Is there a way to recover data from a hard drive when it's not detected anymore by the PC?

I've looked around and all the solutions seem to assume that the hard drive is still detectable.

How can I do this?


Sometimes deepfreezing it will allow bits to move back into place for long enough to get data off.

  • Thought you were pulling our leg there for a second. Then I googled it. Weird. – Manos Dilaverakis Nov 13 '09 at 15:07
  • Yeah, sounds like a load of rubbish, but apparently it can help – Xetius Nov 13 '09 at 15:45
  • Freezing does work, but I think it has more to do with the spindle shrinking just a bit more than the platter, allowing the platter to move more freely, and less to do with "bits moving back into place" – Joel Coehoorn Jan 22 '10 at 17:36
  • I've had good luck with this. Remember to act fast.. You are racing against the drive heating up. Don't try to grab the whole drive in one shot. Do a folder at a time. Then if the driver stops working freeze again and start where you left off. – Chris Nava Dec 2 '11 at 5:30

A quick google search provides the follow:

How to Recover Data From a Dead Hard Drive

Recover a Dead Hard Disk

How to Recover Dead Hard Drive Data

It's also possible to find software that will take a dead 'as in non-detecable' harddrive and do a slow deep level scan of the drive and recover data from it.

Good luck!


If it doesn't spin up, it's time for the professionals. They will need a clean room to open it up.

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