Don’t Put Your Hard Drive In The Freezer

This article is for the techies as well as the non-tech heads wanting to learn how to repair a hard drive. One method that many people think may work is tossing it in the freezer for a spell. The ACS Data Recovery Technician wanted to verify this strategy. He used the Western Digital Drive that operates at 500 Gigabytes for his demonstration.

Here are the instructions:

• Place the hard drive into a Ziploc bag with a diskette. (Make sure there isn’t a breather hole in the drive.)
• Freeze for 18 hours.
• Take out the drive.


The ACS Technician found ice crystals all over the drive. Not only were the ice crystals on the outside of the drive, but they were inside of it as well. He stated that this technique may fix the electronics part of the drive, but only if it is overheating.

Now his query was about to be answered. Can a hard drive be repaired by freezing it? He tried to turn on the device. It didn’t work. The heads of the hard drive were pushing against the disk and causing it to click.

The ACS Data Recovery Guy explained that the Western Digital Drive was already working before he put it in the freezer. The reason it no longer worked was that the disk had frost on it. The frost was rubbing against the heads. So he decided to change the heads with different ones. By replacing them he found out that the drive was starting to operate correctly. He was surprised that the Western Digital Drive 500 GB worked because these types of devices are difficult. The inside mechanism of the drive is different from others so it makes it harder to fix. However it worked perfectly fine.


The technique for repairing a hard drive by putting it into the freezer was a complete failure. This method only made matters worse. Remember, freezers and drives don’t mix.