|Your friend should have backed up the address book/contacts to another location as a matter of good common sense when his/her PC & Outlook Express were working okay, or at the very least printed out a sheet containing the contacts information.|
The hard drive cannot be "too far gone" otherwise you wouldn't be able to access it at all.
However, it's still possible that the files you are looking for have been corrupted when the drive crashed.
Lesson: always keep backups of important information!
message edited by phil22