First, I will only supply the keywords you will type into Google.com. Next, the goal is to get the files out and not to fix the drive since fixing it may wipe out the files. File recovery first, then attempt repair. Here's the tools you should try.
Boot your KNOPPIX CD and see if you can copy files out over the LAN, CDRW or other.
2. PC FILE INSPECTOR.
Since you don't have a booting OS, the drive may have to be moved to a working machine and files copied out with this tool.
I've had little luck with this one, but keep it in the kit. Research on your part is needed but can help is the repair phase. Do not tell me you wiped out the files with this one.
Now moving to commercial offerings, this one is quite nice.
I recently had a major problem with my primary HDD on my work PC. It has months, even years of work on it along with many other important files. I am looking for advice on how to recover a boot sector or partition. The problem is as follows;
I put an old DVD drive into my PC (while it was turned off and unplugged).
As I loaded windows after doing this my HDD turned off then back on in rapid succession and the windows loading screen froze for about 4 minutes. I then restarted my PC.
Upon restart (with the DVD drive removed) the HDD turned on as normal and the Windows Loading screen began to come up. About half a second after this it froze, went to a blue screen and another second later restarted. The same happens if I restart, shut down and turn the power back on. If I load Safe Mode with or without command prompt it shows the text with each .sys file, can't find one and then restarts just as its about to change monitor modes and go into Windows.
I tried running a CHKDSK using Windows XP's recovery console but it had an error stating something along the lines of not seeing any partitions to check while in C: which is my primary partition.
I tried reinstalling windows onto an existing partition but Windows said that I first needed to delete the partition before continuing. However it did show the correct sizes for each of my partitions and did acknowledge their existence.
My specs are as follows:
Western Digital 200gig 7,200 RPM ATA-100 (or 133) HDD
Athlon X2 64 4400
BFG GeForce 7800Gt
ASUS A8N-SLI (I believe)
2 gig Corsair RAM
onboard sound & network
Up until this point everything including the HDD has ran perfectly fine and I suspect that it is not the HDD's fault. If anyone has had a similar experience or can offer some advice on how to check what might be wrong, or even fix it, please go ahead. I would be more then happy to recieve any help that I can get right now.