Freeze It

People are always calling and asking me for computer help. When all else fails I seem to be the man of last resort.

Yesterday this guy that used to work with me called up. He was honest and began the conversation with, “I’ve got a computer problem.” I figured as much. His Windows machine wouldn’t recognize his hard drive. This is an easy one to fix, buy a new hard drive and restore from backup.

Like most people he didn’t have a backup. He did have some important files left on the disk. He wanted these files back so he took his computer to one of the local shops. They were unable to get his detect his drive.

He called me to find out about data recovery services. I have read about a few but I couldn’t recommend any. My information says they are expensive. Rates start in the thousands of dollars. These are companies that take your drive to a clean room and connect your platters to new electronics in order to get your information back. This wasn’t a solution for him.

A while back I read that a hard drive could be frozen, in your freezer right next to the asparagus, as a last resort.I mentioned this to him. He was skeptical but tried anyway, there was nothing to lose. A while later he called to say Windows was able to boot off the drive, but would lock up before he could get to his files.

I think this would have worked better for him if he booted from his alternate drive, my choice would be to boot into Linux, and had then used copied the data off as quickly as possible before the drive warmed up.

I didn’t offer any further help. There are two computers getting serviced in the garage already, I don’t need any more work.