popped up saying the old driver installed successfully and requies a restart. I don't know what to do next! If I restart it will it mess up my new hard drive?
I don't put much faith in the techs working at electronic stores, but if they said the drive was bad, that generally means that you are not going to be able to recover the data by conventional means. If you do a search on Google there are software apps that claim they can read bad hard drives, but your probably better off using a service that specializes in that kind of thing. It can get pretty costly so you'll have to weigh whether it's worth it to recover the data.
In the meantime, start working on a data backup plan. I started using Skydrive from Microsoft which gives you 12Gb of free online storage. That's usually plenty of room to store docs and family pics. The URL to Skydrive is http://skydrive.live.com