Putting A Hard Drive In The Freezer For Data Recovery

January 6, 2015 by Admin  
Filed under Learning Magic Tricks

If you need professional data recovery services, visit http://acsdata.com or call 1-800-717-8974. At ACS Data Recovery, we get countless calls where people h…
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25 Responses to “Putting A Hard Drive In The Freezer For Data Recovery”
  1. TunedCavityLasers says:

    Putting into a bag alone will not stop the already present moisture from
    condensing. If you were to try this again, you may get better results from
    leaving in a desiccant for 24 hrs and not opening until its been in the
    freezer and then warmed back above the dew point. If anything heat may
    offer some resolution, a freezer makes the least amount of sense.. not
    unless you are trying to remove power to something to reset the
    unresetable. I heard something like this back in the 90′s when a password
    for cell phones and secured car stereo decks were locked up.

  2. Mox_au says:

    in 10 years as a tech, ive never had this work 

  3. David Campbell says:

    To all that say “back it up” well, I did and that failed. So how can i
    backup my data when the backuips fail?

  4. Silentunion08 says:

    My HDD fucked me over! I had data that I will never get back. You think
    they would come up with a better hard drive by
    now, after all it is 2014.

  5. Gilgit Khan says:

    Preserve the data kids. Preserve.

  6. Eric Revollo says:

    I admit my brother and I tried this back on 1998, we did seal it like that,
    I knew it was useless, but we had to try it we were young and desperate.
    Thanks for the video.

  7. Nik Neuy says:

    To be honest, I haven’t had a HD failure in my 20 years of computing.

  8. Sean Ross says:

    I think this guy is really trying to sell you something here!

    Personally I have about an 80% success rate with all brands of desktop hard
    drives besides Seagate hard drives. Laptop drives also do not respond very
    well to the freezer trick, I definitely recommend professional data
    recovery in a clean room for any drive that has precious or critical data.

    I say it’s in the timing and preventing condensation forming inside the

    I generally seal the vent hole of the hard drive using electric tape, then
    put the drive in an antistatic bad with silica then into a vacuum sealed
    freezer bag. Then I put it in the freezer for about 50 minutes (18 hours is
    completely ridiculous, you do not want to literally freeze the hard drive)
    . The lower humidity in the room the better.

    I say practice on hard drives that have stopped functioning normally within
    the previous 72 hours that do not have important data whenever you have the

  9. Zelan Bar says:

    what I’ll do after opening hard disc….??? PLS need answer…..

  10. obrapro says:

    so the short answer is: Don’t put it in the freezer, right?

  11. Jose Francisco Medeiros says:

    I agree with you, replacing the PCB board would be my first step in trying
    to get the hard drive to spin up again.

  12. brufnus says:

    From time to time, I’ve saved data from drives which were apparently
    completely dead by putting them in the fridge – it’s a REAL bad idea
    though, if there’s any chance of saving the drive in any other way. It’s a
    LAST RESORT – but, occasionally, it does work…! Not always, but

  13. Fouix Neur says:

    And in the microwave, does it work?

  14. montwell2 says:

    I think I’m with Marius, the frozen condensation may be room air moisture
    introduced upon opening the drive. I’d like to see if packing a drive in
    dessicant (like silica gel) and freezing it, then opening it in a very
    cold, dry room would show the same platter moisture. If not, then there
    may be a case for freezing a drive (seems like refrigerating would be
    enough, but I have no experience with this) in dessicant as a poor man’s
    way to try to recover data. Or maybe, for strictly electronic troubles,
    just setting the drive on a plastic bag of ice water so the whole circuit
    board is in contact might help.

  15. Marius Merchiers says:

    The drive becomes condensated because you opened it! The enclosue is
    AIRTIGHT so no water or air comes inside. So I think freezing the harde
    drive will not damage it. If you really want to repair the drive: youtube:

  16. TonyVitoify says:

    :( when i use 3rd party software it detect it but i cant do anything
    because it says bad drive or unsupported but my computer will not detect it
    unless i use easeus software but i cant do anything like i said

  17. fatrommy says:

    I managed to recover all the data of a faulty hard drive by putting it in
    the freezer. This in no way contradicts your video which I appreciate as
    very good advice.
    My HDD would start up cold ok but then crash after about 15 minutes. I
    suspected that the electronics had a component that had developed a thermal
    fault. Not that uncommon in my experience. I tried freezer spray, but found
    that by putting the HDD in a plastic bag in the freezer for 20 minutes many
    times I eventually rescued all the data. The drive was then dumped. I think
    the short stays in the freezer was only enough to cool the electronics.

  18. acsdata says:

    *** Should read: It’s NOT the condensation that causes damage to the

  19. acsdata says:

    We just uploaded another video where we did this experiment again. Used a
    different type of drive, used a desiccant in the bag with the drive, left
    it in the freezer for over 18 hours, hooked it up right away, and it killed
    the heads almost immediately. Opened the drive up, and the platter was
    still covered with ice crystals.

  20. Michael C says:

    What I gathered from your video: 1. Remove the board & freeze it, not the
    whole drive. 2. Submerse the drive in 100% alcohol & freeze it. Let alcohol
    evaporate before powering up. Cold might shrink platters, which might
    unstick the read head. 3. Put a towel around the drive in the bag & rice in
    the bag with the drive to absorb any moister prior to freezing. 4. Put the
    drive in an Argon (or other inert gas) filled ballon prior to freezing. 5.
    (Last Resort) Call ACS claiming it just stopped lol

  21. HDD Recovery Services says:

    I have to agree. freezing drives and recovery do not go together.

  22. acsdata says:

    The reality is, the platters develop crystallization even before the drive
    is opened. In fact, in the follow up video we just posted, it killed the
    heads almost immediately. Does the amount of crystallization increase the
    longer the drive is exposed to ambient air? Absolutely! However, the
    instant the case cover is removed there was already enough ice on the
    platters to damage the heads. A drive is not impervious to outside air and
    humidity which is why ice forms even when it is sealed.

  23. acsdata says:

    That is actually the only thing we would ever recommend, because as was
    mentioned in the video, typically if cold affects the performance of the
    drive in a positive manner, it’s because the electronic components are
    weak/damaged. We have had drives that we’ve imaged where we had to keep
    constant cooling on the motor controller and other IC’s. But again, a
    clicking drive with bad heads won’t be repaired by freezing it, regardless
    of the method used.

  24. UncleSporky says:

    Thanks a lot for repeating this experiment, I hadn’t seen any other videos
    putting it through a real data test like this. Good to know.

  25. Ademan says:

    People have recommended using a desiccant to absorb moisture when placing
    it in the freezer. If you’ve got another junk drive I’d be interested to
    see if that significantly cuts down on the ice formation.

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