When we invited TechRepublic members to submit their secrets for troubleshooting failed hard drives, the response was overwhelming. In May 2000, we compiled the best solutions in a download document called “200 ways to revive a hard drive.”
We divided the solutions into four categories:
- Freeze it
- Drop it
- Hit it
- The rest of the solutions
That download quickly rose to the top of the TechRepublic charts, and here’s one reason why.
Be the hero with help from your fellow TechRepublic members
Recently, we heard from Wayne R. Hainsworth, a network engineer who wrote: “Just a short note to tell you how your '200 ways to revive a hard drive' download has made me a hero three times in the past month. Each hard disk drive (HDD) was in a manager's PC, and in each case there was not a good backup available, so I had three very upset managers.
“The 'Freeze It' method worked in each case. I was able to revive the HDD and recover their data, and I taught them a good lesson at the same time about keeping timely backups.”
Why does freezing work?
Wayne went on: “Why is this method so effective? I was recently talking with an 'old timer' (15 years in the business) about it, and he told me it works only on those HDDs that have plasma injected into the drive platters to keep the platters spinning evenly. Apparently, this plasma can 'burn out,' which would cause the drive platter(s) to become unstable enough that the reader heads can't pull data off the disk.
“Freezing the drive 'fixes' the remaining plasma in such a way as to be able to stabilize the platters long enough to get the data off the disk and onto a backup source. It's a temporary fix only. Anyway, thanks for those tips and the great work you people do at TechRepublic.”
Share your tales from the desktop
If you’ve had success (or difficulties) using any of the tips in “200 ways to revive a hard drive,” we want to hear from you. Please post a comment below or drop us a note.
Each week, Jeff Davis tells it like he sees it from the trenches of the IT battle. And you can get his report from the frontlines delivered straight to your e-mail front door. Subscribe to Jeff's View from Ground Zero TechMail, and you'll get a bonus of Jeff's picks for the best Web stuff, exclusively for TechMail subscribers.