How to Put a Dead or Dying Hard Drive in a Freezer for Data Recovery

by Joseph Eitel

There are probably many people out there who think placing your hard drive in the freezer to recover data is an urban myth. Strangely enough, it's true. It won't make your hard drive last forever, but it will make your hard drive work long enough for you to pull all of the necessary, important information off of your hard drive. This method may not work every time, so it should be considered a last-ditch effort if you've already made other attempts.

Remove the hard drive from your computer.

Place the hard drive in an anti-static bag. This protects the hard drive from static energy or discharges that are present in your freezer's cold, dry climate.

Place the hard drive in a gallon-sized freezer bag. This will help protect the electronics in the drive from any moisture or condensation that will damage the device during the process.

Place the hard drive in the freezer for at least 24 hours. Ideally, you should wait 72 hours.

Take the hard drive out of the freezer and unwrap it. Connect it to the device. Depending on your drive situation, you may want to put the drive into a USB or Firewire case and connect to your computer.

Retrieve the data.


  • check Deciding to put the hard drive back in your computer and then booting up your computer can cause you to lose 10 minutes of very valuable data recovery time.


  • close Never allow any water or other liquids to get inside of your computer.

Items you will need

About the Author

Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog,, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.