Covering for drives in freezer

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Putting failed drives in the freezer is a trick that has been suggested here
many times. Although it has been sometimes recommended to put the drive in an
anti-static bag first and then into a freezer bag, it's been most commonly
recommended to just put it in a ziploc bag with no mention being made of the

It's been mentioned elsewhere that just the latter would cause fatal static
damage to the drive. True? not true?

What about wrapping it in tinfoil<sic>? Didn't know we could still even buy that


Re: Covering for drives in freezer

On Fri, 10 Mar 2006 12:17:12 -0800, Robert Heiling

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No, not in anti-static first.  The drive cannot be operated
in the anti-static bag, so if it were in the anti-static
bag, the drive would then have to be taken out of it and
placed elsewhere, it a different plastic bag.

It is not good to expose the drive to outside air after
frozen, because the cool drive will cause condensation
unless the air is extremely arid.    The best alternative is
to put it in a regular bag then when it comes time to hook
it up, you already had the rear of the drive facing the bag
opening, quickly open the bag just enough to plug in the
data and power cable then either seal the bag with (masking
or similar) tape or at least put something flat across the
bag to keep it fairly shut like a book or clip or whatever.

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Anyone suggesting that the outside chance of static is worth
consideration at this point with a failed drive is getting a
little extreme, excessive.  You should not take the circuit
board side of the drive and aggressively slide it back and
forth against the bag wall deliberately, but otherwise just
put it in the bag, is is the lesser of all evils.

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No, nothing but putting it straight in a non-conductive
(anti-static is conductive)  sealed plastic bag.

Re: Covering for drives in freezer

kony wrote:
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Many thanks for those instructions, Kony. They are exactly what I was looking
for and addressed all the issues in question and more. I have copied your post
into one of mine in the newsgroup (alt.genealogy) where the question originally
came up.


Re: Covering for drives in freezer

From your Physics classes back in your school days you will remember (or
not) that as temperature goes down, so does humidity; as humidity goes down
the chance of static electricity building up increases. The plastic used in
ziplock bags is very good at storing static. Having stated all this if you
are careful in the way you handle the drive (such as holding on to the
outside of the bag and touching a metallic portion of the computer case you
should be able to drain this off without problem.

I can't really see any harm in using an antistatic bag (but I have not
actually tried it)

The main theory at work here is that magnetic flux is stronger (or more
prevalent) at lower temperatures, in fact if you could get close to absolute
zero (this is not 0 Celsius or 0 Fahrenheit but much colder -276 Celsius)you
would start to achieve superconductivity.

The problem is that as you start to work with the drive it's temperature
immediately starts to rise so the time that you have to work with is short.

Another problem is that this is only helpful in recovering erased data
(overwritten) or recovering data from a drive with a malfunctioning preamp,
etc. It does nothing for corrupted data or drives with controller problems.

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buy that

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