Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Myth or reality?

  Ditulis pada Oct 13, 2008 // Tutorial

About 2 weeks ago, I wrote an article about hard disk recovery that was quite popular (I received approximately 20000 hits for it). The article covered a couple of solutions to help you in the case where your hard drive would stop working. While I was doing some research for this article, I ended up on a few stories about people who were putting their HD in the freezer to help fix it long enough to be able to recover their data. I guess that by doing this, some metal parts in the HD could contract, putting back in place defective parts, and making everything work again for a few minutes.

What do you guys think? Myth or reality? It seems that a lot of people agree that this solution actually works, so I decided to test it myself with an old Maxtor hard drive that failed me a couple of weeks ago. There was no important data on there, so losing the disk didn’t really bother me.

Before putting it in the freezer, the drive was making a weird clicking noise, and the computer was showing me this message: Primary hard drive 0 not found, strike F1 to retry boot, F2 to run the setup utility

I removed the hard disk from the computer and sealed it in a ziplock bag to prevent condensation

After this, I shoved it in the freezer, and waited an hour.

I finally installed it back in the computer, closed the case, and pushed on the power button.

YES! it works, the computer is starting correctly! Unfortunately, after I logged in, Windows froze and I wasn’t able to do anything. I tried rebooting, and….

Well, at least the hard disk spun for about 2 minutes before crashing again. Maybe that’s not long enough to let me recover any data, but it worked for a little while. 🙂
edit: The day after, I shoved the hard drive back in the freezer for 24 hours. After getting it out, I was able to get 20 more minutes of life out it.

If you don’t want to risk losing you data and are afraid to try this out, you can always ask experts to do the job for you. The folks at DTIData or at the Hard Drive Recovery Group can probably help you get your data back, no matter how damaged your drive is. Here are the specific pages on their sites concerning hard drive data recovery solutions:

And in the end, if you cannot do anything and need a new hard drive, Shopzilla has a great comparison engine that can help you find some very cheap ones.

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1 respon hingga saat ini, komentari?

  1. Kikolani - Poetry | Photography | Blogging Tips

    I have a couple of dead hard drives at home that I don’t really care about, so maybe I will give this a shot. I wonder if it would work longer if you just plugged it in as an external just to get data off vs. trying to run the operating system off of it?

    ~ Kristi



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