It may be possible to use the previews but they are no replacement for original files.
Did you have a backup of the disk in question?
What happens on your computer when the disk is plugged in?? Can you see it at all???
What error messages from data recovery???
Unfortunately the hard drive was my back up, I have had problems in the past with other computers from having too many image files crowding things us so I kept everything on this external. Believe me i have learned my lesson. When I plug the hard drive in I can find it under the device management window, and when I trouble shoot the problem it says "no driver" and makes a nasty sound as it tries to run. I took it to two different computer repair places and both said it was shot. It has about 10 years of pictures on it,
I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!! You can export the images via a web gallery without being connected to the original file!!!
You do keep a backup EHD with backup copies of all your photos, right? I keep all my photos on an EHD with a cloned backup on a second EHD which is updated weekly using backup software. You can't blame your daughter for this, all EHDs will eventually fail, hence the important need for a backup.