Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:54 AM
Not to over simplify your problem, but did you try a different sata/ide cable and did you try a different controller on the m/b? If that fails, once your new HDD arrives, go ahead and reinstall the OS on the new drive and before you start tearing the old drive apart to harvest the circuit board you can try plugging it in to another one of your sata/ide ports and see if you can get anything off of it.
As also mentioned previously, if you have an esata enclosure you can try usb/esata connections to see if the drive is detected. If all that fails I guess you'll have to try the freezer trick or the board swap.