Had to give some bad news this morning and got this response, "My laptop can't be broken. I've dropped it many times before this."
It only takes one good bump at the right (wrong) angle to damage a PC. Mechanical hard drives have a needle that floats above them like a record player and a bump can scratch the platters. Circuit boards can develop microscopic fractures...and so on.
Unfortunately, this is a little bit like saying "I've dropped my baby many times. Why won't it breathe now?"
In this case, the hard drive is unreadable -and- other damage was done to the laptop hardware. It's busted and, with it, her university work.
The moral of the story: backup your work. Whether it's a virus or physical damage, there is no replacement for a recent backup.
An external drive or a cloud backup like OneDrive (now baked in to Windows) are great options and the latter makes it near impossible to forget to backup.