Resurrection: Saving Your Crashed Hard Disk

Ibnu Razaq (IR) home coming…

Alhamdulillah, after nearly a year of comatose, my beloved 160GB external hard disk (a present of my 19th birthday) has finally recovered this afternoon. I’ve been searching of ways to retrieve back my precious data that have been inaccessible as long as my external hard disk (IR) crashed one day in October last year. Computers can’t detect IR presence. I used IR within my 2 years in KMB. That’s why I missed the data saved in IR so much. And how do I able to retrieve back my priceless data? Here’s the story I wanted to share with all of you…

At first, I thought that the problem has something to do with IR’s casing or USB cable. So I went to Plaza Low Yat and find a shop to first diagnose the problem. One brother that I’ve met told me it would be better for me to try buying a new casing and see whether I can access the data or not. The payment for diagnosing an external hard disk, just to uncase it would cost me RM30.00 and that’s not including payment for other services. I then purchased a RM15.00 casing at different shop and asked the person in charged to help me change the case of my external hard disk. Their computer also can’t detect IR. He said that it probably crashed and there’s no way to access the data back…

How sad…

I have to live for a few months without my external hard disk. Then I bought a 3.5″ 320GB-Western Digital (WD) external hard disk. It’s quite bulky and need power supply. But I think I can live with that. I love the design; it looks like a book. I called it ‘Black Book’.

Later, I met my old friend, Izzat bin Che Baharom during Kem Eksplorasi Minda Borneo 2008. He said that his brother succeeded to retrieve data from a crashed hard disk using software downloaded from the internet. I wonder if I can do that also to save IR.

I’ve one friend, previously worked at the R&D department of Sony factory here in Bangi. He is also an IT-savvy person. So I asked him last night to take a look at IR. After he tried, he suggested that I send my external HD to shop which offer data retrieving service.

Mythical solution

I remembered what Izzat has told me before. I google thru the vast net, searching for relevant software as he mentioned. I installed 3 recovery softwares but they still unable to detect IR presence. Not until I found one article which suggested a crazy-sound-solution to save a crashed hard disk. It’s an urban legend. It says: FREEZE YOUR HARD DISK! I’m intrigued. But not directly believe in it. I continued google around till I felt exhausted and opted to try out the insane-sound-method. The writer said that he also heard this from other people.

I ended up on a few stories about people who were putting their HD in the freezer to help fix it long enough to be able to recover their data.”

He reported, at first he only freeze his HD for one hour and found he was able to access into the HD for about 2 minutes before it crashed again. Maybe the freezing time was not ‘long enough’ as mentioned in the legend. He then tried again:

“The day after, I shoved the hard drive back in the freezer for 24 hours. After getting it out, I was able to get 20 more minutes of life out it.”

IR Resurrection

Before go to sleep, I wrapped IR in a leather-like case and a plastic before shoved it into freezer part of our refrigerator. I slept with hope that I can retrieve back my lost data soon.

Later this morning…

I can’t wait any longer… I’m eager to see the result tough I’m still far from the 24th hour.

After nearly 12 hours, I unwrapped IR, left it until its temperature was approximately at equilibrium with room temperature and have it attached to my laptop USB port. Alhamdulillah, IT WORKS BEAUTIFULLY! After a year, being able to see those data of mine again is what makes me feel happy and grateful. I started to back up the data into my laptop and The Black Book. I’m afraid I don’t have enough time to retrieve them all. I then went for an 1 hour lecture, leaving my laptop copying the essential data.

What’s more, IR is still accessible until now! It’s been more than 3 hours. Alhamdulillah, I’ve copied all the important data and hope that IR will continuously healthy as before.

So friends, if you have same problem as I used to have, why not you try this out! Insya-Allah, it’ll become a part of our good efforts to regain our spent time on our previous works that are locked inside a crashed HD.

Happy trying it out and ALL THE BEST! :D

9 Syawal 1429H

Baitul Jundi,
Seksyen 9, Bangi,

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Filed under Tech

16 responses to “Resurrection: Saving Your Crashed Hard Disk

  1. Faiz

    aigoo. physically freeze the hard disc? so the legend is true.

    ty 2day i learnt something new.

    nice one mie

  2. Salam Faiz,

    Yup, I physically freeze the HD and it worked as foretold…
    Anyone with technical or scientific explaination are welcome to share it with us :D

    IR is accessible till now..Alhamdulillah

    Hope to use it as my portable external HD again

  3. Salam syawal dari bumi Dublin, Ireland. Rajin2, singgah la my blog. :)

  4. woohoo~ble try kat aku nye external hdd ni, never thought it was true though. da dekat stahun rosak, hopefully jd!

    thnx 4 e post, really appreciate it!

  5. j477

    can it be applied 2 a human brain as well?to recover lost data??

  6. To FarisNasir, I would lke to hear the result from you.
    Happy sharing it online.

    You might want to experiment it out Dr. j477 :D

  7. What a legend! (Like the legendary sannin.)

    Alhamdulillah you got IR back and I hope you have a peaceful mind after all.

    Take care.

  8. shako

    macam pelik jer…
    yg nta lak camner leh caye cam2 jer…
    need scientific explanation?
    wait for me and pg in next episode of mythbuster…

  9. stacey

    Hi, I’m having the similiar problem like yours(it cannot sense anything on DIsk Management, all i heard is just Clicking noise) I went to PLaza Low yat and they said it has sentenced to death… my pity Ext HD :( …. I asked is there any solutions to recover back my datas and they said unless i am willing to pay RM1000 per 10GB and i was almost fainted on the spot…. After reading your Solution of Freezing ext HD, i would like to try on what you did…. Wish me luck!! :)

  10. I wonder how’d it be when Bro. Shako and PG host the program :P

    Oh, Stacey, glad to hear that. All the best to you!

  11. stacey

    Bad news….. it does not works for me….:’(
    Looks like i have to say good bye to my lovely External Hard disk…. Annajm5, can i ask you a question? after you took out external hdd, wont you worry about there is steam coming out?

  12. Oh, sorry to hear that. Em, what do you mean by steam anyway? Is it the evaporated ice or smoke cause by some parts of your HDD burned once you attached it on the USB port?

    An important point that one need to remember is that the frozen HDD need to be left till its temperature drop about the room temperature (approximately).

    You might want to try it again because my HDD is still working properly till now (Thanks God).

  13. AMin

    Nak tanye, external hard disk tu rosak sbb ape? Kalau kes hard disk terjatuh.. boleh ke guna kaedah freeze tu?

  14. tak ingat pula rosak sbb apa. rasanya jadi tiba2, crash tak boleh nak akses

  15. Zall Harounne

    Salam, kalau i put my IR in the freezer, recommended for how long? lepas tu defrost dulu then simply connect to pc and retrieve file? Really need my data in the IR especially my photos of my kids when they were babies and photos of my late mother.

  16. dzmfreestyleBoom~

    hello, problem sy same mcm awk. n nk tanye sket.. lpas kluar dari freezer.. awk tros sambungkn harddisk tu dkat laptop ke..

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