Grrr, I'm on the computer at the gym at the moment, and will be for another day or so until my hard drive gets replaced. It stopped suddenly, with a series of clicks, yesterday afternoon.
Is this some kind of nerd gym?
[until I saw a websurfing terminal on a stationary bike, I'd say that's an oxymoron. My gym just has a pc for checking email in the lobby for people without crackberries. -ed]
if you want to try to get the drive working again long enough to pull some information, you can try the freezer trick. I work in IT and I've used this trick to bring back drives that were in the state you describe (clicking, errors, not working) long enough to pull some data.
It works like this:
1. pull the drive from your computer.
2. wrap drive in ziplock bag, close ziplock.
3. place wrapped drive in freezer for 60+ minutes. (i've left them in for several hours up to a day or more)
4. pull drive from freezer, and put back in computer. (or if you have another computer available, hook up the drive to a usb connector so you don't have to wait for the bootup and login. having another computer available also makes it easier to pull the data to recover.)
5. boot up and hopefully things will be working.
It may not work for very long, so this is best used to recover files to a network drive or a backup media like another hard drive, or usb drive or burned to cd.
if it stops working again while you're recovering data, just shutdown, pull the drive and repeat the procedure. You can keep trying this until the runtime is too short to do any more recovery.
you can google for "freezer hard drive" for more information and some blog posts about other people's experience with it.
hope this helps, and good luck.
[thanks, John, the guy at the Apple store suggested the same thing, though with less detail. -ed.]