Should I try the freezer trick?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shreddog, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. shreddog macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #1
    So i was updating my 12" Powerbook 1.33mhz with the latest iTunes update and the hard drive starts clicking and the balloon keeps spinning. I shut down the laptop and reboot. Lots of clicking and just gray screen.

    Took it to the genius bar this morning and they said the hard drive is dead. I could have guessed this myself, but I went to see if I could extend my warranty. Unfortunately my Applecare ran out on Feb 2. Unbelievable! Predictably, no luck. My wife is so po'd at Apple as this the second drive failure in 3 months (other one was an iMac - which I think I can still get the data off of with Disk Warrior as I don't think it is a physical failure of the drive). These are the first 2 drive failures I had in 15+ years and they were both OEM Apple drives.

    I called Drivesavers to get a quote on data recovery because, of course, I was just about to backup my data but didn't get a chance to (boy have I learned my lesson - do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today). BOY is it expensive. Over $1,000! I really want the pictures off of it and the tax documents.

    Anyway, I asked the technician about putting the drive (or laptop) into the freezer. He said it probably wouldn't work for me, he said it would work in very limited circumstances. Only when the reading thingy gets fused to the disk and that my problem was that the reading thingy was moving and was hitting the disk.

    The disk failure was rather sudden. There was no indication (i.e. clicking noises before it died), it just died.

    Any opinions on if I should give the freezer thing a shot? Should I remove it from the laptop first?

    Thanks.
     
  2. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a

    marykay9507

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    Jan 18, 2008
    #2
    sorry for your bad luck-- what exactly is the "freezer thing"
     
  3. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

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    #3
    Under some modes of failure, there are mechanical conflicts within the stepper motor of the drive. As the clearances are often measured in the thousandths of an inch, lowering the temperature of the components can sometimes "shrink" things enough to allow them to work, hence, the "freezer thing."

    Another approach is to slam the drive as hard as you can onto a hard, flat surface, such as a counter top.

    Both of these are absolute last-ditch efforts, of course. Considering the cost for data recovery services, they're worth a shot...

    MacDann
     
  4. shreddog thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #4
    Oh sorry...I've been reading on some forums that many people have had luck putting the hard drive in the freezer for a period of time (1-24 hours) and have been able to get the drive running for 20 minutes or so. Enough time to get the data off of it.
     
  5. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #5
    Make sure if your gonna put the drive in the freezer you wrap it up real well
     
  6. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

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    #6
    A ziplock bag with as much air you can suck out of it will be fine. You can use a straw stuck in the corner to really pull a vacuum if you want.

    I have one of those cryovac things for doing the "seal a meal" stuff and that does a great job getting all the air out, too.

    MacDann
     
  7. shreddog thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #7
    I've just been reading about how to remove the hard drive from the laptop and it seems like it would take me a long time to get back in. How advisable/not advisable is to put the entire laptop into the freezer. I'm thinking of wrapping it up with saran wrap or something.
     
  8. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

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    #8
    Look at it this way - no matter what you're going to have to remove the drive, so why risk damaging the computer? Buy a replacement drive, swap out the old drive, then undertake the data recovery.

    I would think there is a possibility to damage the LCD if you exposed it to low enough temperatures, and I wouldn't want to find out, either.

    MacDann
     
  9. comptr macrumors 65816

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    Oct 25, 2007
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    Arizona
    #9
    I have idea why don't you do this get hold of a windows desktop computer and get a adaptor that converts a laptop hardrive to a regular desktop hard drive then get this program spin right
    here is the link for the program : http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm
    than run the program and it can fix your hard drive then if it can't fix it then drive savers is the only option.
     
  10. supermint macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #10
    I had a friend who had the "reading thing" jam into the drive at an angle. I believe he put the entire laptop (covered in saran wrap) in the freezer for 8hrs. It worked afterwards but I believe it was 1) slow at start up and 2) died a few months later. Not bad if you just need to grab data off the drive? I don't remember any clicking sounds, though.
     
  11. erikistired macrumors 6502

    erikistired

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    #11
    i used to use the freezer trick as a last ditch effort. it works sometimes (amazingly enough) but once again, if you're considering data recovery, hold off. when you're ready to toss the drive, then try the freezer trick (well, i'd try it before hitting it against anything).

    basically put it in a zip lock bag (get as much of the air out as possible, you don't want condensation). leave it in the freezer a few hours, then quickly hook it up and be ready to move your data off. this isn't a long term fix, it's a "grab my stuff as quick as i can" solution.
     
  12. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #12
    Just connect the drive to a 2.5" external USB enclosure and keep trying to pull data off until you're done. You may have to try various angles, powercycling the drive many times, etc. I have always been able to recover everything this way; just takes a bit of patience. Usually you'll find a "magic angle" around 45 degrees where the drive works pretty well without clicking too much.

    Wouldn't try the freezer "trick" unless I was really, really desperate.
     
  13. mcbane999 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2007
    #13
    The freezer trick is a really bad idea.

    At least if you are planning to put the entire laptop in. When you take it out and turn it on, you will get lots of water condensing on the circuit boards. That might short things out in the first few minutes. If not, it will initiate a corrosion process that will kill the laptop over the next several weeks. In either case you will be on the market for a new laptop.
     
  14. thrustinj macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2007
    #14
    You're kidding right?
     
  15. cubgirl macrumors newbie

    cubgirl

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    #15
    My Macbook Pro 13" started running its fans like crazy today. It wouldn't stop and the laptop was very very HOT. Even resetting the SMC did not work. huh!

    So I opened it up all the way until it was almost flat and put it in upside down in my bottom freezer, but only for about 3 to 4 minutes. Pulled it out and it was very cool. It was still powered up and the fans were finally off. I went right back to my webpage and I'm using it again, right now (this just happened).

    Why put it in the freezer for 3 or 4 hours? That's crazy! Just cool it off... a few minutes is all you need.

    I do want to say that since then, I've gotten on Amazon and ordered a Samsung Pro 512 GB SSD plus a cable. Total for both is $224.00. Money well spent. Good-bye hot HDD. We are parting ways forever... Hello SSD!

    Oh yes, and I'm upgrading to El Capitan. I bypassed Lion, Mountain Lion, Yosemite, etc. Going from Snow Leopard to El Capitan. Oh Capitan, my Capitan... :)
     
  16. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #16
    I agree with @mcbane999.
     
  17. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #17
    I think you're missing the general intent of this thread(which is almost 8 years old). The freezer trick can help revive a dead HDD long enough to recover data. Beyond that, it's not a good idea.

    HDDs don't really run a whole lot hotter or use more power than SSDs. They sure are slow though.
     
  18. cubgirl macrumors newbie

    cubgirl

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    #18
    well, the "freezer" trick sure cooled my mac down, stopped my fans and got me going again.

    my point here is if someone has a hot macbook with fans continuously, popping it in the freezer for a few minutes can cool it down and change the hot "state". it appears the macbook gets so hot that the fans get overloaded. it gets "stuck" in that mode, almost self-perpetuating. mine was so hot, i could not keep it on my lap. 3 minutes in the freezer broke the cycle...

    you say, "HDDs don't really run a whole lot hotter or use more power than SSDs" Disagree! an HDD has moving parts. it spins 5400 or 7200 RPM's & the RW head constantly moves around. that's a lot of movement. that fact alone is indicative HDD's have the potential to be hot! conversely, SDD's do not move, indicative they won't don't heat up.

    and yep this thread is old but the problem is not. someone could pull it up for help, like i did today when i laughed and typed "put my macbook in the freezer" after doing it.

    :)
     
  19. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #19
    If your computer is running that hot you ought to open up the activity monitor and figure out what is causing the heat. Throwing it in the freezer will certainly cool it down, but it's just a band aid.

    The hottest component in your computer is your CPU or GPU. Neither have moving parts. SSDs don't run cooler than HDDs. They are faster though, so they're worth the upgrade.
     
  20. cubgirl macrumors newbie

    cubgirl

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    #20
    if you all think hdd's don't over heat, type "hdd hot" on google. lots of folks' hdd run hot. i'm not alone on that.

    and duh, my activity monitor was and is on all the time. the biggest culprit was Chrome. Safari was no longer supported on snow leopard and Firefox was just as bad as chrome. even now after the fix, the biggest culprit is https://mail/google.com website on activity monitor??!! that's a first. i think i'm going to ditch google mail!

    as i've stated 3 times now, i switched to el capitan yesterday after the freezer thing and a samsung 850 pro 512 gb SSD is on it's way from amazon.

    i like el capitan as everything seems to be running smoothly. power issue are gone. fans quiet. maybe to the point i don't need the SSD. but i'm going to install anyway to see how it goes.

    i'm nursing along a 2009 13" 8 gb 2.26 ghz macbook pro and the purpose of my comment was to help others having problems, not to get constant criticism.

    FYI, i have an MS in engineering from ohio state. not everyone's an idiot you know...

    :(
     
  21. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #21
    I couldn't care less if you are an engineer sticking any laptop in a freezer is a bad idea all that moisture could completely destroy it in a very short amount of time especially if you put it in hot....
     
  22. cubgirl macrumors newbie

    cubgirl

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    #22
    gonna figure out how to close this account... too many ego's here

    3 minutes in the freezer is NOT GOING TO HURT ANYTHING.

    already sent my email to arnold to close this frigging account... have fun arguing needlessly
     
  23. QuickDraw macrumors regular

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    May 29, 2009
    #23
    It's called a discussion forum for a reason... especially if you are advocating potentially dangerous advice, be prepared for different opinions.
     
  24. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    #24
    3 minutes in my freezer will probably hurt the wieners. They would thaw slightly, causing some moisture crystals to form which over time will cause freezer burn to set in sooner rather than later.

    That's not something I would wish on my worst enemy, but to each their own. My wieners are precious to me.
     

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