Copying A Disk

Brian McKee brian.mckee at
Sat Jul 12 19:31:23 UTC 2008

On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 2:36 PM, Pete Holsberg <pjh42 at> wrote:
> Brian McKee has written on 7/12/2008 2:19 PM:
>> On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 1:25 PM, Derek Broughton <news at> wrote:
>>> Pete Holsberg wrote:
>>>> sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
>>>> Unable to read /dev/sdb
>>> oops.  Sounds like it's _really_ toasted.
>> As a *last resort*  - and don't expect it to work - Sometimes
>> (have I put enough qualifiers in here yet?)
>> put the harddrive in a ziplock bag with as little air as possible.
>> Stick it in the freezer for at least a couple hours so it's completely
>> cold-soaked.
>> Take it back out and try again - maybe with one of those gel cold paks
>> on top if it to help keep it cold while you are using it.
>> Twice now I've gotten quite a bit more data off a drive this way then
>> when it was hot.
>> Of course there's been another 4 or 5 attempts where this made no
>> difference at all.  So, YMMV...
> Thanks. The drive which is not in any enclosure of any kind is cool to
> the tough after being powered on all night.

I wasn't saying it was overheating.  Making the drive extremely cold
can sometimes restore it to life temporarily.  The cold can free stuck
parts, help insulate failing circuits etc etc.  No guarantees, but
it's worth trying if all else fails.


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