|Then you have a CD drive? If so, try using a live version of Linux to boot the notebook and see if you can access the hard drive in that manner.|
Live versions of Linux install to and run from, a CDR or DVDR. Linux puppy is small and fits on a CDR or there are versions that can be placed on a USB device.
There can be many reasons why your notebook isn't finding the hard drive. One of which, of course, is that is has died.
Has the notebook been dropped recently?