file recovery from hard drive crash

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Trader13, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Trader13


    I just retrieved some files off a laptop hard drive that crashed and I thought I'd share this success with you. I read about this solution on other computer forums but I wasn't sure if it really worked or it was just an urban legend.

    You remove the crashed drive and place it in a plastic freezer bag (double-wrapped) and leave it in the freezer for a few days so it gets colder than an ice cube. Then insert the frozen drive into one of those USB hard drive caddys (available for about five bucks on eBay) and connect it via the USB cable to a working PC. If successful, the drive will crank up and become visible to your PC. Then you copy any critical files from the drive to your PC.

    As I understand, the drive crash occurs when the head comes into contact with the spinning platter. This makes your drive unusable, and could even make retreiving some of the files impossible. By subjecting the components to freezing temperature, they contract in a manner that makes the head separate from the platter and allows it to spin. This will only work until the components warm up again, so you have to work fast to grab your files and hope they were not damaged by the crash.

    That's it, and it worked for me! And to be honest, I wasn't sure if I was being snookered by following the advice to put my hard drive in the freezer next to my ice cream. If this didn't work, I wasn't going to tell anyone I tried it :)
  2. good going!

    backups, just do it.
  3. neat trick,
    first time of hearing that.
    nice to know it really worked

  4. fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
  5. That was exciting wasn't it.
  6. eurpar


    There's a lot of FUD when it comes to self-repairing a broken hard drive. Does sticking it in the freezer help? The oven? Hitting it with a hammer? Does replacing the PCB actually work? Can you take the platters out and put them in another drive? And failing all that, if you have to send the dead drive off to a professional data recovery company, how much does it cost — and what's their chance of success, anyway? They're notoriously bad at obfuscating their prices, until you contact them directly.