I have a 2.5" hard drive that has been shaken while it was turned on.

When I connect it, nothing happens what so ever. It doesn't spin and the BIOS can't see it.

At this site they talk about putting the disk in the freezer.

I don't understand how shaking it can cause it not to spin up or being detected. I mean, the PCB should be able to handle being shaken.


Is that expected?

Does anyone have an idea of what I could try?

migrated from serverfault.com Sep 6 '12 at 5:38

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.


If the BIOS isn't seeing the disk not matter what you do, it's fried. No idea how shaking it could have done that, unless you put it in a paint shaker. The freezer trick works on seized up bearings to get the internal parts moving (if only for a short time usually). This almost only ever works on very old drives, where the bearings are worn out from extreme use or from extreme lack of use.

  • +1 I've also had luck swapping an identical PCB before (same model/firmware/revision, etc.), but I haven't done that in ages. – gravyface Sep 5 '12 at 23:42
  • @gravyface you actually have to clone the firmware (all sections) from the old pcb to the replacement on modern drives, or it will forget which sectors have been marked bad and which ones have been swapped in plus other factory data for that specific drive. Its why that type of data recovery is sooo expensive. Man, what I wouldn't do for some of my dearly departed mom's home made Gravy! RIP mom. – Moab Sep 6 '12 at 5:54

Unplug it completely (with the power off), then plug it back in. In nearly all such cases all that's happened is that the connector has become a bit dislodged. If that doesn't resolve the problem and the drive cannot be detected then it's now a paperweight.

If the drive is now detected please run a full surface scan on it because the head may have skated across the surface, possibly damaging the magnetic coating in the process.

  • its also probably a good idea to check for scorchmarks and other painfully obvious physical damage while douing this. – Journeyman Geek Sep 6 '12 at 6:03

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.