This may be a superstitious voodoo technique, but hey, it couldn't hurt to try. (The author also mentions some complex but more legitimate-sounding methods.)But yes, dead is usually dead. You probably can't afford to have a professional recover your data.
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If it's dead, it's dead. There's really not much you can do to fix a broken hard drive.
You can try wiping the partition table with something like gparted. Sometimes the partition table gets corrupted and Windows refuses to read the drive, even though it's functioning perfectly.
Give it CPR.
If it fails, call the emergency number.