[plug] Help needed

Brad Campbell brad at fnarfbargle.com
Mon Jul 16 13:02:42 WST 2012

On 16/07/12 12:48, /sbin/Southen wrote:
>> I've also heard/seen people put the drive in the freezer and then wrap
>> it in a towel with ice packs to keep it cool while coping and it can
>> really make a difference.
> I'm led to believe the freezer trick only works on certain types of
> mechanical failure, and should probably only be attempted once you are
> convinced data recovery without it isn't getting anywhere...
> I've never tried it personally.

I've used it a number of times with great success, but as you correctly 
point out, its only good for a certain type of mechanical failure.

Best we've been able to theorize is it works for drives that are dying 
of old age, particularly when the bearings in either the spindle motor 
or head arm are wearing. By putting it in the freezer the mechanical 
components contract enough to tighten things up back into tolerance.

Symptoms of a drive that *might* respond to this are repeated head seeks 
(or the old click, click, click sound).

I put the drive in a zip-lock bag with a couple of packets of silica 
gel, run the cables outside the bag and tape it up then put it in the 
freezer for an hour or so without power on it. Leaving it in the 
freezer, power it up and read the data off. (the cables just poke 
through the door seal).

I've had three big wins with that method over the years.

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