Can Freezing help HDD failure

By Dadof3
May 29, 2009
  1. I received an error message with My Dell Desktop computer that a Hard Disc Utility has received errors that my disc drive was opporating out of the normal paramaters. Back up your data immediately. When I returned to this computer later, there was a whinning and clicking sound and the drive was not being recognized. I get the Bios Set-up screen to press f1 to reboot or f2 to setup.

    This hard drive is a year 2001 IBM ATA/IDE 40 gig 7200 rpm running Windows 2000 OS. I have read that for mechanical failures such as this sounds to be (head problem) that it is possible to put the drive in as much of an airtight bag (s) and place it in either the refrigerator or freezer for a couple of hours and then install quickly through USB port (I assume through external case enclosure that will hold a 3.5" drive and opperate through USB) as slave and it will possible read long enough to back up onto a primary drive.

    Anyone with any experience or comment on this procedure would be appreciated. There is about 9gigs of family pictures and word documents that we would like to retrieve, but cant justify a $900-1100 recovery process to send to an engineer in a clean room.

    Thanks for your opinions/experience
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You can try this procedure, but you have to work fast. Leave it in a freezer for overnight... You can place it right in the IDE cable as a slave. Chances might be that your IDE cable is for only a single drive. If so, do the USB thing. Don't be surprized if the drive never works again. A 2001 drive, you got good service from it. Learn to back up important data to a CD or DVD
  3. Dadof3

    Dadof3 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 67

    daisy chained ide cable

    Its ok if it never works again, as long as I can retrieve some of the data it would be great. This drive is hooked up as a secondary drive so I will have to leave the computer case open with the power and connector ready to plug and play immediately.

    Important: if I try this and it doesnt work, does that mean that I could not send it to a Professional Data retreival service at some later date if I saved up the 900 dollars or so that they have quoted me so far? Will this freezer action render the drive useless to the clean room repair services?
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    As long as the "frozen" drive doesn't collect too much water condensation, you should be ok to send it to a recovery service at a later date
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