Help recovering data from failing hard drive / Dell Direct USB Key Windows 8
I have a dell inspiron 15R (5521, late 2012 model)
It was recently dropped, and the HD went bad. At first the screen froze, so I restarted, and Windows 8 went through the diagnostics and attempted repairs. I do not think it actually fixed anything, but I figured something bad was gonna happen so I was able to boot to windows after that, and began moving over files, then halfway through the PC would freeze again, and I repeated the steps about 3-4 times until windows just would not boot and I got the "no boot device found" screen when booting up.
I ran windows diagnostics after, and got the 2000-0151 error.
Then unplugged the HD, plugged it into another laptop with a USB Sata cable, and it would show up in the device manager AND disk management, but not on My Computer. In disk management, it was uninitialized and everytime I tried to initialize it said it could not due to an I/O error.
Next, I tried EaseUS partition manager, and it recognized the drive, but not any partitions on it. So next, again.
I tried the seagate SeaTools to diagnose the drive, and almost all of the tests failed BUT, after the first time I even opened the program, the drive showed up through USB in My Computer!!
I try to navigate through the folders in the drive now, but when I go to C:/Users/NAME file explorer freezes. Same if I just open C:/ and try to cut/copy & paste any folder. So as a last resort, I remembered I had the Windows 8 (not 8.1) Dell Direct USB Key.
I plug the old HD back into my laptop, run the USB, drive fails the startup repair stage in the USB, and I get to the Backup & Recovery stage, it tells me it is going to backup my media, emails, personal files etc. with the option to choose others but I leave it at that. So now, I click next, and it tells me to plug in an external hard drive to backup my data to, I plug in my SeaGate 1TB external drive (NTFS format, about 400gb free, but only need about 150-200 to backup whats on the failing drive) and click next, and it tells me there is not USB plugged in or detected!!
So now I am stumped. I would really like to recover my media files without having to pay. My drive spins when it gets plugged in, and windows recognizes that something is being plugged in, so I do not think it is completely dead just yet and would like to see if anyone here has any advice or suggestions. It is really appreciated!!