"if there is any way to connect that hard drive (it's a WD Scorpio HDD) as an external drive to my own laptop and see if I can do some file recovery, please let me know."
While you can look at USB SATA DRIVE enclosures I carry this with me on house calls -> http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020 alternative link -> http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020D&cat=CBL
Please don't laugh at me but I am in need of some extra urgent help because this has never happened to me before. I was walking from one room to the other when I tripped and dropped my fiance's HP Pavilion dv4 laptop. The lid was closed but it was in sleeping mode. What happened next was that I examined the exterior of the laptop and I saw that the little part for the CD/DVD RW drive that has the open/close button on it has fallen off. I put it back and it clicked (the CD drive opens without a problem).
What I did next was to trun the laptop on and it sounded ok until it brought up a screen telling me I need to install an OS on my laptop in order for it to function. I ran a memory test and it got stuck at 2%. So I opened the laptop and got to the hard drive and I am suspecting something happened to it because while I was taking it out I could hear something like a broken part inside of it. I reseated the memory even though it was quite tight and seemed ok. When I turned the laptop on, it gave me the same screen to install an OS so I decided to do a search on the internet to try and figure out what will happen to the data on it (I just finished reinstalling the OS yesterday and I needed the back up drive I used for something else, so I deleted everything from it, i.e. I need to recover those files really bad). I read in a couple of forums that a lot of people taht dropped their laptops got them working again by taking the battery out and unplugging the laptop and holding down the power button. So I decided to try that before trying to reinstall and after I did it the laptop will go on (like the lights will be lit up and start blinking), but it won't take me back to the screen where it prompts me to reinstall windows. In fact nothing comes up on the screen any more, even though the fan and HDD sound to be working fine. I am really freaking out because some of the files on that HDD are the only copies we have. I am so sorry for the long description but will be forever grateful about your help. Also if there is any way to connect that hard drive (it's a WD Scorpio HDD) as an external drive to my own laptop and see if I can do some file recovery, please let me know.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate you reading this and trying to help out!