Depends on what exactly "my hard drive died" means. If it is mechanical, and as a last resort, this CAN and HAS worked. Put the HDD in a plastic ziploc bag. Put that into another ziploc bag. Put it in the freezer for 12 hours or so. Put it in the PC and attempt to recover files. If it works, it may only last minutes, and the process can be repeated until you have what you need, or it will no longer work after freezing.
This really does work. I had an "expert" vehemently scold me for suggesting such an "old wives tale" on a forum. Only to have the original poster come back and thank me because he got it to work 3 times and recovered his most valuable data, and even some he was just happy to get. Never did get a reply from the "expert" again though, go figure