09-30-2010, 03:35 PM
Welcome to the Mac Forums Danielle!
Let's try to tackle these one at a time:
1. The external hard drive is probably failing. A good indication of that is it couldn't be repaired by Disk Utility. It might be a good idea to get what data you can off the drive on to another and then stop using it either on the iMac or your PC.
2. The freezing that's occurring with the iMac could be an indication of a failing internal hard drive. The best way to check the drive is to use your Leopard DVD to boot from and then run Disk Utility from the DVD. And yes, use the Leopard DVD not the original which I assume was Tiger.
If the internal hard drive turns out to be defective and you have no way to access your new data, you can try to use special software to extract that data. The best special software to use would be Data Rescue 3
from ProSoft. It's not inexpensive though ($99.00), however, you can download a trial copy to test with to see if it can extract your data.
You said that you have a G5 at your work. If you can haul your iMac to work, it may be possible to attach your iMac to the G5 via a firewire cable and then boot from the G5 in what's known as Target Disk Mode
. That may allow you to copy the data off the iMac on to the G5 where you can further copy it to a flash or thumb drive.
You also mentioned taking your iMac to the Apple geniuses.... be aware that it's going to be expensive. Your machine is no longer under warranty. If you would like to do the repairs yourself, post back and we can show you where to go to learn how.