I have used several ways to solve the same issue reviving disk. The reason is the fact that a hard drive is a hard drive is a hard drive, or is it? The answer is NO. If a hard drive is failing it’s usually because it is legacy equipment that often doesn't even support LBA mode. But, sometimes it isn't even the hard drive that’s causing the problem. Say what? That's right.
By in large, I first approach this situation by asking the user how much hard drive space he/she used to have. Usually the answer is over 512 megabytes. But, again, you'll be surprised.
Secondly, I ask the user if this is the first time this situation has occurred and whether or not he/she knows if we are dealing with a new or old computer.
Armed with the above answers. I usually solve this problem by performing a combination of the tasks described below.
1) Test the motherboard BIOS/CMOS battery. Often, the hard drive is just fine. But, the internal battery is dead. Some computers like a few Packard Bells I have dealt with have LBA and 32-bit mode turned off by default. Those settings may have been enabled during assembly, but now that the battery is dead they are set back to factory settings (when the user turns his/her computer off) rendering the hard drive inaccessible. Solution: Change the internal battery and enable CMOS LBA/32-bit mode.
2) Ask if the computer has been moved recently. Often, when computers are moved, data cables are detached from hard drives and/or motherboards. Obviously, without a data or power cable, a hard drive will never work. Solution: Reattach cables