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Old September 28, 2011, 11:32 AM
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Linus Linus is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 616
Default Linus, the freezer method does not work to recover hard drives - remove your video!

This is a question from BenYourBritishFriend:

I just watched your video suggesting that people can recover data from a Hard Drive by putting it in a freezer for several hours. Unbelievable !

Firstly, you had very little chance of this working, as a lot of the Seagate 1TB Drives are known to be unreliable, and Secondly, you're forgetting one very important fact that will ALWAYS DESTROY your data rather than recover it, and that is CONDENSATION. By removing any Hard Drive from a freezer, you unavoidably quickly increase the temperature of the Hard Drive, as it warms up to room temperature.

This will ALWAYS cause the drive heads to GOUGE their way through the condensed water on the surface of the platter of the Hard Drive, causing irreparable damage to the drive, and also rendering any other recovery options un-usable. The ONLY WAY your solution could work, is if you put your Hard Drive inside a large freezer store room, such as the ones that hold pig or sheep carcasses, so you could have your Laptop plugged in the freezer room to test it.

Please REMOVE your video and RESEARCH why this will actually cause more HARM than good, or at least upload a new video WARNING people of the RISKS involved, before you get SUED. People may depend on your advice for their data retrieval, but they will PERMANENTLY DESTROY their data if they copy your video. You have a responsibility to all the potential YouTubers who may see your video, to give them accurate and reliable information.

I'm a Microsoft Certified PC Technician with more than 12 years experience in Computer repairs, so I know what I'm talking about.
Here's the video he's referring to:

Dead Hard Drive? Lost Data? Try the Freezer Method! Linus Tech Tips - YouTube

So I'd like to get the community in on the debate. I've personally recovered data from hard drives using this method twice. That puts my success rate at about 40% for the drives that I've tried this on. Personally I do not believe that there is much inherent risk involved in trying things on hardware that is (presumably) already dead, but maybe the viewer is right.

Why don't you guys let me know if it's ever worked for you? Maybe the OP can also weigh in here.
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