NewsForge: Dead Disk Drive? What Would Fonzie Do?

“In the ’70s TV show ‘Happy Days,’ the character Fonzie was so
cool that he could make a dead jukebox play just by giving it a
thump in the right spot. If Fonzie were working on computers today,
he’d probably use some of these tricks for getting a reluctant hard
drive to come across with its data.

“When a previously working disk drive suddenly won’t come up at
boot time, one approach is to try freezing it. I don’t know whether
the cold realigns the components or the condensation that forms
when you remove the drive from the icebox has a positive effect,
but this technique actually works. It revived a laptop drive of
mine that quit suddenly this morning…”