(and shout out to the geek man Tim Barrett for this)

First a cold gel pack

Next silica gel packets that you get purses, pill bottles and other places.. or buy them from Amazon

Okay so why those two items?  It all started out this morning when my trusty Acer TravelMate C110’s harddrive started making a clicking noise and the comptuer froze up.  Now normally this would not be an issue since that’s my travel laptop and I don’t store anything on it.  But this time there was a word document that I really wanted off of there.  I had a backup from the day before.. but not all the word I had done on the previous day. 

Rats.  And I know better not to be in a position without a backup.  Not a good way to start a Sunday.  So I resign myself to starting over on that document knowing that the second time around means you are faster (okay I know that’s a mental pep talk but when facing redoing something that I KNOW better that I should have at a minimum emailed to myself as a minimum means of backup.. you do what you have to do..).

So then as I go to pour myself a Dew at 9:30 in the morning and reach for the ice for the glass I remember the freezer trick.  You know ..the hard drive and the freezer trick.

And in some cases (like mine) it gets the drive to work just long enough to get your data off.  I took the drive out of the laptop, stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes, put it back in and got enough life out of the drive to get my Word document off.  So no it’s not an urban myth, it really does work.  Not to say it works in all situations, but if you have a dead drive, freeze it and give it a shot anyway.

Tim had some key recommendations that kicked it up to the uber level:

He said….

I’ve used the freezer trick multiple times with much success. I put the drive in a zip-lock bag with one of those little silica packs you get in leather bags and other purchases. It helps absorb the moisture & prevents condensation when the drive heats back up during use.  

Sometimes when running long drive recoveries (like SpinRite) I put a blue gel pack under the drive as well.

I never would have thought of a blue gel pack to keep the drive cool.  Cool tip!  And indeed the drive was a bit “sweaty” coming out of the freezer and immediately started condensation and getting a bit wet (reminded me of the Apollo 13 movie scene where the astronauts are in the revived capsule and practically getting rained on by the condensation.)

So there you have it.  Two more additions to your computer tool bag.

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