put the hdd in a working pc. See if the bios can detect it and if so if it even shows up at all. If it does show up and whatnot, you can zero them out with some programs, or you could always attempt to low level format it.
On a side note, that boys and girls is why you make sure you have a good surge suppression solution.
The way I see it is that if the guy you paid says it isn't working, the insurance company says they will pay and it really isn't working, you'd be mad to try to stuff it up more. At best the insurance company will get something they can't use, at worst you'll end up with claims of fraud leveled against you.
Thanks for all of the advice. I'll just leave it be. However, with the hard drives; any recommendations for programs to permenantly wipe the drives clean. I don't like the idea of turning over drives that have sesitive data after only fromating it.
I did take it in. He concluded the boards were all fried, but the drives may be salvagable. Though he did recommend replacing them. I was mostly worried about the har drives, as I have books, reports, and other data I don't want being recovered by someone purchasing them used.
as I said, put the hard drive(s) in a working pc, and use a format to fill all the platters with zero. As for having it fry, yeah the drives may seem like they work for a little while, but they'll really be dying a very slow and painful death. We recently had a pc die cause of a shitty surge suppressor my boss was using, and we lost the power supply on the copier (due to a brown out), so we've got a few tripp lite line conditioners.... good stuff.
Search goolge for "data shreding". That should bring up a bunch of programs that will overwrite the hard drive with random gibberish several times over and completely make it unreadable. Simply overwriting with 0's is a waste of time since that does nothing really. And a low level format on a modern drive does NOTHING. The drive just pretends it did something and ignores the command.
Also a surge suppressor cannot gurantee that you will never have anything get by it. The good ones generally have very good waranties that replace everything that got damaged.