Reviving Dead Hard Drives Through Unconventional Methods

Many of us have had a situation where the hard drive in our computer just dies unexpectedly. It’s a pain and an inconvenience which can be exacerbated by the absence of backups.

Sometimes, hard drives just require a minor file system scan to get things working again or, in more severe cases, the controller board on the hard drive needs to be replaced. However, in extreme cases where the drive is making constant noises and the BIOS just doesn’t see the drive sometimes you need to think outside the square. I thought this was a prime opportunity to try out one of those anecdotal things that you hear about through a friend of a friend and write about it here.

So what am I going to try?

Well, I’m going to try putting the hard drive in a zip lock bag and throw it in the freezer for 24 hours. The theory behind this approach is that it gives the drive mechanics and electronics a chance to shrink. This can be handy to free up jammed drive heads or to thicken up the lubricants inside the drive. However, it’s not guaranteed to work all the time.

So stay tuned and we’ll see how it goes!

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  1. […] A few posts back I was looking into reviving a hard drive using unconventional means (in this case putting it in the freezer) based upon anecdotal evidence on the web that supported this method. Sometimes in technical support positions you have to think outside the square and when conventional methods don’t work there may be latitude to try options that are a bit out of the ordinary (so long as the risks are minimal or acceptable). […]

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