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April 28, 2006

How To Recover Data From A Hard Drive

TechRepublic has updated a collection of 200 tips for repairing a faulty hard drive.

"One trick I have learned as a technician, when the problem is data-read errors off the platters themselves, is to freeze the hard drive overnight."

"I've run into this scenario numerous times. One time it involved the main Novell SYS volume on our HP File Server. I was really sweating as the server would not boot. I took the drive out and put it in a freezer for 30 minutes. I then reinstalled it into the file server and Presto! I was up and running. Needless to say, I quickly mirrored the drive onto another and got rid of the bad drive."

"If you are willing to destroy the disk and try to get some data off the drive, there is a quick hack available. Place the drive in a static-free bag, then place the drive and static-free bag into a ziplock bag to seal out moisture. Place this into a freezer turned to as low as possible for 24 hours. After 24 hours, pull the drive out and immediately put it into a computer (the faster the better) that boots to a floppy and has another hard drive to transfer data to. If the drive wasn't damaged too much previously, you should be able to pull some data off before the metal of the drive heats up and starts destroying the data storage platters. You can repeat the process only if you shut down almost immediately and go through the 24 hour freeze process again. Chances are that the first time attempt will be the only chance to recover data."

Related:
EBCD: System recovery boot CD
TestDisk: Recover lost partitions
Burn a Windows Live CD with system recovery software preinstalled

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