So my brother gave me his old 350gb Seagate external hard drive to try and fix because he's had two other people look at it and they couldn't revive it or get any data off of it. His wife loaded their entire 3 children's lives on it when they tossed their last computer and they had no backup. The drive is toast. I talked to the last guy that tried, and he said it had power supply issues so he replaced the power supply. Drive is totally unresponsive, no clicks, no spinning, nothing. It's an IDE drive so I thought I could slap it in an old computer and maybe get it working. When the power cable and IDE cable were plugged in, my comp wouldn't even boot. Messed with various master/slave settings, still nothing. Unplugged the power from the bad drive and then my comp would boot. Unplug the IDE but leave the power, no boot. So now I'm worrying about frying my own motherboard, so I take an old external HD case and plug the power cable from that into the bad HD and then plug the IDE into my comp. Few seconds after I turned everything on, I smell that funky electronics burning smell and just as I'm reaching for the switch on the surge protector I hear a small "pop" in the transformer in my external HD setup. So it's fried. Here's my questions: 1. Is it possible to just swap out the power component in the HD without getting into the platter area? 2. Anybody know of a good reasonably price data recovery service? The kind where they take the HD apart in a clean room and try and put the platters in a working setup. The wife is totally a wreck over losing all these photos. 3. Besides XM's favorite sponsor, Carbonite, is there a reasonably priced/free/simple data backup service like that that is reliable? They're technological novices but they've learned their lesson and want to have an offsite backup plan that runs pretty much on its own without any user interaction after initial setup. And it would only be for pics and small vids, maybe some music. I'm thinking just a couple hundred gigs if that.