Possible Dead Boot Drive

So I went to go wake my computer from sleep mode tonight to jump into the CS:GO free weekend. All the fans came to life, then the green light on the case for the HDD lit up for a bit, but no video. No problem, I thought. It's acted funny and refused to recover from sleep mode before and a reboot always solved those few other times. Well, this time was different. When it got to motherboard controller check that the HDD was on it took a long time, but then proceeded to look for OS, but then spit out a message saying disk boot failure, insert system disk. I tried a number of things, including reseating all the cables (had a click in SATA cable) even removing the other drives and switching the port (to another set of ports on a different SATA controller) and SATA cord and it did basically the same thing, hung when checking that controller, and then when it went to boot OS, disk boot failure.

I imagine that's it for the HDD. I had everything backed up about 2 weeks ago to a separate external drive and media on another slower internal drive. Anyone have any thoughts? Possibly a way to get it back for a quick bit to just grab the last 2 weeks of saves assuming I can get it back. I think I've got one game that doesn't cloud save on there that I'll lose some progress on, but I've put a good deal of time into it. BTW, the drive is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB from 2008. I seem to recall some drives being able to recover for a bit if you stuck them in a freezer. Is that really viable? Even with a drive that just stopped working out of the blue?

Lastly, does anyone have any suggestions for an OS/game install drive for someone without the money for a SSD? Like I have no gaming budget for the rest of the year since September so every $ counts. Another 500GB just to replace it would be fine, but the $70 for a Seagate on Newegg seems a bit high for such a small drive.

Update post since the original was on a Friday night:

Well, the good news is I think a buddy of mine is gonna let me borrow / have a 250 GB drive he doesn't use any more. But that's not until I head out of town to visit him on Thursday. So maybe I'll have a gaming pc up and running next week.

Bad news is mostly unrelated, but put my caring for the pc on the backburner. My washing machine got all kinds of messed up this weekend, right after I spent 4 hrs working on my wifes car to replace the spark plugs in the most complicated process ever needed (have to remove the air intake system) for such a simple task. So I spent a good deal of yesterday messing with the washing machine and then ripping one of my son's socks (it's in pieces now) out of the drain pump. The thing still doesn't run right after running one empty test run as it's really loud now. My guess is I need to replace the pump based on how much the sock was jammed in there.

Anyways, I guess I'll have to wait until next week when i get the other hard drive installed to figure out what, if anything, I can do with my current drive. Is there any hope that something just got messed up with the boot sectors?

It's possible something happened to the master boot record. If it is I know it's repairable using the Windows install disc, I haven't done it in years though.

Guess I could throw the windows disc in the drive to try that and see what happens. Thanks.

If it did work, I'd likely then just backup everything and wait for black friday to get a replacement anyways.

Is there a way to test the drive integrity other than windows error checking (it's been so long I don't even know what that does) if it does get fixed?

Windows repair tool did not do anything other than reboot to a blank screen, which I let sit there for almost an hour when I walked away from it.

Just found this. Can't quite tell if it's only when you update the firmware, but I may have to do some research tonight. It seems to imply it's only for those that updated firmware.

In the meantime, I did get a friends old 160GB HDD (it's a Seagate 7200.9) to use which works, for now.

Stupid me forgot to check warranty status on the drive, and lo and behold, I've got until March 2013! Not sure why since I bought the thing in July of 2008, which would make it 4 yrs and 9 months for the warranty to the listed end date. I had figured it was out of warranty some time ago since the product page on newegg lists the period as 3 years, but I saw something that stated the 7200.11 drives all had 5 yr warranties.

After doing all the tests they suggested, including trying the drive in another machine, I went ahead and put in an order for a replacement.

Oh cool. That's a sweet warranty.

Nice! I always try to buy drives with 5-year warranties whenever possible, precisely because of that.