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Data Recovery From a Failed Hard Drive - Freezing Method:

Many people have heard that putting a dead hard drive can bring it back to life, and most think it is a myth. There is actually documentation showing that by freezing a hard drive it is possible to recover the data from the drive in some cases. Freezing a hard drive can be used in data recovery, but will only fix the hard drive for a short period of time. If the drive is spinning (you will hear it turning) this is not the method to use, this method is best suited for data recovery cases where the drive is not spinning. If the drive is spinning it not physically damaged so it is a problem that should be approached through other methods.

Step 1: Make Sure You Are Prepared to Recover the Data

There is no point in trying to freeze the old hard drive if you are not prepared to immediately copy the data off of the failed hard drive. You should have a new Hard Drive already installed in the computer or have a different computer setup and ready to go. As soon as you hook the old hard drive back up to see if it works you'll have to be ready to start copying the data onto a fresh hard drive.

Step 2: Freeze the Hard Drive

Place the hard drive into a Ziploc bag and seal it. To be extra safe you can also place the drive in an anti-static bag then place it into a Ziploc bag. Place the failed hard drive into the freezer for around two hours (you can try doing it longer if two hours does not do the trick).

Step 3: Restore the Files

As soon as you remove the hard drive from the freezer install it into the computer right away as the slave drive and boot it up. If you can access the drive begin recovering the important data right away. If you are able to recover the data using this method the drive will usually work for approximately 20-30 minutes. If the method does work and you are not able to get all of your data recovered before it fails again you can freeze the drive again and try again. If the drive still does not respond you can try freezing it for a longer period of time (24 hours), but you may be out of luck.

Other Methods of Recovering Data From a Failed Hard Drive:

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