Have you ever had a hard drive that wouldn’t boot and all you could hear was a clicking noise? In the industry, we call this the click of death and it usually means the drive has experienced a physical failure, sometimes even catastrophic. There is still hope however. In some cases you can use this little trick to retrieve your files. Just follow these simple steps.
Caution: Only use this method if this is an absolute last ditch effort to recover data from a drive. If you think you may send the drive off to a data recovery service, please don’t move forward with this method. Instead, check out my more extensive guide on How to Recover Data from a Crashed Hard Drive.
Note: This does not work on solid state drives.
Step 1: The first thing you want to do is remove the drive from the computer and put it in a sealed plastic bag to avoid condensation.
Step 2: Then, put the drive in a freezer and leave it for several hours, maybe even overnight.
Step 3: Next, pull the drive out of the freezer and hook it up to a computer. If this works, you should be able to copying the files off immediately. Act quickly though because you may only have a few minutes to retrieve your files before the drive starts failing again.
Yes I know this sounds crazy and, believe me, I thought it was until I actually saw it work. I’m not exactly sure why this works but I’m guessing it has something to do with the heads retracting because of the cold temperature. I have heard some reports of this fixing the problem all together, however, that seems to be rare.
If you have had any experience with this feel free to post about it.