Freezing hard drive

Recently I was sent an interesting link about recovering data from a seemingly broken hard drive by putting it in the freezer for 24 hours and then having a small window afterwards in which amazingly the drive works as normal – long enough in most cases to take a full drive image. You can read this article and the responses here.

What amazed me the most about this article is the number of people who have tried it and found it to be successful. Normally some crack-pot writes something like this and people try it to find it to have little or no success. While this is one of the craziest solutions to recovering data I’ve heard to date, the success rate is impressive. It’s also reported to be used by a fair number of recovery companies, so seemingly it might be worth trying this technique before giving up and shelling out hundreds to a company to recover your precious bytes.

Of course nothing should be a substitute for regular backups but accidents can and do happen with spinning discs and its nice to know that for once there may be a way to fight back against the data munching broken drives of doom.

It was good to see that the humour wasn’t deadened by the success of the technique though as indicated by one comment recieved to the article

When I have that problem, I always take my computer and drive to the North Pole. It works real well, though one time an Eskimo named Nanook shot my computer with a harpoon

Nice one 🙂


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  1. Niall Said,

    November 28, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

    Yes I heard about that technique years ago, it does work, but it won’t work for long. Definitely a rip and run technique.

  2. Simon Said,

    December 1, 2006 @ 6:35 pm

    Wish I’d known about this last year – has 2 SCSI go down on a 3 drive RAID array – either drives data would have saved thousands.

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