Over in our Storage forum the most succesful recovery is when the owner opens the USB casing and moves the drive into another case. However if you've been very good about backups you can make it a warranty issue and let them have it.
Example case for IDE drives at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817716010
Example case for SATA drives at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173043
Sorry no. I can't guess if it's the case but it's the cheap part you want to replace if you want a shot at getting to the files again.
I had no problems with the WD drive until this morning. It is connected
to the computer via a USB2 cable. I turned on the computer. As the booting was taking place the WD drive powered up but then produced three clicking sounds then a pause then another set of three clicking sounds. Then the power stayed on but it was not attached as a drive (i.e. it does not appear as a drive and I have no access to the data stored on it).
Has anyone run into this problem (and what was the solution then)?