December 14, 2006
Here was a real life situation I was in. I worked as a IT support staff and one day a laptop that crashed was handed to me. After some diagnostics, I found bad sectors on the hard disk and a lot of clunging sounds whenever I turned on the laptop. Unfortunately, the user have some crucial data on the hard disk and need to have it in 24 hours.
The BIOS wasn't able to detect the hard disk. So I did some searching on the internet and found a real crazy way to recover the data. So, I decided to put it to the test since I have tried other ways to recover the data without success. I remove the hard disk from the laptop and put in the refrigerator!
Now it's important you do not put the hard disk in the refrigerator for too long. I put it in for about 30 minutes and then quickly attached the hard disk to an external hard disk casing and connected it to another computer via the USB port.
Surprisingly, it worked, the hard disk was detected and I copied the crucial data that the user needed to the computer as fast as I could.
I have done this a couple of times since then and it does worked. However, I found it will only work for a brief period of time. Usually, you will have a period of about 15 to 20 minutes so you need to copy as fast as possible to your computer once the hard disk is working.
Somehow cooling the temperature of the hard disk helps a lot. Here's another tip that I found. You can try tilting the hard disk sideways or at an angle about 60 degrees downwards. I found that by doing this, I can prolong the period by another 10 minutes or so.
However I like to caution you that only try this method when all other methods of recovering the data fails. There is a chance the hard disk is permanently damaged if it is in the refrigerator for too long.
Also, this method will only work if your hard disk is still spinning when powered up. If your hard disk does not spin and is dead in the water, then this method will not work.
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