Day in and out I preach data backup to clients. It’s too bad I wasn’t following my own advice. Being busy with other people’s computers I hardly had time to keep up with my own. In result, my last data backup to recover from was 2 months old and obviously I had fallen way behind.
I returned from a short vacation only to find out that my acting Windows XP file server had crashed. The system was no longer reading the hard drive but the odd thing was there was no clicking, grinding or zapping noise coming from the drive. We don’t normally perform this sort of data recovery. Normally, our recovery is from a drive recognized in BIOS and / or the OS has failed to load properly. This was not the case.
I found a tip online known as the (Hard Drive Freeze Trick) and apparently this is to revive the drive long enough to perform the data recovery as needed. What else could I lose other than my last resort, taking it in to a Data Recovery shop for a minimum of $300 or so? To my amazement the trick worked and it was fairly simple to do! Please see instructions below and I hope this works for you as it did for me. Please preform the following at your own risk.
Step 1. You will need to pull the drive from the computer.
Step 2. Once the drive is out, prepare a zip lock bag and clean freezer.
Step 3. Place the hard drive in the zip lock bag, remove as much air as possible before zipping the bag shut.
Step 4. Place the drive in your freezer for at least 20 minutes (so far, this is exactly what I did)
Step 5. Prepare your data recovery work station. What you’ll need is a working computer, booted up, not busy, and ready to go. You will also need a SATA to USB adapter and you can find one here online or at your local electronics store.
Note – Please be sure the workstation is ready, plugged in and powered up. This includes the adapter.
Step 6 – After 20+ minutes has passed, remove the zip locked hard drive from the freezer, and remove the hard drive from the zip lock. Now plug in your adapter and wait for your computer to recognize the drive.
Step 7 – Once the drive has been detected move fast!!! Go to Computer, or My Computer, find the drive and begin to copy over your data.
I was able to retrieve all the data I needed from this drive. The drive held up for almost an hour! This is an effective trick and has proven to be worthy of a shot. Please let us know in the comments below if it works for you. Thanks for checking out our blog. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.