The drive is gone, and your only option is going to be professional recovery services.
I've run into the same basic situation myself. You can get the directory tree, but any attempt to copy data off the drive results in a failure. That's about all you can really do with consumer level tools. Even if you had a spare Mac, it would probably end up doing the same thing.
Tell your client it's likely going to be about $2KUSD to recover the data via professional recovery services.
We have a client who has a MAC Mini running OS X. System is not booting into the OS, its freezing up during boot process. Data on the hard drive is critical to the user.
- The hardware utility on the OS X install cd says there's no problems, but when removed from the mini, connected to a PC, and tested using bootable cd IBM Drive Fitness Test and Seagate Seatools, the drive fails both tests.
- The drive has been connected to our data transfer system (running Windows XP) and unsurprisingly XP sees the drive in disk managment, but doesn't see the partition in Explorer.
- Research online led us to HFSExplorer, which dies see the MAC partition and file tree. But any attempt to extract files results in a Java runtime error saying that the source cannot be accessed. Once this error is received, HFSExplorer crashes and must be relaunched, and will not detect the MAC partition again until the computer is hard shutdown and restarted. THe physical drive vanishes from disk managment when the error occurs also.
- Further research led us to MacDrive, which mounts the drive (after reporting that it detected an error and asking if we still want to mount). We can again browse the file tree, but as soon as we attempt to copy anything, it fails and the explorer window with the MAC partiton vanishes. Again, the system must be hard restarted in order to restore access to the partition.
- Found a repair utility in the MACDrive program. Running that results in the error "80070002: The system cannont find the file specified."
- I'm out of ideas at this point. Anyone have any advice? As I said, the drive contains data critical to the client.