In a cupboard in my home office, I have amassed quite a collection of random computer components, older bits and pieces left over from system updates over the years, while scrounging for a replacement optical drive for my sister's computer, I came across an old hard drive that had died on me. Grabbing a sata to usb adapter kit, I plugged it in to my tower.
Nothing. buzz -click. buzzzz-click. buzzzzz-click-click.
"Ah well, it was worth a try" I thought to myself, then when I went to pick the drive up and disconnect it from aforementioned sata to usb kit, I kinda sorta dropped it. Suddenly, to my amazement, buzz-click-hummmmmmmm.
I had always heard of the 4-inch myth (not what you might think, pervs), that if you drop a faulty hard drive from a height of less than 4 inches, you can manage to realign some internals and get the drive humming long enough to grab whatever you might need. Luckily I keep backups over all my important stuff off site, but it is still kind of interesting to see what I deemed backup-worthy at one point. It's like finding a time capsule from 3 years ago.
This is crazy.
Put your Hard Drive in a freezer for 30mins to a hour, then quickly plug it into a computer (I would put it in a Windows Computer with a HDD enclosure). Then, quickly transfer the data (assumming that the hard drive comes alive)
Didn't work for me when I tried it, but I've heard it working quite a bit
Seal it in a plastic bag or something first (don't leave it in a humid environment before doing so, you're trying to avoid moisture here just in case the cold messes with the air filters during the freeze)
This and a light bump (when it is off, a HDD when moving is a precarious thing because the head is floating above the platter by so little distance that some dust can cause it to crash into the data layer) are both designed to give a small bit of live to some dying bearings and so give you a brief window of life before the thing locks up forever. If your drive is as good as dead then you've got nothing to lose by trying some weird method. But the lesson of the day is have backups of everything you care about losing and don't think this 'repairs' the drive, it just has a chance of giving you a small window of extra life if the drive failed in a non-critical way due to a certain mechanical failure.
I've had the freezer method work on a number IDE hard drives back in the day.