I'm currently in the business of recovering data from a damaged---and dying---hard-drive (check this question for background info). The drive was dropped while the system was running; and while foolishly I was trying to run
testdisk on it, I started hearing---what I assume is---the "click of death".
- Place the damaged hard drive inside a ziploc freezer bag, so that no moisture gets in. (Use two or even three bags, and note that the bags do NOT need to be isotherm.)
- Place the wrapped hard drive in the freezer
- Leave the hard drive in the freezer for at least 12 hours
- Then connect the drive to the computer and start copying data
- At some point, the hard drive will fail again. When it does, redo the procedure until all data is copied or the drive dies.
(As per a now-deleted post Harddrive in the freezer ever work for you? on SuperUser, two alternative-medicine remedies to try before freezing are: (1) "Place the hard drive on a smooth surface. Grab the ends and physically spin the whole unit around", "just spinning the unit sharply along the axis of the blades" and (2) "In situations where the head has crashed, you can temporarily get it up and running by turning the drive upside down. Keep the drive upside down while you back up your files.")
Question: Is freezing a legitimate strategy to rescue data from a dying hard-drive? Or is this simply a fancy way to definitively brick your disk?