Zombie Drive

by rgrunber

I had a hard disk fail a while ago after about 2 years of use. It wasn’t even being detected as a physical device. It wasn’t that big of a deal as everything was backed up, but I was curious if there was any way to access it once again. I heard a suggestion from a colleague to try freezing the disk in the hopes of getting a last chance to access the data.

Solution : I placed the drive in a ziplock bag, and placed that bag into a larger plastic bag (I couldn’t find another ziplock bag). I left that in the fridge for about 3 hours. I then removed the drive from the bags and reconnected it. The first few times, it failed. Given that it was likely dead, a colleague decided to give it a few bashes (I believe the technical term is ‘kickstarts’). I don’t know if it was the freezing, or just the bashing but the combination allowed me to boot from the disk.

I did not expect that to work.

I tried booting from the drive a few days later, and it also seemed to work. I haven’t connected that drive back in a while, and it may indeed be back to normal but I wouldn’t trust it with anything.