So earlier today my computer started making clicking sounds. I shut it down to let it rest for a while. Several hours later, I turn it on, come back, and notice a black screen that says "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT DISK AND PRESS ENTER."
I then shut the computer again and attempt to reboot it, this time mashing F8 to see if I can get into Safe Mode. No such luck. When trying to boot, it makes that clicking sound followed by a whirring, whiny sound.
edit: this is a common problem you could have googled too...
I don't think I could have explained the entirety of my problem in the Google search bar. You gotta know exactly what the problem is before searching around for it. I tried, and all I got was the mash F8 thing, so I thought I would try and explain what's going on here so that someone who's better at the technical stuff than I could help me understand the problem. Google isn't always your friend.
Also, people here have helped me before and do a good job of explaining things in a simple way that I can understand.
That being said, I do not have a system restore disc, nor do I have a working DVD drive. I typed the OP on my 3DS. I'm now borrowing my sister's laptop for a limited time, but it's Windows 7 instead of Vista so I don't know if I can create a system restore disc on it, because that would make it a Windows 7 restore disc, right? Also, would I be able to put it on a CD rom instead of a DVD?
If the eSATA cable was disconnected you wouldn't hear click. You wouldn't hear anything. There would be no power to the drive, thus the moving parts cannot move.
Sounds like a total drive failure to me. You're going to want to get another hard drive. Western Digital is the reliable brand, so I've heard. The error you're seeing is your BIOS saying "derp, I can't find anything to boot to!" due to the failed drive. The click click whurr sounds you hear is typical of a failing or already dead drive. The sounds come from the mechanical arm clanking around inside the hard drive not being able to read the platters.
Boot from a CD and see what you can do with the drive. Linux will do everything you need with that. I don't know if Windows recovery CD's have the proper utilities to troubleshoot a hard drive. If you can recover it and poke around inside the drive, awesome. Back up the data as soon as possible and get yourself a new drive.
As an aside, if you want to learn exactly how hard drives work, watch this cool video. He makes it pretty easy to understand and you get to see everything.
Clicking sound has the potential to indicate a head crash. You definitely don't want to run your computer as long as it is making that noise as it can further damage the HDD, which you have already done. You might be out of luck.