It does sound like the HD has gone kaputt. You could have a look at the connections to make sure that they are Ok but if the disk has gone there is very little chance of recovering anything unless you go to the professionals who charge £1500 upwards.
You could put the OS disk in or borrow an XP disk to see if you can access the recovery feature
You could try taking it out, putting it into an HD enclosure and connecting by USB to another machine to see if there is anything in it.
If anything this illustrates the importance of backups.