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Broken hard drive? No worries, there may be a solution and it won't cost you a dime

Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2014-06-17 20:16:04-04

Have you ever experienced your hard drive crashing? Then you probably know how much it can cost to try and get the information you forgot to back up off that drive. 

I know that companies can charge hundreds to even thousands of  dollars to get your data off of a broken hard drive. If this situation ever happens to you, I found an amazing no cost solution.

I heard from some tech guys that freezing the broken hard drive might actually work. I also read an article on one my favorite websites about this same piece of advice, although no one seems to know why this may work. I decided to give it a try.

First, you need to remove the broken hard drive from your computer. Read your user’s manual or call a technician to help with removal if you don’t know how. Then take the drive and put it in the freezer in an anti-static bag overnight. 

Then take it out of the freezer and hook it up to your computer, of course make sure your computer is not on while reconnecting the crashed hard drive. Once it is properly connected, turn on your computer. 

Now it is best to reconnect the broken hard drive to a computer that has its own hard drive and it boots up to your operating system independent of the broken drive. The reasoning behind this is the data on the broken hard drive may just be data and the operating system may not be bootable and, therefore, it will not allow you to see the data on the broken drive and copy it to another drive.

This little how-to sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. But my guess is that if your hard drive broke because of a physical problem, it is more likely this will work because it seems that by freezing the drive, it freezes the broken component. 

But again this may or may not work but it most certainly is worth a try. Also if it does work for you once the drive heats up, it may stop working. No worries -- just stick it back in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so and repeat the process until you get what you need.

I know for a fact this how-to does work because my hard drive crashed and I tried it and I was able to copy all of the files I needed.

But one more piece of advice: to avoid this from ever happening to you, get an external hard drive and back up all of the important things you need, like pictures that you can never replace and important documents or databases.

Also, make sure the hard drive is not wet and everything is turned off on the computer when removing and re-installing the broken hard drive.