I have WD Passport external HDD and yesterday, when I was transferring some photos to it, the transfer suddenly stopped. I thought nothing of it, retried a few times - nothing. So I restarted my PC and after that, the drive didn't work anymore. When you connect it to a PC, the white LED keeps blinking all the time and for a minute or so, the disk makes an intermittent clicking noise. After that, it becomes pretty silent or makes its regular, pretty quiet shuffling sound (though the LED keeps blinking all the time).
When you plug it in, the PC does recognize it in some way, though, because you can hear the sound of a new USB device being connected and see it listed as a USB device (WD Hard Drive) in the system tray. It's not visible in the explorer, though, and recovery software like Kroll OnTrack does see it as some "unrecognized drive" but can't start recovery because neither its Scan or Deep Scan features find any partitions. I've also tried the Disk Management tool that's built into Windows but it only shows it as an unrecognized drive, asking whether I want to initialize it because it claims it's not yet initialized.
What else may I try? I'd really like to get the files out of it because these are basically all my photos and videos from the past years :( Having it restored by professionals, on the other hand, would be madly expensive. I've tried different USB ports, different machines (desktop PC, laptop, Mac laptop) but all to no avail. Is there anything else you'd recommend?
That's how HDD connector looks like: