It is not the HD that is at fault but the ability of ME to recognise it.
You either need software which used to be supplied with the external kit, or to make ME able to use USB, which is the same thing.
It seems to me that data rescue is priority and you can probably buy a cheap PCI to USB card to put into your ME system and solve the connection problem straight away.
Another roundabout way-
If you are thinking of a new computer?
When the new one is up and running "borrow" its old HD, temporarily put it in the external case case and copy everything you want to the new computer.